Thursday, January 19, 2017

Companies Coming

January has been a pretty laid back month for me, but Brenda has been out and about. She made a trip back to Canada to see her dentist and doctor. She picked a week that the temps were down around -30C so she was glad to get back to DPS. And she brought her sister, sister-in-law, and best friend since she was 10 back with her. Cheryl has been a huge help to her when she has to make her periodic trips back to the North Country and we are glad she took the opportunity to come on down to DPS for a visit. The weather here has been typical for mid-January but a whole lot warmer than back on the Northern Ranges.

Enjoying a fire at DPS
Me, I've been doing a little swimming and some riding in the desert with Blue II and taking a few photos along the way.

Got lazy for this one, it is taken from the patio at DPS

Sunset at Lookout Point

Sunset Lookout Point

And yet again


And one final sunset from what I am calling Lookout Point

I found this Road Runner running in the Wash
It is a quick run from DPS to Lookout Point in Blue II, and running back after dark is pretty quick also. It wouldn't be near as fast on Ol' Blue himself. I did get out a day or two for a ride in the desert with Josie Staden, my friend Phil is laid up with a strained back, but is getting back in the saddle this weekend for a ride at Picket Post. A few team ropers here have asked me to lead them around the mountain, and Phil is letting me use one of his ponies for that gig.

Cheryl is heading back north on Monday so she and Brenda have a busy weekend of shopping, casino visits, etc. planned for the next few days.

Stay tuned for some upcoming travels, if the weather holds and Brenda is feeling up to it we are heading back into the past for a little boondocking at one of our favourite spots ever. Click on this link for a peek into the past. We might even catch up with few of the bloggers on our sidebar over at Bloggerfest.

Fireworks? Cacti?



Thursday, January 5, 2017

On the Trail

Brenda and I had a busy pre-Christmas time so the last little while we have been sticking pretty close to home. I have been making my almost daily pilgrimage to the pool to try and keep all the good eating around DPS at bay or at least so I don't have to buy new clothes.

Most days I have the pool to myself for almost the entire 2 hours that I swim but Brenda has joined me a couple of times, so that eight lanes is a little crowded with the 2 of us in there. I am sure the lifeguards are bored to death watching one guy plod back and forth, back and forth.

Yesterday we combined a Costco run with a trip over to Gold Canyon for a session for both of us with Dr. Cassie the Chiropractor lady. She had done such a good job with Brenda's adjustment that I thought I would let her take a whirl at my lower back and leg issue. She took a couple of X-rays and said yep I still had a backbone and it looked like it was 64 years old, so with a few crunches and a lot of cracking she finished up with me and sent me home. I am never sure whether this stuff works or not but this morning in the pool my lower back felt great so maybe there is something to it all.

Today after my swim I raced home to grab a sandwich and then threw my saddle in the truck and headed over to Phil Staden's place. Phil had brought down three horses and offered me an opportunity to take one of them out on a ride. Cash was a great little pony, well behaved and a pleasure to ride that was for sure. It has been months since I last rode and that time my leg was killing me so I was eager to see if that issue was still there. We took a trail we had scouted out a year or two ago west of us. It has some challenging spots and some just nice wash riding so it was a great place to test out my leg.




Phil and Don
 It was great to be back in the saddle, the leg stood up OK. Rene' the fellow at the back of that shot is the guy who bought your brothers place. Thanks Phil for the great horse.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Good Friend Gone

Today we received bad news. A long time friend of ours and a long time blogger in the RV World crossed the big ridge. Rod and his wife Loyce were friends we made when were wandering around the sunbelt back in 2009. We first ran into them in Kerrville, Texas when we headed over there for a gathering of RV folks. We again shared a campground with them in Rockport, Texas and cemented a friendship that has only gotten better over the years. Only other bloggers will know how much these folks who you might only see once or twice every year or two, but share your life with on a daily basis can become a big part of your life.

Rod was one of those larger than life folks who just burst into your life and held nothing back. He and I, both political junkies, spent a lot of online time debating the relative merits of both of our governments. Not surprising to anyone who knows me I have spent a lot of time trying to make sure I understood the American system of government, but Rod, much to my surprise spent an equal amount of time delving into our Canadian system, so we gave both nations the benefit of our combined wisdom, not sure they listened, but we did over the years solve most of the issues that arose.

Any tribute to Rod is not complete without some mention of Loyce. They were married for 45 years and when Loyce predeceased him back in 2013, Rod lost his touchstone. It was plain to us everytime we spoke with or visited with Rod and his companion Biscuit that never a day went by that he didn't miss his wife. He said on his blog that he was lost without her, and although he was out and about as she would have wanted, it was obvious that he missed her every step of the way. I'll include a link to my journal entry about Loyce and here's a few pictures that we collected over the years.

