Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sorta Together


This morning we were up bright and early again. But unlike other days we were not going garage saling. We have made some acquaintances down her since we arrived and they were going to ride out into the desert this morning. Being as how they live a couple of miles from our place we had to have our saddles filled by shortly after seven to make it over to the starting spot by 8:00AM. Not a problem though what with our satellite system not yet working and the internet being pretty slow we are an early to bed and early to rise bunch here.

Once we met up with our riding partners we headed out to the Vekol Wash and just wandered out into the desert towards the BLM land.

It has been a while since we had as good a ride so without a doubt there will be some sore muscles tomorrow morning but we sure enjoyed getting out into the desert and just wandering. As you can see from some of the pictures there is some soft going so the horses will be getting legged up pretty quick out here too.

After we got home from the ride I headed into town to pick up some stuff from the hardware and then came back and fiddled with the satellite dish some more. Not sure what the problem is but we are still without TV, not the end of the world but I am thinking from the looks that I am getting it is not a sustainable situation.

Tonight we ran down to our local watering hole and had dinner there and gave our very excellent cooking crew the night off. That done it was back to a little Ian Tyson and our computers for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Doing what Needs Doing

We have been just keeping on, keeping on, around Dogpound South the last couple of days. Not sure where the time goes but it seems like we are busy all the time that we are not sleeping. Our Millenicom air card is not the quickest we have ever had here either, so we are awaiting a Century Link DSL hookup next week, they had a plan where we can start and stop it when we head back to Dogpound North so we are signed up. It has been about 10 years since we have had a fast internet hookup so we are looking forward to that.

We have been trying to round up some required (by Brenda) furniture for our place here so have been on the road early the last two mornings to hit some garage sales around Maricopa and hopefully find the necessary pieces. After yesterdays foray we ran into Chandler to the Costco and pick up some things we were running out of, and in addition to that bought a TV for the place. More on that later.

What with the slow internet and no TV we have sure been catching up on our sleep though. It seems that once it gets dark and we eat our dinner, nope no pictures this time Heather, we soon gravitate off to dreamland.

Today was another garage sale morning and this time Brenda did manage to find herself some bargoons, as our friend Rick calls them. We took both vehicles into Maricopa and after the morning garage saling we loaded our purchases into the Jeep and Brenda went off her way and I headed back into Chandler to find a mount for our satellite dish and drop in at the sale at Pacific Livestock there. I always enjoy listening to the chant of a good auctioneer and you never know when a deal will jump out at you. There was a little bit of tack that led off the sale and then there were going straight into the horses. Now I had a look at the horses offered there and figured that most of my winters feed would be needed to get most of those ponies into shape to carry me around so I left and they went home with somebody else.

As for the dish mount there were none to be found so I stopped by Home Depot and picked up some bits and pieces that would let us make our own. Then it was back to Dogpound South to get that all cemented in the ground and hooked up.

Well the mount is good, and the wiring is good but it appears something is not just right as we still have no TV here on the ranch. So I guess it will be an early night again tonight. What with all this beauty sleep I am getting maybe nobody will recognize me when I head back home at Christmas to see the family.

Tomorrow we are up early though and in the saddle as we are meeting some local folks to head out into the desert for a ride before the heat of the day. Maybe, just maybe I will get some pictures of that expedition.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On the Trail again

This morning broke sunny and warm here at Dogpound South, near Maricopa, Arizona, and a little excitement in the community also. About 5AM I woke up when I heard some explosions in the distance. Last year when we were here in the late winter there were propane cannons scaring the birds off the newly seeded melon fields but it is the wrong time of year for that. After a momentary threat assessment my senses told me that these were a little way off and of no immediate concern to me, so I went back to sleep.

Once I got up and had my shower I got on the computer to see what was happening in the world and lo and behold Facebook and my friends in this area were all a twitter with the fact that there was a joint county, state, and federal task force serving warrants on some suspected drug folks here at Thunderbird Farms. There were a number of houses involved locally and the story has it that this was part of a nation wide drug sting that ran up into the Chicago area and maybe even across the border into Eastern Canada, or so my contacts tell me.

Well after making sure that our security detail below was on high alert.


