Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back on the Southern Ranges

Well we had a great visit back up at Dogpound North but we decided to trade this,


for this,


Now the top picture looks like a postcard but the bottom one was taken in my shirt sleeves while riding with Brenda and our friend Jill along the Vekol Wash this morning. And it is the shirt sleeves part that draws us back here to Dogpound South, that and the friends we have made in this community.

Our visit home was fun though, we got to see all the kids, well except for Clayton, he was busy working making sure that the gas was flowing to make all our homes in the north country warm. But over our few days there we got to cross trails with all our grandchildren a couple of times and some even more than that. They had a wealth of loot to work their way through so hanging around the old folks was not the first thing on their minds.


We started off Christmas morning with our two granddaughters, Claire and Madison and my son Matt and Madison’s mother Michelle, just up the hill right at Dogpound North.


And then it was off to see my nephews and nieces, the Parkhill Brown’s, in the city.


They were all getting ready to head back to Costa Rica for a vacation the day after Christmas so our visit there was short. We picked up my Dad there and took him with us for Christmas supper at my eldest son Paul’s place.



As usual Dad was telling stories and both boys were learning the oral history of our family. And of course at every stop there were gifts to be exchanged. The pics below showing my Dad, Matt, Paul, Michelle, Madison and Terri-Lynn, Paul’s wife and my mother tell the story.


And then my oldest grandson, Luc, above and below granddaughter number 3, Annika.


Oh the hats, they are from the crackers that always seem to be on our Christmas tables.

And then of course Boxing Day, a holiday in Canada that has decayed into a Black Friday like shopping debacle. I managed to convince the kids and grandkids to beat it out of the stores early and head out to the farm for a little bonfire.


And to answer your question Rod, for this kind of bonfire, you use big marshmallows and very long sticks. And after breaking bread one more time and getting one last photo of Brenda and the littlest elf,


we headed back to Dogpound South for a little ride this morning.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Heading North of the Medicine Line

Yep, Brenda and I have hopped on a jet plane and headed for the snow country. So far it appears that we must have been pretty good this year as Santa has the thermostat turned up and the weather is great. A little cooler than down at Dogpound South, but what the heck, it keeps the mosquito’s under control.


The view off of our front porch here at Dogpound North

Our plane was late out of Phoenix and that put us into Calgary smack dab in the middle of the night. By the time Mom picked us up at the airport and brought us back to her place it was getting close to 2:00AM. We jumped in our truck and headed for Dogpound North. Just out of the city we hit what looked like a good old fashioned Alberta blizzard that had us down to 20 miles an hour in places along the road, but eventually we made it home. After getting the fire lit in the hot water heater and the fridge plugged back in it was time to hop in bed for a quick nights sleep. 7:00AM came early enough but I had a lot of things on my agenda in the city and Brenda had a lot of baking to do. And of course all that baking meant I had to do a lot of testing once I got back from the city.

Thursday was Brenda’s day in town and I had the farrier by the farm to catch up on the feet of the horses we have left behind up here. Although Matt’s remuda is all gone to stables for the winter, we have a couple of retired horses that are just hanging out here at the farm.


We are fortunate to have an abundance of pasture so these three will be able to paw through the snow to get all they need. And by the looks of their bellies they are doing just fine.

Friday was Christmas here, or rather our first Christmas. The girls are off to Christmas with their in-laws so they put together an early celebration for us. We enjoyed the day at Bec’s house with Rebecca, Ved, Lacey and of course two grandbabies, Ella and Kashton.

I think the picture in the centre with Brenda and Kash is where she was saying something disparaging about me and Kash was showing his disbelief.

And of course Ella was a busy little person what with all those gifts and


of course keeping up with her social networking.


Brenda always loves to get together with Rebecca and Lacey and the three of them are pretty easy on the eyes.


And below the girls model some of their prizes.


