Monday, January 13, 2014

Picket Post Again!

Picket Post is one of those rides that gets under your skin. The trails are great and the scenery is second to none. I joined some Canadian friends and a couple of our American hosts out there at the trailhead. They had arrived a day or two earlier so were out on a ride and Blue and I headed out on our own, first stop was the phone booth on the hilltop out of camp. Just to let the rest of the world we made it safely. Here is Joel up there checking his messages.
So this is what the guys who drive trucks for Walmart do on their vacation.
Then we headed out the trail and not to far along we ran into the bunch coming back to camp. Short ride but shook off the trailer legs anyway. Once we got unsaddled we ran down the highway towards Superior where these wagon tracks are cut into the limestone. Must have been a lot of heavy silver ore in those wagons.
Ore wagons cut these into the rock
Always great sunsets here.

The next day we headed off across the highway and up to Happy Camp Canyon. That is ride I first did about a year ago, but it was a lot greener and prettier this year than last. The GPS tells me that this ride is a little less than 13 miles. You go out along a ridge back that gives you great views in all directions.
From these ridge tops you can see for miles

Always good to run into a little water for the ponies on these rides

Joel and his Tennessee Waiting Horse waiting on the rest of us to catch up. 

Heading into Happy Camp Canyon

Kelly and her stud the Huntsman hanging around on the ridge
For the return trip we popped over top of the ridge and dropped into a wash for the return trip. Along the way here is a stock tank with great water for the horses.

After the ride that night Ken and I ran into Superior to try and run down a map of the area and see if we could find a map that showed a trail that made a loop around Picket Post Mountain in its entirety. There is a map but the only one in captivity was taped to the inside of office window on main street. There was a fellow in there sanding the floors and we tried to talk him into giving/selling it to us but he was incorruptible.

But we did get a picture of it with the phone and a little store across the street gave a photo copy of a smaller portion.
With that new information in hand we headed out on a ride of discovery the next day. The first part of the ride was a little bit of bushwhacking Arizona style, looking for gates and discovering fences blocking the trail, but eventually we got through that part and got ourselves down into Arnett Canyon. What a treat that was, it was beautiful down there. Towering cliffs, big sycamore trees, and ample water crossings. And to top it all off a pretty sandy trail so easy on the feet. That was important for Blue as just before we loaded up to come out here he had a visit with the farrier and he is always a little tender for a day or too after that experience.
Arnett Canyon

Ken and Beauty enjoying the crick

More canyon and creek views

Whoa, Blue is leading the ride.
 And when Blue and I lead the ride there is a lot of time for enjoying the scenery, we sure don't see a reason to race through this kind of landscape.

Believe it or not this is what I was looking for.....the other side of the mountain

Here is the littlest Saguaro growing right in that rock. He has made it in a couple of blogs now

Verna, Toni, and Ron and Toni's trail dog Madeline

Although we spent five or six hours on this ride we stopped a bunch of time to enjoy the scenery, eat lunch and do a little pioneering along the trail. I think with all the back and forth we did we were just over 9.5 miles total on the trail and all that to and froing will probably result in it being around 9 miles next time. A little shorter than usual but there is lots to look at and some challenging spots but they are short and sweet.

Sunrise at Picket Post

Same sunrise different angle
The following morning Blue and I packed up and headed home. He was a little foot sore and it seemed the wise thing to do. The others were going to go back around yesterdays loop and try to eliminate the one technical spot on the new trail. Below is a Google Map for those who like that kind of stuff.
Green is the Happy Camp Canyon trail and the Magenta trail is the Picket Post Mountain Loop

And when I got home there was a party about to begin. Brenda had spent the weekend preparing food and drink for a surprise party for her friend Stasia.
Part of the Party People

Brenda and the guest of honour. Hey, it's a Canadian party so we get to spell it how we like.

Now Mike and Janna stopped by on their way home to Montana and I didn't get any pictures but no problem I have their pink motorhome held hostage here so they will be back.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tis the Season

Although we have no snow here, it is Christmas and we have been doing some Christmasy stuff. Visiting with friends and eating too much seem to be at the top of the list. The weekend before Christmas we jumped on the wagon with our Canadian friends, the Pohl's, and toured the community singing Christmas carols. Not sure that Thunderbird Farms will ever be the same, but it did get some of the more vocal dogs in the neighborhood to hide under their decks with their paws over their ears. The Arizona Hitching Post a local equine newspaper sponsored a contest for the best dressed horse and rider combination and although I don't know the official results there was lots of colorful horses following us around, even a couple decked out like carousel horses.

Carousel Horses complete with poles

Christmas Carollers

Ben and the Beauty's

Christmas Outriders
We enjoyed Christmas dinner with the Pohl's and Ken's daughter and her husband along with some other Canadian friends the Lewis's who we met previously at the Yaha Tinda back in Canada. We had planned on getting some riding in with them while they were down here over Christmas but life happened and that was not to be. But Blue and I have been working on a few things out back in our virtual round pen so all is not lost.

New Years Day we joined a bunch of friends here and took a little spin around the neighborhood.

L to R, CC, Brenda, Paula, Kathy and Crystal

Brenda and Wink
Now there I got a post everyday this year so far.