“You live HOW FAR from town?!”

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

When we got married, I think Jim took it as a personal challenge to see how far he could move me from town. Our first home was at the 25 Ranch, twenty miles from the small town of Battle Mountain and 70 miles from the larger town of Winnemucca. I drove an hour and a half one way (part of it was a really washboard-y dirt road) to buy groceries and go to my monthly doctor’s appointments when I was pregnant with our daughter. The receptionist at my OB-GYN’s office thought it was an incredibly long way; I thought it was an incredibly long way; and my best friend and her mom could barely believe anyone lived way out there.


That’s the closest I’ve lived to town in my three years as Mrs. Young III. By now, I’ve gotten used to the distance, but I still enjoy shocking my California friends by telling them that I drive 350 miles round-trip – a total of six hours behind the wheel –to go grocery shopping. At one time I drove even farther; when we lived at the Alvord in eastern Oregon, I drove 3 ½ hours one way to Nampa, Idaho to hit up Costco and Walmart and take the truck to the shop and myself to the doctor’s office. I always packed an overnight bag, just in case I was too tired to safely drive home. Approaching that last 120-mile stretch of desert with no cell phone service, heavy eyelids and a toddler in the backseat at 9 PM made me just get a motel room in Jordan Valley on occasion.
I enjoy living out in the sagebrush with a great view of the mountains, but sheesh, sometimes I wouldn’t mind living a little closer to civilization. Based on what I gather from listening to my town friends and reading mommy blogs, most women are like, “Hmmm, I need a curtain rod. I think I’ll zip on down to Target this afternoon and get one, maybe pick up a latte on the way home.” When I go to town, I pack extra ratchet straps to tie on an ice chest for cold groceries, the stroller, a suitcase, and any big purchases I might make, such as a bed or couch. I don’t “zip” anywhere; it’s 160 miles to the nearest branch of my bank.

This is what our pickup looked like on a recent trip home from town. I have major SUV envy, but where the heck would I put all this stuff?


Flatbed pickup

This is what I wish I looked like on all my trips home from town. See the giant vodka box near my toddler? It’s not what you think – I don’t buy hard alcohol by the case. It was one of the boxes that the Costco workers packed my groceries in. No, really, it was. Quit looking at me like that.

Child in car seat

I’ve heard people complain about not being able to find a doctor who takes their insurance policy within a fifty-mile radius of their house. I don’t even expect to find anything except the neighbor’s cow within fifty miles of my house. Whenever my friends are like, “I had to drive an hour and a half to my doctor’s today!” I want to say, “Is that a complaint? Are you actually complaining about having that short of a drive?! Shut your mouth. After an hour and a half, I’m still only halfway across the desert to town.”

But I don’t say that, because that’s rude and I like having friends. But I’m totally thinking it, though.

I enjoy the challenges presented by living so far from town; it has made me more resourceful when it comes to cooking what I have on hand and doing basic home repairs. When the sun was shining through the kitchen windows at an extreme angle this spring and I could barely see to wash dishes or cook dinner, I made curtains from an old bed sheet in one afternoon. Motivation by blinding, man. It totally works.

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....

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