Cody's financial situation is looking up! He just called to tell me he has a job on a ranch about 20 miles from the New Mexico border. All those years of fixing fence on the farm when we were growing up filled out his resume nicely! He's laying fence for a 55-year old roping champion and bachelor. (Since I don't know his name, he'll be Bachelor from here on...) Bachelor owns about 700 acres but runs cattle on 7,000 acres, most of it BLM land. On this spread, he has about 50 cattle. I think he's semi-retired and could support more cattle than that, but it still sounds funny-- our dad runs upwards of 50 beef cattle on about 40 acres of pasture in Northern New York!
Cody's getting meals, a bed, and actual money, so this is a nice interlude in his journey. I think he was a little discouraged over the weekend. His stroller had three permanent flat tires. The only reason he hadn't ditched it by now is he took a gander at some of his route in NM, and it's pretty desolate. He's going to need a way to carry water and food through those stretches. Hopefully, during the week he's planning on working for this guy, he'll have time to fix it all up and turbo-charge it!
I didn't get to talk with him this weekend, but he talked to my folks, and his friends Tanner Smith and Scott Porter, who were with my family for Thanksgiving and beyond. He had some stories to tell them-- I guess Cody had another Sheriff incident. For a guy who's (reasonably) law-abiding, Cody sure has an adversarial relationship with The Law. This weekend, as he was walking down the road, a sheriff pulled up and asked to see his ID. Cody, instead of fishing out his wallet and a five-minute explanation, quite legally told the sheriff he was not obligated to show his ID because he was breaking no laws. (Principle is often a bigger thing with Cody than expediency.) The sheriff told Cody he was breaking the law just because he was walking down the road. Since Cody was on a secondary road open to pedestrians, Cody disagreed. It all finally ended when Cody told the sheriff he would call the state police on his cell phone and ask them the legality of the situation. If the state police told him anything he was doing was wrong, Cody would happily show the sheriff his ID. At this point, the sheriff drove off in a huff. It will be interesting to see the number of times Cody gets in this situation during his trek, and whether he actually makes it the whole length of the country without getting incarcerated!
His cell service wasn't the greatest when he talked to me, so he'll call back later. I'm anxious to hear all about life on a ranch in the southwest!