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Design Ranch Moto Adventure: Day 6

Lazy Bones

I have another 9:00AM workshop, but I never see it. I sleep in until 11:00AM or so. Breakfast was never much of a consideration either. I’m not the only one in the cabin still sleeping, but others that were up late managed to get up and get to their morning workshops. How, I have no idea.

I at least make it to lunch and bounce around until it’s time for my 1:30PM workshop with Judy from O-K Paper. This is my third year in a row taking Judy’s workshop. She is so much fun and after 4 ranches, a good friend. I know she’s been working hard this year to make sure everything is in line for her workshops and it is clear once our time starts.

We’re making hand-sewn & assembled cases for our Field Notes. Getting this thing completed in 90 minutes is going to be a task, but I ain’t trying to leave Design Ranch with unfinished projects.

Field Notes Holster finished product

Field Notes Holster finished product

The next hour and a half go by quick and include some very indulgent wrestling talk with fellow rancher, Michael.

The clock strikes 3:00 and I’ve got to roll even though I’m not finished. I’ve signed up for a horseback riding session at 3:30 and I don’t want to be the guy they have to call over the P.A. system for being late. Plus, I’m going to try one more time to catch Draplin at his workshop space on my way to the stables.

I manage to catch him before he’s packed up and gone. I grab some more merch goodies and a photo with the man himself.

100% Aaron

100% Aaron


I head to the stables for my horseback riding session. I’m the only one with no previous riding experience, so they give me a horse named Chaplain. He’s a big, strong-looking guy and I fear they’ve made a mistake. Once we get going on our way, I realize that Chaplain isn’t the most motivated horse of the bunch. He moves slow and tries to eat every plant in sight. But he’s a good boy and we have a nice ride.

Chaplain taking his time bringing up the rear

Chaplain taking his time bringing up the rear

After the horseback riding I fly back across camp to my cabin to finish my Field Notes holster from Judy’s workshop. No unfinished projects! I work on it for another hour or so while catching up with Amanda back home. Amazingly, I can call home from my cabin instead of seeking out higher ground as in previous years. This does take a bit of the off-the-grid charm away, but it’s nice all the same.

I finish my Field Notes holster and consider the day a success aside from failing to swing by Chris & Noah’s workshop, Dude Design. Everybody is raving about how great it is, and I wanted to see for myself, but just ran out of time before their last session.

While there aren’t any more workshops happening, we’ve got some time before the dinner bell rings. Jolinda and I take advantage of the weather with a canoe ride, while new pals Erika and Julie join us in a paddleboat.

Grand Finale

As evening gives way to the night, everybody is buzzing with more energy because Saturday night is the fun night. All the workshop leaders are done, so they can cut loose. There’s a line for all of us to pick out a design to be freshly screen-printed on a complimentary shirt. There’s a silent auction going on with all kinds of amazing design goodies. We’ve all had a few days to get to know each other better, but we’re all leaving tomorrow. And there’s two-stepping! I’m pretty pumped about that. I have so much fun two-stepping, polkaing and a variety of other made up steps.

With David & Jolinda. The RVA crew holding it down like super glue.

With David & Jolinda. The RVA crew holding it down like super glue. Photo by the amazing Tina Leh


There’s just something about two-stepping to live music deep in the heart of Texas that makes it the perfect way to wrap up the weekend. The amount of fun we’re having seems to reach a point where smiles, joking and laughing aren’t enough, so we just have to dance. I look forward to it every trip, and having the opportunity to share that experience with my friends is just the best.

The evening’s wrap-up events and camaraderie help distract from the not-so-fun part tomorrow where I have to say goodbye to all my new & old buddies that I don’t get to see nearly enough.