Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Friends come to Visit

We had company down here at Dogpound South. Sunday afternoon Rod and Loyce dropped in for an afternoon of sitting in the sun swapping stories and another great meal from Brenda. We managed to introduce them to Mack and the ponies. Biscuit behaved while she was here and didn’t put the run on Mack or Meg and even got out and played a little ball with them.



Rod on the left, me, and Bill K on the right, and Blue in the background.

After a big meal, and a little ball with the pups we had a bowl of fresh baked apple pie topped with some of that good Texas Blue Belle ice cream before we bid Rod and Loyce adios, and vaya con dios. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your new project, we can hardly wait to visit your new digs in the fall.


Monday morning broke bright and early and Bill started on a project that Brenda had hooked him into doing. She has wanted to have a portion of our living room carpet replaced with laminate and Bill is one of those handy kind of guys who just can’t say no. Remember last time he visited he changed all our bathroom countertops and sinks. Here are a couple of before and after shots.



Thanks Bill for the great job. And now maybe I can convince Brenda to give you a few days off to enjoy the weather.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where does the Time Go?

Wow, it just seems like yesterday we were back from our Picacho Mountain ride and here we are a week later. Over the last week we have done a few interesting things and really haven’t had to much time to lay about so I guess that makes the time fly. We got home last Sunday morning and Bill and Margaret were here to greet us. Margaret was flying back to Terrace for a visit with her mom Liz and Bill is going to hold down the fort here with us at Dogpound South. Shouldn’t be to long before Brenda puts that handy kind of guy to work around the rancho here. So I thought I better get him out on a horse before he got put to work.


We took a spin up Vekol Wash and because there is a minimal amount of cactus along the trail this is one that we take the dogs along with us.  Tuesday was a day to catch up with our neighbours and we stopped by the McKinney’s place to convince them that they better be coming with us on Wednesday up to Black Canyon City. We also had a visitor from above, now we know Ivan has headed over the hill to the East so wonder who is controlling this surveillance drone.


Well we were up at Terri and Chucks place talking trailriding we managed to also get ourselves invited to dinner there and enjoyed some great steaks and all the trimmings.

Wednesday we were off to the Black Canyon Trailhead north of Phoenix to connect up with the Skyline Trail and cut through to the Little Pan Trailhead. Wow, is all I can say, each and every time we get behind “K” and Teresa they take us on an even more beautiful trail.

"K" our guide

Here is a shot of our trail leader and friend “K” and his partner Amigo.


This trail has a lot of ups and downs we crossed that river below and began yet another climb up to the ridge tops. It is hard to isolate just a few pictures here so I will share some of my favourites and you can follow this link to all the rest I took that day.


Coming round the mountain, Brenda and Willow


The crew from the left Chuck and Terri and their dughter Taylor, Brenda and I, Lisa (Terri’s friend) and our guide “K”


K’s better half Teresa was down below this old Indian Fort holding onto the horses.

The ride was fantastic and I could have gone back the next day and done it all over again, but Thursday was our day at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. There were a lot of beautiful horses here but my favourite event was the traditional dress class. Tough to imagine racing across the desert on a raid dressed in this fancy get up but I suppose it would reflect the sun back into your opponents eyes and blind him. There was a trade show associated with this event but it didn’t take us long to figure out that we didn’t have a high enough limit on our credit line to do much shopping there.


Friday Bill and I headed into Casa Grande to pick up a few supplies for a project we have next week and stopped in at Eva’s for a little sustenance. Of course after all that shopping and a filling lunch we thought we should take another spin up the wash and loosen up some muscles for the horses.


Saturday was the T.A.C.C. Gymkhana and Willow and I were heading out early in the morning for that event. It began with a Horsemanship Clinic where we did some groundwork and then it was onto the gymkhana events, starting with barrel racing, and a pole race and the surprise event was a cloverleaf barrel pattern. My niece Caron has ridden Willow pretty regularly at our gymkhana’s back home so she is pretty familar with the regular barrel and pole patterns but that fourth barrel in the cloverleaf pattern threw her off her stride for a second or two. Not that it matters she is still a much faster horse than I am a rider so with me holding her back we occupied our regular spot far down the time list. Nevertheless we had fun and that is what it is all about and we are figuring out the technical issues and our times are getting faster each time. By the time I am seventy and Willow is 26 we should be ready to take on the next faster class…lol.


As you can plainly see we are moving so fast that the camera can’t keep up.


Follow this link if you want to see the rest of our gymkhana pictures.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

On the Trail Again

Friday afternoon we loaded the horses and headed our trailer down the road to a spot just to the SE of Casa Grande. We were joining some folks from the Arizona Back Country Riders for a journey through the Picacho Mountains.