After a great day of visiting and feasting Lacey, Ella, Brenda and I headed back to the farm. Although we were pretty tired Ella still had some things to get caught up on before she could hit the rack though.


So to all our friends and family wherever you may be


Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Medicine Wheel and Crested Saguaro

K's Crested Saguaro

Brenda and I in front of the Crested Saguaro, thanks K

This weekend we joined a bunch of friends for a ride out of the Wickenburg Rodeo grounds. We headed up there Friday night and got settled in about mid-day.


That gave me time to take a spin around the area and check things out as well as scout out a water source across the road in the rodeo grounds. Once we had the lay of the land figured out Brenda went to work and cooked us up some of that great Taco Soup and we had a few folks over to help us make sure there was only enough leftovers for one meal. Perfect, and we got to enjoy a little conversation as well as good food around the campfire as the moon rose over Constellation Park.


Saturday was time to ride and Dave and Frank led us on a merry chase through the ravines and up and down a few washes,


and across the desert until we came upon this Crested Saquaro.


and after a few minutes to take a few photo’s we headed on over the hill and dale until we wound up at this Medicine Wheel.


Whether you are a believer or not it is not hard to imagine a person or persons doing all this work without gaining some insight into at least his own bodies workings, that is a lot of rocks to move and place in that pattern. Although I rested on the centre spot here unlike Dave I was unable to levitate anywhere but did feel that same peace that the desert always brings to my soul.

Then it was on to our lunch spot near a set of corrals and a windmill complete with stock watering facilities.


Gathered around the windmill are Theresa on the left, Randy at the centre and Diana on the right, and up at the top is our friend “K”. At work I am sure he has used spurs to climb power poles but just in case you didn’t know “K” those spurs are not for climbing. But if you just can’t resist or are looking for more windmills to scale sometime in the next year or so I need someone to climb up and oil mine at Dogpound North.

Then it was time to head back towards camp.


Coming right along is Gus and Linda, and the rest of the group winding down the trail behind them. Once back in camp Linda took her Mini’s, Madeline on the right and Reba for a walk before we all sat down to a wonderful Christmas dinner complete with turkey, ham and a potluck dinner.


Now the rest of the group rode out on Sunday and saw a little more country but Brenda and I packed up camp and headed back to Dogpound South about mid-morning. In the afternoon Blue and I went over and had another go at cattle sorting, and although we still have a few issues to work through we sure had fun and managed to take a few photo’s of some old time buckaroo’s working in the next pen.

That looks like an interesting sport with a lot of art and steady horses involved in it.

To have a look at all the photo’s of the Wickenburg ride follow this link,

and just click on Ranch Roping to see more of that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Here and Gone

Last time I wrote we were coming back from Camp Creek on Saturday. Sunday, Blue and I headed up to Pocock’s, for a little cattle sorting practice and Blue did pretty well although after sorting about 40 head he decided he had had enough of this foolishness and was going home. Well we had a little visit about that and after a little reconsideration and some counselling from me he decided that maybe he could wait until I was done the day before heading out. But that is why they call it practice I guess.

Monday morning broke bright and early and Brenda was busy making buns here. Last week Laureen (Maid Marion) had arrived with Robin Hood (the Canadian flour) so everything was in place for a bread making day. I had a few rolls while they were still hot from the oven and Brenda ran a dozen or so up the Heggie’s as a thank you for hauling our flour down for us. And then Monday evening we were off to Raceway for a pizza and a meeting about the upcoming gymkhana, December 18th, where we ran into the Heggie’s again.

Tuesday Brenda was again up bright and early as we had to prepare for the arrival of our guests. Mac and Lynette our RV’ing friends originally from Kansas were coming through on their way to their winter spot in Yuma and were planning on visiting us here at Dogpound South for a couple of days before finishing their journey.

As usual this visit was sprinkled with ample opportunities to break bread and for supper Tuesday night we feasted on Steaks, Brenda’s Cheese and Bacon Twice Baked Potato Casserole, garlic bread, fresh buns, and salad.



