The directions to the ranch are as follows:
Once you hit the dirt road, take a right at every fork. If you pass the "Last Chance Ranch", you still haven't gone far enough.
About three hours into the drive, you see this:
And then after you pass the Last Chance Ranch, you hit the Johnson Ranch.
And that's where we buried Uncle Glendon. A true cowboy.
His brother, my father-in-law, dedicated the grave, paying respect to the extreme power of nature in this part of the world. The man-made structures here can be about as inconsequential as a layer of dust over the landscape, easily wiped out by a strong wind or some other force of nature.
And yet, the Johnson ranch still stands, and will go on as the final resting place for Uncle Glendon, and his two children who preceded him in death, until nature decides otherwise.
How often, with today's technology, does the title of pallbearer mean physically laboring to lower the casket of a loved one deep into the earth?
How often do children get the chance to aid in the burial of a beloved elder, while dust suspended in the air clings to the tears on their cheeks?
How often do we get to cover our hands in the dirt that our loved ones are returned to? Tiny hands filling the empty space, sure of the how, but unsure of the why.
Dust to dust...
The old giving way to the new...
It was an unforgettable experience. We'll miss you Uncle Glendon.