Thursday, January 3, 2013

Belmont Mountains and the White Dog Ranch

Well the year has changed but things here at Dogpound South go on as normal. Most weekends we are hooking the LQ and heading somewhere to the hills with our riding buddies. The rest of the week is mostly just Brenda getting caught up on the bottomless laundry pile and me watching the world go by from my rocking chair.

I spend a little time each day keeping up on our RVing friends on their blogs, just to see what kind of trouble they are getting into. I see Ivan is hanging out just across the California line so we are keeping an eye on the sky over that direction to see if his chopper is peeking over the mountains at us. And Rod and Loyce have forsaken the Kansas Christmas season and rejoined us here in the Valley of the Sun and as long as Verizon doesn’t kick them off they might even get to read this blog. Mike and Pat are still over there in Congress with Al and Kelly just down the road, and I know Deb and Rod are planning a long vacation at Red Bay while they enjoy their new grandbaby over there in San Antonio, heck with that long stay in Red Bay, who knows they might even write a blog, seems they missed 2012. Joe, Sheri and Kris are looking forward to hitting the road to the rest of their lives somewhere in time, and Rick and Paulette are all set up over there in Desert Hot Springs while Rene and Jeanette have made it across the Medicine Line and are all jacked up while wandering their way down the Wet Coast to the sunshine.

Our blog seems to have morphed from a RV’ing blog into a trailriding blog but I guess it is still just a journal of our travels whether they be in the old diesel pusher


or the sleek new hay burning horse that Brenda is riding now. For those that are wondering Wink is turning out great and fitting in with our remuda just fine.

From the left, Dave Modahl and Earl, Ken Pohl and Beauty, Verna Pohl and Beauty, Brenda and Wink, and Linda Modahl and Annabelle

Friday morning we gathered up Ken and Verna Pohl from over at the McKinney’s and headed for the White Dog Ranch.


That is a quiet piece of desert north of Tonopah, butted up against the Belmont Mountains, owned by Sam and Karen, some friends of friends who hosted us for the weekend. It was a weekend full, of campfires, story telling, adventure, mostly eating, and of course a little riding.

Saturday we headed off on a 17 mile adventure through the Belmont Mountains, along portions of the White Dog Trail, and up to the Belmont Mine. In case you are wondering you get a trail named after your ranch if you and your loved ones pioneer it across the ridges and valley floors and go to all the trouble of setting up rock cairns so that you can actually find it again without having to use your GPS. Nowadays a lot of us carry a handheld GPS and that trail is embedded deep in that memory so as the rock cairns succumb to time the trail will live on. Along the way one of our riding partners had an encounter with a cholla cactus that necessitated a lot of poking and picking of spines on his horse. Tom managed to survive the encounter but I am sure it will be a while before he really enjoys a good joke or a deep breath what with three broken ribs.

Damn Cholla!

The rest of that ride was pretty uneventful and the rest of us managed to give the abundant cholla a wide berth. Blue and I know from our own experience last year how little fun tangling with that desert plant can be, follow this link to an account of that encounter. Below are some photos of Saturdays ride as well as the moonsetting in the morning and sunset while we reviewed the day around the campfire.

Day 2 in the saddle was a little shorter and we took a ride across the Central Arizona Project, a canal that brings water from Lake Havasu, on the Colorado River over into the Phoenix and Tucson area. Some photos from our ride past the Turquoise Mine below.

On New Years Eve we took a spin around the Cinder Cone overlooking our campsite, and although pretty short it was a nice ride and we passed by a Monastery along the way. If you look closely at the picture of the Monastery below you will see steam rising just to the left. That is coming from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating station just to the south. Here’s hoping having a house of God nearby will help keep that critter contained down there.

In the album above, that tree Ken and Verna are under, has a large clump of mistletoe growing in it and Ken was quick to point it out to Verna as they rode under it. I missed the shot but they did partake of the traditional kiss under the mistletoe. In the other photo you can see Dave Modahl is pointing off into the distance to distract Ken from it.

New Years Eve we had a potluck feast, the centerpiece of which, was a deep fried turkey. Brenda and I had never partaken of this particular delicacy before and I am here to tell you that it was probably one of, if not, the best turkeys I have ever enjoyed. And I even managed to snag a drumstick away from the rest of these hungry folks.


I am not sure but I am thinking none of our riding partners made it to midnight, I know that myself I celebrated the New Years coming along with my friends in Newfoundland as that was a more reasonable time of night for a celebration.

The next morning we once again had another potluck where we started the New Year as we had finished the old by eating to much. But as someone pointed out it was way back last year when we last overindulged.

So, skip the picture and get the hay!

Once the breakfast dishes had been done we packed up our outfit, loaded the ponies and headed back here to Dogpound South to get the laundry done, and load up for our next adventure. Next weekend, god willing, it is the Skyline Trail on Saturday and the TACC Poker Ride on Sunday.


  1. Dang cactus--Brenda's ankle doesn't look so great either! Sounds like you guys had a great eating and riding time.

  2. Yes I did manage to get a big ball of the Cholla attached to my ankle after the incident with the horse and I am hear to tell you that is the worst pain I have felt in a long time lol.

  3. Meeting with the Cholla cactus is something to avoid. Hope Brenda is healing.

    Those are some enterprising rides you and the group undertake....but what a great way to enjoy the back country desert.

    Deep fried turkey? I had the opportunity to enjoy that, a few times, and I concur that it is oh so good.

  4. No worries about changing from an RV to a horse riding blog. We enjoy every post and look forward to being out your way again. It a beautiful country and we want to see more of it, so for now, your pictures will have to do until we get back there.

  5. Looks like you are both enjoying life and that is what it is all about. Miss you both

  6. I remember getting a Cholla barb in my hand a few years back near Ajo Az & I agree about the pain. It's as if the barb injects a painful toxin or something. That's a lot of riding you folks do & I wonder if the term 'saddle sores' ever applies. Been along that Tonopah road a few times coming from or going to Quartzsite. All the best to you guys in the New Year.....

  7. butterbean carpenterJanuary 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Howdy Brenda & JB,
    I wish I was your age and could come ride the desert with y'all; it looks like so much fun!! Is Wink a 'mustang' or just a trained common horse; I have been to the Mustang Makeovers and it is so wonderful what those trainers can do in 100 days with a wild horse!!!
    Brenda, I saw on Janna's blog about the loooog-legged pants and wanted to inform you that if you wear 6" spike-heels on the dance-floor they'll fit; that's why they're so long, NOT FOR 'REAL' CATTLE-WOMEN!!!
    Hope your having a wonderful, fabulous day!!! GO RIDE A HORSE!!!
    butterbean carpenter
    RunningStar Ranch
    Coleman county, TEXAS

  8. Glad your having so much fun on the trail rides.... Looks like Wink is settling in as a real companion for Brenda.... Is Willow coming around with her ankle? I can't help but wonder if she feels left out having to stay back at the paddock all the time....

  9. Glad to see Wink is settling in so well...Poor Brenda and her ankle....wondering how willow is doing also? Happy New Year folks...glad to see your 'in the saddle' great pictures...

  10. Great pics of your trail rides, John. Sure hope Brenda's ankle is not too sore. All you riders are sure making the best of the great places to see in that area.