Brenda and I saddled up Blue and Willow and took a turn about the neighbourhood. Didn’t see much excitement except for the pit bull down the way coming out to warn us away from her place, but the law enforcement folks were all apparently busy a little north of us. Other than our ride this morning I never left the place, though Brenda did run into town for some supplies. Ray and Steve came by today to do a little plumbing work for us, and later in the day our garbage container was delivered, and we managed to fill the back of the delivery guys pickup with the garbage we have accumulated in the two short days we have been here.

After some comments yesterday I took some better pictures of the pens we set up yesterday. We have a large paddock at the back that is probably an acre and a half, a smaller paddock in front of that that may be a quarter acre and then two small pens that are twelve by thirty-two feet long. The sunshade is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide and covers a portion of all three areas.


And just in case all you RV’ers out there are getting bored with all this sticks and bricks stuff I thought I would throw in a picture of what makes your boats all float and let you know that even though we aren’t rolling down the road as steadily as in the past we are still eating well.


Baked Sweet Potato Janna, next thing you know we’ll be saying “All Y’all” come back now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old Corrals and Sagebrush

Well it was a good title that came to mind while I was putting up the new pens and fences here at Dogpound South. We have a pipe fence surrounding the place and the posts and rails are unfinished pipe so they get a little rusty looking, or maybe that is just the latest decorator shade of brown. Anyway when I headed off to LP Steel down the road in Stanfield I picked up some new panels to make pens for our horses and they had some in a matching shade of BROWN so that is what I got. Anybody who knows Brenda, knows matching is an important concept, and I think that after many years of getting it wrong I just might have hit the mark this time. Ray and his friend Steve popped over and gave me a hand putting the panels up so it went a lot faster than I had expected. Looks OK too!


Here is a look at the ponies eating dinner out of their new feeders and you can see the new sunshade and the pens to the right in the picture. The panels were a little longer than I could haul in our trailer so I was out early this morning running around the neighbourhood trying to bum a trailer from someone else. Finally found one up near Laskosky’s old place, one of his neighbours, Dave Sather, loaned me his flatbed.

Once we got the panels up I ran up to Tanya Graebs tack shop, 4G's Ranch LLC Horse Tack and Supply,and got a few barrel feeders to keep the hay off the sandy soil around here.

That done it was time to kick back and relax on our new deck, under the porch that Ray built us last summer.


As you can see Meg and Mack enjoy that porch also especially in the heat of the day.

T-3 to Dogpound South

Well I kind of got busy doing some other stuff and let the old blog get behind a little. As you can tell from the title this one is going to cover a whole host of things from packing up and getting on the road to our visit with Mike and Janna at their beautiful spot south of Big Timber.

When I left off we were just getting the horses ready for their journey and that continued on Monday morning when we had the vet out to give them the required Health Check and blood tests to enable them to cross the border. That done and the paperwork off to get ready it was a laid back kind of day. But Tuesday was anything other than laid back, I started off getting my hair cut first thing in the morning, then off to see my Dad for lunch. Following a quick lunch I headed off to the Sports Medicine folks for an appointment to have them look at my wonky knee and maybe give me some exercises to do that will relieve some of the pain that comes and go intermittently. That done I headed over to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where I am taking part in a study to determine if the heart condition my youngest brother Kelly and I had is a genetic issue or just bad luck. Donated some blood and some DNA to those folks and with any luck they will find something that will help my grandkids or some of the other kids that are around that wonderful facility. Then it was back to the farm to see Ella, and oh yah, Lacey and Clayton when they brought their boat down to store in the quonset for the winter and also to say goodbye to us until Christmas.

Wednesday we were off to the city early to get the Canadian Food Inspection Agency vet to sign our horse papers and drop Matt’s truck at my mothers. We had a short visit there while Brenda admired all the renovations that Mom has done recently. Wednesday evening I showed Matt and Chris all the stuff around the yard and the house that they will have to look after while we are gone.

Thursday morning was time to make sure we had all the little odds and ends and sure enough a couple of things got forgotten. The mount for the TV dish and my little electric chainsaw, both integral parts of our traveling kit. Not sure where we will find a mount for that dish down here but the chainsaw we will be able to replace. When we bought Dogpound South there were a number of citrus trees that had died from lack of water and we will be turning them into firewood. We loaded the horse trailer with enough feed to get us down to Arizona and ten bales to hold us over till we got some local hay on the menu. That is my son Matt, fresh home from Albania, up there on top of the trailer and me and my old John Deere doing the heavy lifting.


