Cuthbert Coot's Ranch

Rob Klein bi442 at
Tue Feb 3 03:31:14 CET 2004

>From Barks' story, it's clear that Donald and his cousin knew each other very 
well.  They are very friendly, and Donald has come unannounced to help with the 
Spring Roundup.  It is clear he has been at his cousin's ranch before, and 
Cuthbirt has no problem (nee actually is glad)with Donald's having come for an 
unannounced visit.

As to the location of the ranch - Donald says The Ducks came "down" to the 
ranch.  That can mean only two things: They drove in a southward direction, 
and/or they lowered in elevation to get there.  I suspect, that it is probably 
both.  In USA, in map/compass directions, down refers only to south.  No one 
travels down north. One says: "back east", "out west", "up north", and "down 
south". Further, the landscape around Cuthbert's ranch is desert or semi-desert
(at best). Such a climate cannot exist close to Duckburg. It must be at least 
several hours of auto driving away. In addition, it must be on the lee side of 
high mountains, and also probably lower in elevation (e.g. below see level), to 
have such a difference in climate, so nearby. This is quite possible, as 
Calisota is on the US West Coast, between California and Oregon, and thus, must 
have a high mountain range connecting the Sierra Nevada Mountains of 
California, with the Cascade mountains of Washington and Oregon. Barks' 
portrayal of The Eagleclaw Wilderness and Aeolian Mountains fits that 
requirement.  The Aeolians are so barren, as they are the second mountain range 
moving easterly from The Pacific Ocean.  They are in the rain shadow of the 
extremely high Eagleclaw Mountains (similar to the drier White mountains east 
of The lofty Sierra Nevada Range. Cuthbert's ranch must be a fair way south, 
and a bit east of the highest portion of the Aeolian Mountains (thus suffering 
from the double rainshadow (as does Death Valley-just east of The Panamint 
Range-first range east of Sierra Nevada Mountains, south of the White 
Mountains). Donald must have driven southeastward through the Black Forest, 
then continued through the lush green forests up the western slopes of The 
Eagleclaw Mountains, then eastward through a narrow pass, then southeastward 
down the slopes ofits"dry side", continued south and through a pass between the 
drier Aeolian Mountains, down its dry side, and south another 100 miles or so.  
The entire distance should be at least a 6hour drive, or at least 300 miles.

That distance and time/distance is consistant with The Cuthbert Coot story, and 
with Barks other stories in which The Ducks drive in there car, and after 
several hours, reach desert landscape (Camel story, Dread Valley Sandy story, 
Stone's throw from a ghost town, The Ghost Sheriff, etc.). In the Cousin Coot 
story, Donald grabs the Kids, jumps in his car and starts driving.  We see them 
later, away from the city, and only 10 miles from the ranch. We have no idea 
how long they've been driving.  We don't even know if it is the same day.  
Because of the extreme difference in climate, it cannot be anything near only 
10 miles away. Such a short distance would only be in the outer suburbs of 
Duckburg, or in the farmland just outside. I submit that the Boys were playing 
in the early morning, and they took a six hour drive, arriving at the ranch in 
early afternoon, the same day.  I say the ranch is approximately 300 miles 
southeast of Duckburg, across two mountain ranges, in the southeastern corner 
of Calisota. 

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