We found a great spot with good scenery and a tree to fasten our high line so the horses don’t need to be tugging on the side of the trailer, and they seem to be enjoying the freedom of the high line.


Friday night, as usual, there were only a couple of other folks at the site, so it was an early night.


We were up with the sun and soon we were saddled and ready to ride.


We headed off on some jeep trails and over a ridge in the mountains to the other side. The desert is pretty nice this time of year. Things are starting to green up and spring is just around the corner here on the Southern Ranges, even our northern horses are shedding out.

One of the stops along the way was at some Petroglyphs that Brenda captured to share.


It was interesting to find some ancient writings interspersed with more modern stuff. Some might call it graffiti but I guess in a couple of thousand years it will all be a great archaeological find again.

After the ride we finished up the evening with a potluck which as usual had some great food and even better company.


Too soon it was Sunday morning and time for us to start getting our rig ready to travel home, but not without a last look around for some more photo’s and of course the “see ya agains” that we share with our new and old friends.


These two horses were sharing a morning dust bath with the rising sun.

Saying Adios

Friday morning Ivan and his travelling partner Hailey were packing up and heading for the high country to the east of Phoenix. Not sure where they ended up but I saw a photo and it looked good.


We had a great few days with Ivan and told a lot of stories and shared some experiences, and even got Hailey out of the trailer to meet Mack, albeit we kept a little fence between them.


Then it was time to wish them safe travels until next time our trails cross.


We sure enjoy having our friends, new and old, stop by Dogpound South for a visit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Down at Dogpound South (DPS)

We hooked up, loaded the horses and headed home from Wickenburg early on Sunday morning. We had a great ride yesterday and missed a good one on Sunday, but I wanted to get home in time to head over to the Ranch Roping going on here in Maricopa.


There are lots of opportunities at these roping for me to exercise my camera’s and from time to time I actually get a decent shot. Photography is still pretty much a mystery to me, but I have figured out that you need to get yourself somewhere that the subjects are going to make decent photographs and then just start snapping away. I know there is a whole bunch of technical details that make the photo’s better but for me I just capture what appeals to me and let the rest worry about itself.


It is nice when it works out though. The ropers were hard at work when we got there and it was getting dark before they finished but I am thinking they all had almost as much fun as I did capturing their activities.


Tuesday morning we got an email from a fellow blogger from back north of the Medicine Line letting us know that he was circling for final on his approach to Dogpound South. Although we live about an hour apart back home and have ridden some of the same mountain trails there and have been reading his blog for a while now we had never met face to face. As usual finding things to talk about was never an issue and we spent the last two days trading stories and anecdotes on our lives in the West Country. Ivan used to be a Park Warden for our National Park system so Brenda and I were pumping him hard for information on where to take our horses to see some of the sights that he was charged with protecting. There might have even been a few bear stories exchanged in the process too.

Sow Cropped

But down here at DPS the big bears are pretty scarce so yesterday we headed into Fry’s Electronic and Ivan and I spent most of the afternoon poring over all the stuff they have in there. He had a list of things he was looking for, me, I was just looking, but probably had more stuff when it came time to leave.

Of course as usual Brenda was busy cooking up some dishes to keep us from starvation. We have had to choose between Banana UpsideDown Cake, BBQ’ed Ribs, her new twice baked mashed potatoes, a salad that our friend Linda Modahl makes, and of course the full meal deal for breakfast and Pioneer Woman’s Corn Chowder and Gina’s Taco Soup just in case we couldn’t make it from Breakfast to Supper without a little sustenance.

This morning Ivan had his Air Force out on the launch pad here at Dogpound South and I took a few shots of that.

Pretty cool machine even though Meg was more than ready to put the run on that strange bird flying over her yard.



While it was up soaring over our place here Ivan had it snap a few pictures of the surrounding area.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back on the Trail.

It was time to get back out on the trail this weekend so we loaded our ponies and headed north west to Sophia’s Flats Trailhead up near Wickenburg, Arizona. We were off to meet a bunch of friends there, some who are members of the Arizona Lone Rangers Singles Riding Club as well as some past members and a few married couples who sneak in to enjoy the trails and the great potlucks. Our friends Dave and Linda arrived not long after us with their mobile zoo, they have a couple of mules, Earl and Gus, a miniature donkey, Madeline, a miniature horse who thinks she has long ears, Reba, as well as a pack of 4 miniature mutts whose names escape me, and I think they leave the goats at home for a weekend off.


Saturday morning we woke to another beautiful day and a great sunrise.


And here is a picture of our camp for the weekend.


We headed off through the Blue Tank Wash towards Goat Camp where we had a lunch stop and then on to Pete’s Windmill on the way back to camp. Although both spots had water our horses declined to drink as there were swarms of bees at the water trough and every time they made to drink the bees put the run on them. Most of the Arizona horses knew better and drank their fill anyway, but I guess our figured I had hauled all that water in our bladder up there for them so why bugger with the bees…lol.