Then it was southbound and down. Our first nights stop was at the Horse N Hound just north of the Canadian border at Coutts, Alberta. The fellow there had a turnout for our horses and let us camp in his yard for the night.


First thing in the morning we hit the Border Crossing and immediately got whirled into the livestock issues. We had to go into US Customs and fill out some forms and then head down to the Livestock area and hand in all those forms and the ones we got from the CFIA back in Canada to prove that we were not bringing any exotic diseases down with us. I am sure we will be doing exactly the same thing when we head north in the spring.

It took us about 90 minutes to clear all the rigamorole at the border and then it was off to Big Timber. We were heading down to have a visit with our friends Mike and Janna on their place up the Boulder River valley. Mike has lived here his whole life and from what we saw of the beautiful country surrounding them it is no wonder. Only a lunatic would want to move somewhere else and from all appearances Mike doesn’t look like he is crazy. Here is the little school he graduated from and it is still in operation to this day. I have it on good authority that there is more than ONE room in this school house, but they must be small.


We were only staying one day so we had a flying tour of the valley and hit some of the high lights but I am sure by no means anywhere near all of them. We will return!

The bird in the pictures above, who Mike called a Water Weasel, appeared to be equally at home on top or underneath the water. Well apparently Mike didn’t call it a weasel I just misheard him and it is a Water Ouzel or American Dipper, sorry about that Mike.


The pictures above are of the Boulder River just above the falls and just below, the water volume is pretty low this time of year and although in the spring the water comes over the top right at the moment it is all coming out below. Legend has it that in a time long, long ago this whole was plugged with a raft of timbers that were being floated down the river to be made into railroad ties and the water came over the top all the time.

From left to right these were our spots, first at Mike and Janna’s, then at Cabela’s in Lehi, Utah and lastly just out of Kingman, Arizona, all complete with turnout pens so that our ponies didn’t have to stay tied at night. After we left the Big Timber country we had a couple of fairly long days to get us south. The weather was great though, nary a cloud in the sky most of the way, and not to hot for the horses either.

We arrived here at Dogpound South about 10:30AM on Tuesday and really hit the ground running. We needed to unload all of our stuff from the Jeep and the Horse trailer as well as from my dually, and get it stowed away in our southern abode. Then it was off to Wal-Mart for Brenda for supplies while I waited for a local fellow to haul in a couple of squeezes (64 – 110 lb. bales each) so that our equine friends would have sufficient supplies to last them the winter. Hay is a little more expensive here than back home but not outrageous I guess. As well as that we needed to get our internet set up and when you see this you will know that chore is done. As well there is garbage pickups to arrange and tomorrow we are finishing our horse pen setup and setting up some feed stations. Pictures to follow…

As those who have been following us know we had a couple of things done this summer while we were gone, and Brenda was a little apprehensive about them, to say the least. But the porch we put on the house was all we expected, thanks Ray, and the horse shelter is exactly as we figured, credit to Morgan and his fellows for that.


Here you can see the porch on the house and the horse shelter just peaking out to the left of the truck and trailer, and that oh so precious hay, all ready to be turned into recycled grass. Winking smile

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Four Sleeps to Go


Saturday was a good friend of mines Annual Production Sale. Ross Ranch raises good solid cow horses, and focuses on some old Foundation blood lines and roan horses. We think so much of their breeding that we have a couple of them here at Dogpound North, and our good saddle horse Blue will be making the journey with us to Dogpound South in the next week or so. I won’t go on about the sale forever but suffice it to say that the market is not good. Unless you are a buyer and thankfully I managed to keep my bidding card in my pocket.

After the sale it was time to head for home and bring our own remuda into the yard. Sunday morning bright and early our farrier was coming over to get some feet trimmed so those horses we are leaving home will be ready for winter and while he was here he put new shoes on Willow and Blue for their southern adventures. Along with that and a little deworming for all, they are ready for winter, wherever they are spending it.

About the only other exciting thing that happened today was Mack coming back from his vacation in the city with Madison and Michelle. He is heading south with us so it is good to have him back here to help pack…lol.


Two pictures from the past today, one from the Icefields Parkway in our Mountain Parks and the other from East Lake near Kissimmee, Florida.

Friday, October 14, 2011

T -6


The picture above is actually “down the road from Dogpound” and although it was a little dusty today, another day or two and the trees will have their winter foliage (none) on, so I thought I better capture it.

