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  • Kate Barker

Going Home

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Last week, driving over Cedar Pass, which was still covered in snow, I wondered why I always feel like I am “coming home” as we descend into Surprise Valley.

Perhaps it was the happy memories associated with the ranch and Surprise Valley. No… in remembering other places I have lived my mind is flooded with joyous recollections.

Drinking my morning cup of tea, standing on our front porch and waving to the UPS man as he passed by, it dawned on me that there is a timelessness in this place and it is defined by County Road One.

County Road One runs from Eagleville, to Cedarville, to Lake City and to Fort Bidwell. It is eighty miles long, each community approximately twenty miles apart. And the landscape doesn’t change. The ranches may be bought and sold, and sometimes the houses are painted and improved upon, but in 20 years not much really changes. As you make your way through the valley, fields are still planted, irrigation lines are still standing, cows are still fed in the same pastures, and pregnant mares are still grouped together in their fields. In the spring cattle are still moved down County Road One to their spring and summer feeding grounds and in the fall they are brought home on County Road One.

Surprise Valley doesn’t change. It feels like “home”, because unlike other places, it is just the way I left it ! Even though there may be a few little changes, nothing huge has disrupted this lovely place. There are no new roads, no new housing developments or new department stores being built. It is a quiet and peaceful journey home on County Road One…….

Happy Infusions,


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