Did you miss us, Dear Reader?
You won’t believe this…we hardly believe it ourselves…but after months of planning and preparation for our expedition to the high, dry mountains of Argentina, we’re still here in the city of Salta… Our project has been delayed…by floods.
As you may recall, it is so dry up at the ranch that visitors wonder what the cows eat. We tell them we have developed a new race of low-fat, low cholesterol cattle we call “sand fed beef.”
But what ho! Now we are still in Salta, a city about a 5-hour drive from the ranch, and we are stuck.
“Well…” says our foreman, “…the road to Angastaco is blocked by the river. The road to Molinos is blocked by mud. But you don’t have to worry about that. You can’t get anywhere near there, because the road to Cafayate is impassable because of rockslides…and the road over the mountain pass has been washed out completely.”
Yes, dear reader, we have been hit by a low, unexpected blow…from water! The ranch got only 120 mm, or about 5 inches, of rain last year. The year before it was only about 4 inches. It looked to us as though the whole place was going to dry up and blow away.
But so far this year, the gods have poured 15 inches of water on that parched ground…and it keeps raining. Fifteen inches is not a lot. Not for Maryland. But up in the barren mountains, the water rolls off the rocks…down through the gullies…and fills the rivers. Soon, it is over its banks, floating automobiles and rolling boulders.
“They’re clearing the main road now,” says our friend. It should be passable tomorrow…if it doesn’t rain tonight. But getting from Cafayate up to your ranch is another matter. Nobody knows what has happened up there. They’ve been cut off for weeks.”
And so, we cool our heels…we rest our heads…we pace the room and watch the skies…eager to see a ray of sunlight…and some hope of proceeding to our objective.
And so…we have time to reckon after all.
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