Today was another run around day. First I ran into the city for a visit and to help Dad fill out some papers. We had lunch at Humpty’s while we did that and picked him up some milk on the way back to his place. After that I headed back to the farm and changed from the little truck to the dually as I had to head north to Sundre and pick up our LQ at the welding shop. It is all rigged up for our stalls to fit on it now so we just need to add a tarp and we are good to go.


The horses were interested in the goings on and were keeping an eye on the trailer, probably wondering where it was off to without them. The other thing that kept me hopping today was arranging for some hay down at Dogpound South. Our friend Ray has been looking around the neighbourhood for someone to supply us with a winters worth of feed and we finally connected today. It appears that we are good to go now with about 6.5 tons of hay for our four legged friends. A horse produces about 7 tons of manure a year so it only stands to reason he will have to eat somewhere around the same amount of fodder. Now there is some information you won’t find on every RV’ing blog.

While I was doing my thing Brenda was of course hard at it back at home cleaning and organizing stuff although by the time I got home she was pretending to just lay around. Guess she figures I don’t notice the changes or something.

I am thinking it is almost time to head south, it seems that our hosts for the winter have sent their representative up to show us the way.


Actually there is a population of these eagles that migrates through here fall and spring. The golden eagles tend to pass a little to the west of us along the actual mountain tops but these bald eagles seem to come over closer to us.

Thursday, October 13, 2011



This time next week, God willing and the creeks don’t rise, we should be sitting just north of the Medicine Line in Coutts, Alberta ready to cross into the Treasure State first thing in the morning.

But, that is a week away and we have lots to do before then. Today was a nice Indian Summer day here at Dogpound North. Not to hot but the sun was shining and the wind was just a comfortable breeze. I started off the day by running the LQ trailer up to Sundre to get some welding and fabrication work done on the stalls we use when we are in the mountains with our horses. That done it was back home to wait until it was time to run into Cochrane to see the dentist about a tooth I chipped last week.

While I was doing that Brenda washed the outside of my little truck and then took off for Chestermere. She spent the day with our daughter Rebecca and of course our grandson, Kashton. I am sure he missed me but he had to take his Mom and Grandma shopping by himself.

I was surveying the Yahoo news and stumbled across an article that only confirmed heading south for the winter this year is a wise decision. Sure wish I had enough trailer to take our other 2 horses with us, but I guess they have enjoyed Alberta in the winter before and they have lots of shelter and if need be enough feed to last them well into next summer.


The picture at the top of the page is Eddotenajon Lake on the Cassiar Highway just south of Iskut, BC and this one is of Medziadin Lake a little farther south on the Cassiar.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Grizzly 06-29

Today was another day of preparing for our departure. And another doctors appointment out of the way. Today I had to go into see the eye doc and they filled my eyes with some drops that made the pupils dilate so they could look into my soft brown eyes and see the depths of my soul. Must have been A-OK in there as my doc said see you next year. Brenda came along with me so that she could drive me back to the farm just in case my darkest shades didn’t do the job. They were OK but it was nice to have her driving as my eyes were watering a little and that kept things a little blurry.

What that meant was I was stuck in the house most of the day as it was a bright sunny day outside and with those dilated pupils I was pretty suited to working in a cave than the sunshine.

That didn’t stop Brenda though, she scrubbed my little pickup’s interior so that it looks like new and then started in on the garage. Meanwhile I caught up on my reading and after seeing Rick’s comment on Google+ I downloaded the new OS5 operating system for my Iphone. With that new software and this whole iCloud thingy I am going to be waiting with bated breath for Ricks Tips on this one.

A couple more bear pictures from the archives. I love to see this big guys out and about but the view below is the one most people see as they are not nearly as fearsome as their press would lead us to believe.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011



Today was another day of getting ready to roll, more on Brenda’s part than mine. She gave the LQ a good cleaning, now it is up to me to stuff it full of all the things we will think we need down at Dogpound South, without making a mess of it. Mmmmmm, not usually one of my strong points. While Brenda was cleaning the guilt got to me so I gave the “REMNANT” truck a badly needed wash and got it filled with diesel so it is ready for its winter hiatus. That done it was time to feed the horses and us.

The weather is holding out for us so far this fall and to date we have had a great Indian Summer with not much inclement weather and a gentle easing into seasonal temperatures. We are only getting into the 50’s in the day here and soon we will drop into below freezing temps at night, so will probably need to burn a little electricity to keep the LQ unfrozen. Everything else is winterized and ready for the cold to come.