It actually was a pretty short ride for a Saturday so we were back in camp early in the afternoon and able to enjoy a great day sitting and chewing the fat with our friends. We have seen some great places with these folks and can’t thank “K” and Theresa, and Dave and Linda as well as the Princess for sharing their country with us. We are working hard to convince them that they need to join us for a ride in our own neighbourhood and we promised them that it never gets up to 100 in our summers.

Thanks Pat and Frank for welcoming a couple of married folks from Canada into your group and although we probably won’t get to ride with you again this spring we are already looking forward to next falls rides.

After the potluck and a little guitar playing by a local fellow around the campfire it was time to hit the hay, but not before threading my way back through some stargazers on the way back to our rig. Now I took these pictures earlier in the day while they were setting up but they appeared to have doubled in number once the sun went down. I think this is a regular monthly gathering of these folks. And boy did they have some heavy duty equipment. I think if there are men on Mars, they better keep their blinds pulled with these folks peering up at them.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Visiting with some Old Friends

Back in the beginning of our RVing life we headed south out of Dogpound looking for somewhere warm, I think we wandered across the Medicine Line on or about Halloween day in 2007. That first night we spent at the Wal-Mart in Great Falls and then continued on south. Our second day on the road was a little eventful. We kinda lost our roof somewhere in Montana. Those who have shared our journeys over the last five years have all heard that story many times, but there are only two other folks on the planet that can actually attest to the wondrous looking rig we were when we pulled into the Camping World in Longmont, Colorado. Well we have kept in touch a time or two every year but it has been four years since our last face to face back in the February of 2008 in Beaumont, Texas. Now most folks in this lifestyle we communicate pretty regularly with through the internet, but Donna and Idell may be the last holdouts, no email or Facebook for these good folks. But anytime I ring Idell’s number he is up for a good chin wag. This year the stars aligned and we managed to ambush them on their way out of Quartzsite heading east to Texas and Florida before they head north to their summer home in Maine. Darn it was good to see these old friends again.


They pulled into Dogpound South a little after noon on Monday and we went right to jawing about the last few years, and catching up on all the goings on since we last saw each other. Well pretty soon it was almost sundown and we thought we should let them get parked and set up before dark, so Brenda went to cooking and once they were set up we had one of her great steak dinners complete with cheesy potatoes and a salad followed by chocolate cherry cake and ice cream.

Tuesday morning we started right up where we left off last night and after a little chin wag we decided we should go and have a look around the country. Just like with Paul and Marti a week ago we headed out towards one of our favourite spots in the area, Usery Mountain Regional Park. After a spin through the park we decided to take a look around the old Goldfields Mining camp. Not sure if any actual gold was mined here but I can tell you the town was mining tourists gold today.



But as tourist traps go this was a pretty authentic one and we had a good time looking around and enjoying both the buildings and the local scenery.


Oh yeah the scenery, I have always loved the Superstition Mountains and this seemed like a good spot to enjoy them from.


Wednesday was a day for resting up, Donna and Idell are heading out Thursday towards his nephew in Beaumont, Texas place and those that have done it know that that drive across West Texas is a marathon of nothing but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.

Brenda and I are probably going to spend the day getting our rig ready to head out towards Sophia’s Flats for a weekend ride with our Lone Ranger friends. Looking at our schedule going forward I think we have one weekend free between now and the time we will have to be thinking about heading north. That is still two months away but our Arizona riding friends have a lot of things planned for those two months and we are glad that they let us tag along with them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On the Road Again

This morning I awoke to find this on our doorstep.


I am thinking Paul and Marti are not planning on going anywhere cold anytime soon. Well I hate to admit it but we will probably use it before summer comes to Alberta in the third week of July. Thanks.

Sadly before lunch they were hooked up and head out.


Down the road from Dogpound South and headed towards the Tucson area. We had a great couple of days while they were hear to visit us and really enjoyed meeting these new folks and sharing some stories about our times on the road and filling a few details. We will look forward to their next visit either here or up at Dogpound North. We got some places to show them up there that will take their breath away. Our header picture is one of those special places and although God was showing off when he made that place, we live within a few miles of that kind of landscape.

Vaya con Dios our friends.

Back on the ranch here Brenda was off to drive a local friend of ours into Mesa for a doctors appointment and me well I was doing what I do best, loafing about Dogpound South and visiting with Mike down the road.

Now for the near future we are expecting another long time RVing couple, actually the first folks we met when we hit the road back in 2007 early next week and maybe a flyover from a fellow Canadian on his way south.

That and maybe a visit to Fuddruckers in the near future.