Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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


  1. Wow looks great outside sure would like to se the inside. Glad you made it safe and sound hopefully we will get to see you down there. :)

  2. I sure am glad you are back to blog writing and that the rest of the trip went well. You got out of here just in time--dang cold today! And Michael says oh, by the way, the bird is a Water Ouzel.

  3. Pretty darn nice feeling being back in the good old Southwest for the winter again eh:))

  4. Looks like you guys are set now for the winter, the new shelter and feeders look sharp. Be safe out there Sam & Donna...

  5. Looks like a great trip. Just 90 minutes to clear customs? Wow!

    I've seen a Water Ouzel just once, in Oregon. Such an eye-catching little bird, eh? Short flights just above the water, disappearing right into it... fascinating little thing.

    Still warm down there?

  6. Glad it was a safe and fairly quick trip. That porch really looks nice, but hard to see the enclosure for the horses, but it seems to be doing its job as well. The hay price seems to just be the price of doing business in Arizona. Just have to get used to it.........