Sunday, August 18, 2013

Times are a Changing - Our Rigs FOR SALE

We have decided to put our Motorhome up for sale. It is a 2009 Fleetwood Discovery 40X. That is the model that has a front kitchen and a mid-ship television. It has three slides and is a pretty roomy rig, I think down in Kerrville a few years back we had thirteen folks inside one rainy evening. Now we were all friends but it still had room for a few more.

We ordered this rig from the factory so it came with all the things we wanted and needed. Unlike many it has both a gas and convection oven, and heat pumps, and a washer/dryer combo. Also a factory installed Satellite Dish on the roof and seeing as how we like to get our Canadian channels we also installed a Motosat dish for Shaw/Star Choice also.

We like to get out where the places are less crowded and enjoy the quiet of the countryside so solar was a must, and we had four extra batteries installed. We had AM Solar install 400 watts of solar generating capacity on the roof along with all the necessary power management equipment. This system has served us well and we are able to do almost everything from computering to TV watching without having to use the onboard 8KW generator.

A couple of years ago we upgraded the blinds from the day/night shades to MCD roller blinds and shades.

The only reason this outfit is for sale is the fact that our needs have changed. Those who follow our blog know that we now have a place in Arizona, and spend a great deal of time traveling and trailriding with our horses, so the motorhome just was not getting used enough. Although we still get it out and about frequently in the summers here in Canada, it is just to nice to take into the back country where we do most of our riding.

Therefore some lucky person is going to be able to get the deal of a lifetime. We are looking to move it to a new home on a pretty short timeframe, so it won't be here long.

Here she is doing what she does best, enjoying time away from the crowds with her solar array making quiet power.
I will just put a bunch of shots here, keeping in mind that these were taken while we were fulltiming. This is an especially clean rig and we have taken good care of it. It just had a complete service and the generator has about 15 hours since its last service. Only about 23,000 miles on the clock also.


Drivers side

Ready to roll with a full-size pickup in tow

From the bedroom looking up the hall past the bathroom

Front looking back to the mid-ship TV

Passenger side

Once again in the desert enjoying the quiet

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to the Beginning

Way back in August 2001, yep, just before the world changed, Brenda and I got married out in one of our favourite places on the planet. The Yaha Tinda ranch is a little piece of heaven about an hour and half west of our place here at Dogpound North.

Here we are back at the spot and I think the horses are checking for footprints from our wedding.
And the actual day
Long time readers will have seen this landscape many times as we have made a pilgrimage back to this spot on at least one occasion every year since.

I stumbled on this video, now these guys are probably not heading for Nashville but the pictures are beautiful and we too are forever Yaha Tinda Bound.

This year because of the floods we decided rather than camp right on the ranch we would stay at the Eagle Creek campground right on the east ranch boundary and ride in. We found a beautiful spot there right along the Red Deer River and enjoyed 5 beautiful days roaming the ranch and surrounding countryside.

The view downstream

And a look upstream

And here is a panorama of the view from our campfire
The first day we just took a ride over to the Bighorn camp to see how the repairs from the flood were coming along, a lot of changes there this year.
For those who have been here before this is the centre site down by the river, Bighorn creek has made it a creek bottom property now.
Once we checked out the camp we headed up to the spot we got married at then on up to Eagle Lookout for a look around the countryside.

Upriver from Eagle Lookout
For those who have been here, Dave and Sherry, you will notice the big swing to the north the river has made in the meadows east of the Bighorn Camp. The circle that was carved into the grass by folks "round penning" their horses is gone, probably somewhere out where you can see the gravel bar now.

Day two we just took a short ride up to Eagle Lake and although I didn't get a good photo, the water level is so high that the trail around the south side of the lake is under water, a couple of feet at least. We went in on the trail on the north side of the meadows from Eagle Creek and when we came out the same way we discovered a new trail heading off a little more northerly than the other. We have dubbed this the "Knee Knocker" cause the fellow who pioneered it must have been riding a pretty skinny horse as ours were just able to fit between a lot of the trees. We needed to exercise extreme caution to make sure Brenda's bad knees were intact when we got through those spots. It eventually came out on the old seismic line that headed NE from Walker's old camp and although we headed up there the next day we couldn't find a way across to the Poplar Bluff trail without some major bushwhacking. And with those aforementioned bad knees that is not in the cards.

Day Three we headed over the Hump out of Eagle Camp and did a little exploration east of Eagle Creek before heading around the Poplar Bluff, High Trail in our camp, trail. This is one of our favourite rides and the vista's are stunning.

And this from our lunch stop for the day
The view above is one of my favourites on the planet. It is always hard to leave this spot, no matter what the weather or season.

