The silence experienced overnight here at Rancho San Dionisio was complete bliss. And waking up to cool, crisp mountain air just as good.
Clarence & Isabel, the hosts of the ranch, have created a one of a kind experience for us travelers. The heart of the property is the outdoor community kitchen where I find most everyone gathered around hot coffee and freshly baked cookies this morning. I chat with a few other women, immediately connecting over the remote nooks and crannies of the Western US that we all cherish.
After breakfast Mark & I set out on one of the nearby trails. We cover close to six miles through the river valley continually in awe of the lush landscape. Upon our return we learn from Clarence that there are many more trails in the area and already in my head I’m plotting our return.
While doing our dishes in the community kitchen I meet Tom, a kind, soft-spoken gent from Denver who arrived at the ranch 6 months ago in his car, pitched a tent, started helping out and hasn’t left since. Later I meet Barbara from Washington, a delightful woman living full-time in her converted van. She gives me a tour of her tiny home and I’m immediately inspired by her adventurous-spirit.
By late afternoon a few new travelers arrive. Immediately I recognize Lawrence & Yin from British Columbia, they were our camp neighbors a few hundred miles north last week. Shortly after that our friend Parker arrives. Not long after everyone is settled, a dozen or so of us pull up a chair and gather around the fire. We talk for hours about all things travel and tiny living.
I am an introvert through and through. But every once in a blue moon I find myself in the company of people that I feel energized by. This was one of those times. I have a feeling I will remember this day and this place fondly for a long time to come.