One of Rods visits out to Dogpound South here in Arizona

Rod and Loyce in Usery Mountain Park in 2011


Rod in Arizona again in 2011?

Put Rod in charge of picking the restaurant, odds on you were going to either Fuddruckers or Wendy's
Brenda and I have spent most of time since we heard the news from Rod's family alternating between grieving the loss of a friend and chuckling as we remembered times and stories we shared with Rod and Loyce. It probably seems a little irreverent but we both figured about 8 AM yesterday morning when that boisterous good man left this world and stepped into the next, there was a pretty excited girl there to meet him who was thinking "well there goes the peace and quiet, things are about to get a little livelier around this place now."

We shared this campfire with Laurie, Odel, Rod and Loyce and we will share more when we get to the other side, "but till our time comes we'll depend on you to keep the fire going Rod."


Yep we miss him to Biscuit!



Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Feast

Brenda misses her turkey and all the trimmings, or maybe she just misses cooking for hours and hours. So this year she decided that she was doing it all. We got a fresh turkey, bread crumbs and all the rest and she spent a glorious Christmas Day making all her favourite side dishes. We had a roast turkey that was about 5 times bigger than we could eat, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and turnips, homemade cranberries, and of course real stuffing right from the bird, all dressed up with her great homemade gravy. And to finish it off we had shortbread cookies, both Pecan and Butter tarts, along with chocolate mints, homemade turtles, and peanut butter balls. And to top it all off we managed to coax Ivan and Hailey in from their usual desert haunts to help us with the feast.

Ivan slipped in on Christmas Eve and we had a great session catching up on all the details of his travels this winter and his firefighting endeavours last summer. Although we both winter in the south and only live a few miles apart on the Northern Ranges we don't actually bump into each other all that frequently. Ivan's blog keeps us reasonably up to date on his activities but with my somewhat infrequent blogging we had lots to share.

While Brenda was working her magic in the kitchen Christmas Day Ivan and I took a whirl in the side by side out to the Petroglyphs along Vekol Wash.




It was a nice day for a ATV ride, not to hot and not to cold, and we wandered up through the Petroglyphs contemplating who and when they were put there. It turned into a sunny warm day and we sat on the side of the hill enjoying the sunshine and having a good chin wag. If anyone has any questions about the state of affairs in the world today or concerns about how they are turning out, you can let your minds rest at ease, I hazard a guess Ivan and I solved most of those issues over the past couple of days. Now if someone only comes to find out the answers.

We did have a couple of locals wandering about while we were there also.



All in all a pleasant day, topped off by a wonderful meal.



Friday, December 23, 2016

Almost Christmas

Just in case anyone was worried I did make it home from the rodeo on schedule. I had a great time with cousin Mike and enjoyed the opportunity to spend some one on one time with him, as well as watching some great rodeo.

Although Mike is a lot younger than me we spent a lot of time together as kids on our Grandpa and his Dad's farms so it just seems easy to fall back on old times together. A lot of history to review and some of it only he and I know so it is good to renew those old ties, at least until the statute of limitations run out.

Once I got back, I had a day or two to settle in then Brenda had an appointment over in Gold Canyon to test drive a new treatment for CRPS. Our first visit was on Friday the 9th. The Doc there was pretty sure that this CALMARE treatment would have a positive effect on her neuropathy pain. He was right, it was amazing watching the pain wash out of her eyes within moments of starting the treatment. Not surprisingly we booked some follow-up treatments and that is what we have been doing since that time.

Now there is a lot more to CRPS than just neuropathy pain, but relieving that makes dealing with the bone crushing feeling and the muscles cramping that she also experiences just a little bit easier to deal with.

As I mentioned in my last post she has joined me at the pool 3 days a week. Swimming eases some of the muscle pain as well.

We have finished up a 10 day course of Calmare treatments and so far so good, now to see what kind of longevity she gets. I tried on numerous days to just wheel that machine out of the clinic, but by the time we were finished they were keeping a pretty close eye on me. I won't try to explain the treatment as there are a lot better explanations on the internet. Try this one from the folks we were dealing with if you are interested. And if you are in the East Valley area, Gold Canyon, or thereabouts the folks at Superstition Chiropractic are a great bunch and great at their jobs as well. Thanks Dr. Wade, and Dr. Cassie and of course the hearts of the outfit, Rachel and Aleisha. Our time there was great, but we are hoping to not see you for this stuff again for a long while.

Now for Christmas, we are expecting a secret visitor here tomorrow, so all that baking and cooking Brenda has been doing will be disappearing even quicker than I can gobble it down.

