Sometimes when you make really bad decisions you know you are making them but you just can’t seem to stop yourself….today I made a really bad decision!  I guess it was doubly bad because Larry, my ‘ranch coach’, also told me it would be a terrible move.

You see we began the day in the wilds.  I wanted to get out onto the banks of the Colorado and experience life ‘cowboy style’…horse-riding, cooking over an open fire, roping steer…the whole thing and so to be properly prepared I had been out and found myself the finest stetson no more than $25 could buy!  The guy in the shop said it was a little big but I thought it was just perfect.  It was ‘used’ condition and boy did it look the part!  So, brimming with confidence, I leapt upon my trusty steed  only for the desert winds (which never stop, it seems) to blow my new found pride and joy straight from my head.  Tumbling like the proverbial tumbleweed, it ended up in a dense patch of scrubby mesquite and cacti. “That’s gone” said Larry, (or Longhorn as everyone calls him….but that’s another story), “only a fool would go in there after that…”  It must be something about my upbringing but it felt like a challenge I simply couldn’t refuse and off I went…..I must admit the barbed spines of the desert cacti did an excellent job in distracting me long enough for a blacktail rattlesnake to sink his fangs deep into my outstretched hand. As I said…pretty poor decision!

So it was that I was slung over the back of the horse (it was crucial apparently to keep the bite lower than the heart, to inhibit the spread of venom) and ingloriously rushed back to civilisation and onward to ER in Austin. The tingling has subsided from my hand and arm after an intravenous course of anti-venom, a few crystalloid solutions and some antibiotics. It seems that the swelling will go down in due course…

I must admit that it has given me something of an appetite. Fortunately Nancy, the volunteer who is serving  supper tonight, is something of a find.  She is 87 and has promised me the secret  ingredient that makes her amazing Beef Burrito. It’s all in the ‘powder’ apparently and she assures me this recipe is over 150 years old. I am hoping that you all love it.

Ps  I may need some help when my medical bill arrives…!

Austin Texas Adventure