Seldon Seen Vehicle

The Backroad Ranch Tour was a heart-opening joyful, time-traveling, living museum kind of day.
Brad is a true ambassador of good will, and it is completely awesome that he understands what a treasure these people and places are.  He is a path finder and a joy builder,  he fills the day with special surprises and a wonderfully warm heart
.” – Claudia Brown, World Renowned Jewelry Designer, Healer and overall good person.

Here is Claudias full review: What we now call the “Capriotada Tour” was a heart-opening joyfull, time-traveling, living museum kind of day. We climbed the mountain in Brads ElToro 4wheel drive complete with horns and animal calls sound effects. Up up through the ever changing forests with astounding views.

We stopped in on a adobe brick making operation that wowed us all, thousands of bricks made by hand all laid out to dry in the sun and stacked in fascinating arrangements. The kiln was made of a mountain of the bricks and plastered with slabs of adobe.the fires were made in two crypts at the bottom where big logs were fed in over days time. The kiln to fire the bricks is a temporary structure made of the very bricks that were being fired, this aspect blew our minds to no end, and all of this in a remote mountain top next to a pond, it was mysterious, ancient, and fascinating.

We went next to the adobe home of Nellie and Family where we had the fantastic typico breakfast, we flipped out for the Original Home Made Tortillas made by grinding the corn and prepared at the outdoor cooking station, called a Pretil. Everything we ate came from right where we were; eggs, cheese, chile water, beans and even home-made capomo-coffee. The copomo nuts were roasting on the comal over the fire at the Pretil. We saw soapmaking and many “original way” ways and devices. The soap was made from oak ashes and lard. The hopitality was warm and genuine.  We mentioned that we would love to taste some Capriotada, the lent-time bread pudding specialty and we were given big bowls of it…YUM!

Off to experience the moonshine operation. A still for Raicilla, all made with earth, fire, air and agave cactus.
The absence of modern technology is what is so fascinating and sacred to me. The operations of distillery are all of the olden ways and not made as a recreated exhibit, but a real life, a primal men’s work kind of thing. The still sits on a mound of earth, with a fire pit dug into the mound, an adobe platform holds a hollowed tree trunk that somehow has fire-hot steam in it and is sealed shut with some gummy resin type stuff, on top of that is an old copper bowl, and out the side a tap made from wood, out of here appears the moonshine, drop by drop. I am drawn to and moved by these outdoor cooking ways, it moves something deep in my psyche, very much touches my soul, my ancient cellular memories.

Driving further back thru time we come to El Algodon, Super WOW!  A wonderfully organized and tidy tiny village or rancho of 9 family dwellings, a tiny church, school and health center. These ranchos are living history. We all were so moved by the experience, the gorgeous healthy animals, the ranching fine-art of lariat and lasso making. the rawhide they use is not bought at the feed store, but all of the materials are created right there. Raw hide braiding so perfect and beautiful, and all used on the ranch.  My family has a lariat made the exact same way from my great grandfather and it is over a hundred years old.  We met a Gigantic Brahma Bull inside the corral and up close enough to pet and its 3 day old calf.  We went to the daughter in laws house to witness cheesemaking, delicious rancho cheese.Another facinating process.  Off to the Ramada (porch) for a second blessing of Capriotada (getting really full now)  This wonderful family is preparing a bedroom for guests in order to offer home stay experiences. I really think it would be a lifetimes treat to live a week of ranch life and learn all the old ways, have total spanish emersion and participate in this family’s beautiful light and knowledge.

Off we go and on to a blessed meeting of 3 rivers and a hotspring, Agua Caliente. We dove in the clear pool and communed with the waterfall, refreshed and enlivened.

Our final stop on this amazing tour day is to visit a grand new hacienda, modern made but with an eye for history and perfection, it is a mexican palace, with dancing horses, huge seas of cornfields  and….Capriotada…woah… We rolled our selves on back to el Toro (the car) and headed for home. We stopped to get gas which was brought to the car in a big container and syphoned with a hose into the tank..wow

Down the mountain and into the dusk we drove. An unforgettable lifes experience, A Glorious, beautiful, enriching day and we all love Brad so much, he is a true ambassador of good will, and it is completely awesome that he understands what a treasure these people and places are. He is a path finder and a joy builder, he fills the day with special surprises and a wonderfully warm heart.

It is dirt roads all the way and we all felt so safe and peaceful. Thank you Brad for a great adventure and for honoring these rare jewels of people and places.  ps…I hope to experience the home stay at the ranch this spring or summer.

Claudia Brown

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