Merry Christmas to all


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Out to the Desert

Since I last wrote I have gotten Brenda out to the desert in the ATV a couple of times. It is much more relaxed riding with her as she is not sure about this machine and we are trying to keep it smooth so that we don't get to shook up. But it is pretty smooth out there so that doesn't slow us down much. We tried to follow the Vekol Wash out one day but it petered out a few hundreds yards from the other trail so we did a little brush popping but didn't make it through. Rather than get to western we headed back to the barn after about 15 miles of ride.

The next time we took another trail that I had been on before by myself with a lot more success. The petroglyphs are up on a hill along the trail and we scrambled up there close enough to get a look at them.


While out on this trip we stumble across some kind of Law Enforcement convention, we passed probably 20 LEO's and about a dozen quads looking like they had just loaded up after a desert run. Rumour has it they were looking for some drug running folks but we saw no sign of any untoward activity while we were roaming around, not even any tracks so who knows where they were.

Today we had a session with the ATV, and Brenda was driving, by the look on her face I might need to get one of my own.

Tomorrow I head for Vegas for a few days at the rodeo while Brenda holds down the fort here at Dogpound South. She will be ably assisted by her two vicious guard dogs so all should be well here.


DPS Sunset

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Different Kind of Trail Ride

As Al from the Bayfield Bunch would say Yahooie Louie, Brenda has made it to Arizona. I ran into Sky Harbor to pick her up on Monday afternoon. Enroute I had some things to gather at Costco to start her re-provisioning of the place down here at Dogpound South. I guess the bag of spuds, package of steaks and jar of peanut butter that I had wasn't satisfactory.

I spent a large portion of the weekend dusting and vacuuming around the place here but as I expected she was soon redoing everything. Tuesday morning she was off to Fry's for a big grocery re-supply, so I headed off swimming so I was limbered up for the hauling the big load into the house when she got home. I am trying to get a swim in on most weekdays, nice to have the great Copper Sky facility so close, and usually for most of my swim I have the pool to myself.

On my last solo journey out into the desert with my ATV I met some hikers coming out of a wash, I stopped to chat with them and turns out they are from Canal Flats in British Columbia, having recently retired and moved there from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Turns out they know our daughter Lacey. They also have an ATV and told me that they would give me a shout next time they were heading out.

Friday evening I heard from Paul and Linda, telling me that they and another couple, Brad and Carol were going to run down to Vekol Ranch late Saturday morning with the ATV's. I met them at their place a few miles from Dogpound South (DPS) and off we went. Now in the past when I am out there by myself I just poke along, but these guys cover ground in a hurry. Amazing how fast you can actually move with these machines and the suspension just eats the bumps. And seeing how I had no idea where we were going I had no choice but to keep up. That sometimes is a challenge as you want to stay far enough back to avoid most of the dust but close enough so when they take a fork in the road you don't miss the turn. I am a decent tracker and given time I could probably figure which way they went, but at the pace they set, pondering the turns would just put me further and further behind, so driver her McGyver was the order of the day. They did stop along the way for a cool beverage though.



As this was my first trip out with a group I had brought along my extra gas can, just never know how far this guys we're going and I don't yet have a good handle on how far my outfit will travel on a tank, so better safe than sorry. After asking that question they assured me they never really travel more than a tank of fuel on a trip as they would have to leave some coolers full of beverages home to make room for gas. I'll know for next time. Bigger coolers and smaller gas jugs, Got it!!

After a short break we headed south up Vekol Wash, under I-8, and soon arrived at a spot they call Vekol Ranch, an abandoned set of buildings. Rumour has it that it was inhabited as recently as the 1970's, but I am betting water levels dropping caused it to stop flourishing. The old well sounded pretty deep but a rock dropped down it just hit a dry bottom after a long fall so that probably confirms my theory.

Stone and Concrete
 The house was made out of cement blocks and all the walls and outbuildings were fashioned from stone. The fireplace below as well as a big fireplace inside the house were also built with stone. Probably hauled in from the mountains you see in the background and obviously, from the green tint, a copper rich environment.
Outside Fireplace and possibly Cooking Oven
We ate our lunch at this stop as well.
Lunch spot
After lunch we continued on south to another spot where some enterprising folks had built a kind of stone boundary complete with lizards, stone, and other figures outlined with local stones. A lot of work went into this and it appears that most folks are respecting the work and leaving it be.

Stone Art
It would be interesting to talk to the artist and hear just what it is meant to signify, I think it is pretty recent stuff, unlike the Medicine Wheel we came upon while riding up near Wickenburg. This was the southern terminus of our trip and we basically followed the wash back up to the Petroglyphs I was at a couple of weeks ago and then on to DPS. Overall we traveled about 50 miles through the desert and it appears that I had lots of fuel left, I think I am down to 3/4 of a tank now, so I might be able to leave that jug at home.