Greetings from Flat Creek Ranch, a bit of paradise at the end of a truly fearsome jeep trail, where the sun came out to celebrate our arrival and wonderful people are standing by to give us good food and take us on adventures. I will come back with stories of hikes and horses and canoes and snowshoes.

I really need you not to need my help, because I’m way further off the grid than I expected. The ranch is far beyond the reach of any wires. Electricity is generated from solar panels and a radio phone handles most of the communication.

There was a single location on the property where a Verizon signal could barely be detected, bouncing off a canyon wall, so the ranch built a tower to receive it and bought a bunch of equipment to amplify it, without very useful results. A Verizon card is plugged into a DLink wireless router to provide an Internet connection; it works at speeds far below dialup, with messages sitting in the outbox for 30-60 seconds before they are sent out. Web browsing is all but impossible.

My apologies. I hope none of you notice that I was gone. I will be back near cell service and Internet connection on Friday afternoon and should be more readily available next week. For now, keep everything running and for goodness’ sakes, don’t let your computers know that I’m out of town. They might get frisky.

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