Day Four we just headed up river through the meadows checking out the changes along the riverbed up to the top crossing to Hidden Falls. I think a fellow could find his way across there but you would have to make your way through a lot of driftwood to do it. From there we headed north bushwhacking our way through what Brenda calls the soft trees, Pine and Spruce, and hit the meadows right about where the old telegraph line went through. We followed the meadow back down and stumbled on a new elk trap just as we got to the big meadow southwest of the ranch. For a lot of our readers some of this will mean nothing but for some others I am hoping I am painting a picture that brings you back to the ranch.

And this brings us to today, another beautiful day, but one we knew had to come. We had to pack up and head home today. Our rig needs some attention from our friends at Allandale Industries, and we have to drop it off tomorrow morning early to get those things looked after. God willing and the creeks don't rise we will be back on the trails soon, after a little resupply stop and some repairs.

For the Google Earth fans amongst our readers here is a view of our tracks on this trip.

Light Blue or Cyan is Day 1, Dark Blue for Day 2, Red is Day 3, and Magenta is Day 4.

This was our sunset view last night from our campfire

Friday, August 9, 2013

Up Sh%&% Creek

Well actually it was the Sheep River and we took our horses along with us. Down west of Turner Valley here in Alberta there is an Equestrian Campground called Sandy McNabb. Over the years we have spent a few great days there and for some years early in the Millenium we would be there for Thanksgiving. It is paved all the way out so we can take the Motorhome and the bumper pull. Since we were there last they have rebuilt the stable/tie stalls and run power to every site. As well as a new dump station just across the road.
Site #18 a favorite of ours

because unlike most of the sites you can actually see the tie stalls from #18.
The Sheep River was one of the Alberta rivers that was wreaking havoc on the downstream residents during the June floods and there was evidence of it's exuberance even up here in the hills.

A lot of rubble and trees moved around and left high and dry above the river
 The weather for the most part was pretty cooperative except for one day when it was showering off and on all day. I took the horses for a short ride that day.

The first day we took a spin up the Death Valley trail until it connected with the Windy Point trail and we took that back down to the Sheep River and followed it back into camp.

Some meadows along the Death Valley trail
And these fellows were up above us on the Windy Point trail. Not sure whether that is their shepherd or what on the skyline
And here is an overlook right where the Windy Point and Sheep trails intersect.

A view from a ledge along the Sheep River. Lots of flowers out there.
 Another day we headed back out on the Foran Grade trail which climbs a ridge that has pretty nice views of the front range of the Rockies on most days, but on this day they were obscured by clouds hanging on the peaks.

That grassy slope is where we spotted the Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep on an earlier day

The mountains with cloud covered peaks
As well as mountains you get a pretty good view of the Calgary downtown skyline from here although it is probably at least 35 miles away the way the raven fly's. Actually raven's kinda wander their way across the landscape. Rumour has it that bees fly in a straight line but that would be a little long to haul a big load of honey making ingredients across the countryside, so let's just say Google calls it 34 miles.

Calgary skyline from the Foran Grade trail
Another benefit, well maybe a benefit, is that from up here you can check your phone messages and Brenda was able to update her Facebook Fans

It's always nice to let folks see what we are seeing.
Once we got down off the Grade we headed down to cross the Sheep River and the rain from the day before had muddied it up a little so it was nice to see another group crossing to give us an idea that all was well on the regular crossing. Many of the traditional crossings were changed, for the worse, by the floods this year.

Wink and Brenda crossing here
The crossing here was pretty good but the crossing where we came back over to the north side of the river was a little deeper. Water was kind of halfway up Wink's body on that crossing, so maybe our friend Bill, and Fred from down there at Benson would be getting a little wet, and because we were not so sure about that crossing I was paying attention to business and not gawking around taking pictures.

This ride was a test of sorts for Willow also, she has been on light duty since she hurt herself last November on the Beaver Creek ride in Arizona so I was interested to see if she could take the rough country. She seemed fine so she has probably earned herself a spot in the trailer heading south in the fall.

That said Wink threw a hissy fit on our last day there and while we were saddling up she kicked the stuffing out of Willow and got in a couple of solid hits that left Willow a little sore so rather than leave them in a tie stall overnight we loaded up and headed for Dogpound North where she would be able to move around and keep any swelling at bay. Now a week or so later she seems fine and the cuts and scrapes are all healing.

On another front the home reno's here at Dogpound North are getting close to being done, just a little work on the grout and some painting and all will be well again. Oh yeah, two bathrooms later we also got the gas range installed that started all this renovation stuff. Seems like it sure would have been cheaper just to use a Coleman stove than all this but Brenda will be happy.

We have passed the halfway mark on our time here in Alberta and I am working on a project so that we are able to monitor what is happening back here at Dogpound North while we are enjoying the company of our friends in the desert this winter. I call that fair warning Arizona, we are coming back!