Sure is good to see our friend Rod over there in Overland Park, Kansas starting to come out of his surgery. Things are going slowly but each day seems to be a little better for him, at least that is what I glean from his daily blog. We have a date to hit Fuddruckers down in Mesa this winter so it imperative that he get healing and feeling up to the journey.

When Mike and Janna were up here he was lamenting the re-introduction of wolves into his environment down there in Montana. Those recent immigrants were actually captured in the Hinton/Grande Cache area of central Alberta and transported down to our neighbours in Yellowstone Park where they were released. Now the guy in the picture up above was one we kept but we found some that needed a little more food like the one below to send south of the Medicine Line.


Now maybe once you get yours fattened up a little Mike they will be less of a problem for ya.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dogpound North T-10


Today was another day of preparing for winter around Dogpound North. Oh by the way, the sow in the picture above was not here at Dogpound North but Brenda, my Dad, and I came upon her and her cub up in the Tatshenshini Park in the far north west corner of British Columbia. If you look close at this picture you can see that she has just finished nursing her young’un.

We are not planning on being here for a lot of winter but if you don’t do all the things that need to be done it leads to a lot of wondering and worrying about whether things are holding together while we are enjoying the warmer climate of Dogpound South. We had a little reminder the other day, we thought it was a cool rainy day and a fire in the fireplace would be a nice change. It had been a while since we had the fireplace lit so there was of course some concern on the part of others that it would be a problem. In this house the fireplace is what used to be called a Heatilator and it has in the past served as a heat source when needed. While it lit up fine, and the flue appeared to be clear and other than the smell of dust burning off all went well with the fireplace. We enjoyed the crackling fire and that special kind of heat that only wood gives you. But while the fireplace was burning the house was getting cooler and didn’t stabilize until it got done around 60F. Strange nobody told the furnace to take the day off but it picked this time for the thermocouple to take a vacation. So it was off to Home Depot first thing in the morning to pick one of those up. A curious thing about our furnace, although it was made right here in North America you needed to have hands about the size of a 4 year old to do a simple thing like changing a thermocouple. My hands are not the same size as a 4 year old so this was far from child’s play. My knuckles will heal though, I guess? But with that reminder out of the way I was off today to check the heated waterers we have around the yard to supply water to those of our ponies that are not lucky enough to be coming with us south.

That led me to find a leak in one waterer and a heat lamp bulb that needed to be changed out. We keep two waterers active so the stock can always find heated water somewhere even if one decides to pack it in. Our neighbour came today to load up his cattle and as the pasture he rents next door has no corrals he brings them into our place to load them out. Always surprises me how quiet and controlled his crew is when it comes to moving stock, when we had cattle here it seemed like there was always a lot of yelling, hollering, swearing and threatening needed to get things done. Along with the cattle leaving our son Paul brought his travel trailer out to put it away in the quonset hut for the winter. Good to see him and Lucas and Annika even though they were unable to stay long.

Brenda was busy, as usual, and this time it was windows that were the focus of her day. She has them just gleaming and they will be great for anybody trying to peak in while we are gone. And I guess the folks we have looking after the place will enjoy Brenda’s hard work.

Just in case you thought we were joking about that grizzly in the first picture nursing her cub here is the proof.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend


Here in Canada we celebrate our Thanksgiving a little earlier than our neighbours to the south. Maybe because our harvest is a little earlier or our winter comes in a little earlier. Other than that it is much the same, good food, and family gathering to give thanks for the great life we live here.

Today we headed up to Rocky Mountain House for dinner at Lacey and Clayton’s for dinner with them and Miss Ella and her other Grandma and Grandpa Don. Like I said good food, good company.

I thought I better throw in a picture of dinner for my friend Rod down there in Kansas City and who better to showcase than three of my favourite girls, Brenda, Miss Ella, and her mom Lacey.


Other than Thanksgiving we are getting ready for our journey towards Dogpound South a couple of weeks from now. We have the motorhome put away and are stowing stuff away in our Living Quarters trailer. Strange how all the stuff we had in our 40 odd foot motorhome won’t fit in a 10 foot short wall LQ. Oh well, what more do we need than our toothbrushes anyway. Well I think Brenda may want a few more things than that BUT…..