And of course we needed to top it off with a little desert so we had a Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crust, oh so good, and hardly any calories at all……lol.

And of course a lot of chin wagging and story telling going on from the minute they arrived until bedtime.

Wednesday we headed into Casa Grande to get a little lunch at Eva’s Mexican Cafe and then of course the required stop at Wal-Mart on the way back here to Dogpound South. Then Mac and I ran into town to pick up a little fuel for their trip tomorrow and to give our lunch time to digest before we got sitting down for supper.

I haven’t had a chance to mention it but on Monday the receiver for our Shaw Direct Satellite system arrived from Montreal, and we were able to get our TV up and working. That meant we could catch up on the National Finals Rodeo goings on as well. For some reason the Canadian provider choose not to have the rodeo on live but has a couple of tape delayed replays on the day following, and we were catching up on some of that while telling some stories. The stories actually got a lot more attention so we actually had to watch Tuesday nights go around twice so that I could actually see what was going on in all the events.

Last night after lunch at Eva’s Brenda decided we needed something a little less filling for dinner. So we had a bowl of that Pioneer Woman’s Cheese Corn Chowder and more of those fresh buns. And after that healthy meal of course a little more desert was in order and Lynette brought in a Lemon Butter Cake to fill the gaps and those with bigger gaps than others also had another piece of Brenda’s Pecan Pie Cheesecake. Needless to say I have been falling a little behind on my Ice Cream Therapy the last few nights but I will make up the time somehow…

This morning Mac and Netters were hooked up and headed towards Yuma to settle in for the next four months. We enjoyed their visit and look forward to running down to Yuma and hooking up with them again over the winter.


Quite a train you got there McHenry’s with that DLT hanging on desperately behind you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Lazy Week and a Beautiful Ride

Well last week was a whirlwind of riding and racing with the horses so we figured to give them a little break here. And once we got kind of used to doing nothing, darned if it didn’t kind of take over the week. I am not sure what we did this week but until today it is all kind of lost in the mists of time.

This morning though we were up and loading our horses by 7:30AM as we were off to join K, Theresa, Linda and David, along with two new friends Linda and Melanie on a ride around the Camp Creek area. Our first stop after getting going was the falls.


Then we just kind of wandered through the spectacular desert scenery. This is the kind of country that drew us and our horses to Arizona in the first place and riding with this group is getting us a chance to live our dreams.

And of course it wouldn’t be a trail ride without a trail lunch. So in the middle of a little snow squall we pulled up under this tree and set out our fixings.


Now these usually consist of a sandwich or some sliced meat, crackers and cheese, but today was a special ride and our quartermasters went all out on the menu. I will surely forget something but here goes, we had Fried Chicken, Baked Beans, Brie & crackers, Prosciutto Ham with cheese, Peanut Butter Brownies, Chocolate covered Strawberries, grapes, blackberries, pineapple, and the rest was lost in a fog of overindulgence. Now “K” had set this up so a certain someone would have a great lunch on this little ride but that someone didn't make it out with us, so we all enjoyed this unusual trail lunch and washed it all down with wine and hot chocolate. Glad I didn't miss it.


Once chow was finished we cleaned up the site, left a little for the wee folk and mounted back up to see a little more of the country. I have attached a link to the photo’s of this ride here, so slip over to the web album and enjoy the scenery.

Too soon we were back at the trailers and our ride was completed. We met some new friends, got some new stories and once again enjoyed the beautiful scenery this country has to offer.


You’ll notice when you look at the photo’s there are a lot of power lines in the background, now that is something about Arizona that has always driven the photographer in me nuts. Seems like I can’t get away from having a power line in the background. Turns out our friend “K” is the guy who is building them all, and maybe, just maybe, with his impending retirement we will not see so many in the future. Yah I know, no power line, no life as we know it but darn I wish they weren’t always in the pretty spots.