Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Western Weekend

Hey, do you remember these fellas?.......... oops, wrong picture,

Do you remember these cowboys? Probably not, I never got around to blogging about our trip to Durango, Colorado last fall. It was an amazing trip, six men and one crazy woman.

It was a trip of awesome views and inspiring nature.

The men thrived on outdoor manly activities.

Not all was hard work, we took time for some exciting trail rides on those mountain horses.

The men did all of the camp cooking in rustic settings. Feel free to enlarge this photo to marvel over the kitchen set-up. This was real man country, I felt as a woman, I was being allowed to enter sacred grounds.

In the mountains, living in a log cabin and tents, riding horses, packing mules.........

The week went by much too quickly and before I knew it we were leaving the back country, headed for home, jobs, hot showers, modern kitchens, flush toilets and doors on bathrooms.....

The yearly trip to Durango, has been a tradition for about 14 years. Jerry has been gathering together groups of what I call his "city slickers" to leave the city behind and be real cowboys in the mountains of Colorado for a week in the autumn.

This year, the trip will not take place. We decided to invite last year's "city slickers" out to our place for a Western Gathering over Memorial Weekend.

Wives were invited also and it was a great bunch gathered at our cabin in the woods. Some stayed in the log cabin, some slept in tents, and a travel trailer made the trip.

I had a great weekend, but then, I slept in my house, in my own bedroom, in my own bed, and took a hot shower nightly.

I fondly remembered Colorado as I watched the men do manly men things.

Please don't ask..... yes, he IS shooting a gun out of the country kitchen, no that is NOT Jerry.

Those cowboys did ALL of the cooking for three days out in this kitchen next to our garage.

Jerry loaded up horses and mules and the boys hit the trails.

Two of the "City Slickers" got to enjoy the experience of riding mules, there were not quite enough horses to go around. For some reason it made me giggle. They were really good sports about having to ride mules. Not everyone wants to ride a mule. Just looking at this picture makes me giggle again.
A couple of our local friends joined the ride. I hiked ahead to snap a few pictures.
Then the ladies and I drove around in my truck and did a little sight seeing.

Their ride took them up along the American River, the hills are still green, a breeze was gently blowing, and it is not summer-time hot yet.
Everyone seemed to have a good time.
But by-golly, we are all going to really really miss Colorado this year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Camping in the Woods

This camping area is a short distance from our house, less than a half hour drive. We trailer here for day rides but this weekend we met with several of our riding buddies to camp and enjoy the trails together.

I love this area. Temperatures soared near 100 degrees in the central Valley, were in the 80s at our house but it felt much cooler and more comfortable here in the tall trees. We set up our tents, settled the horses in, set up the camp kitchen and went for a couple of very pleasant trail rides.

The 'boys' saddling up for our ride. At this campground we 'high-line' the horses and mules to keep them from wandering away. Ropes are stretched from tree to tree, the animals are tied with a lead rope just long enough for them to reach the ground to munch their hay, they can move around a bit, and are quite content. It was Millie's first camp outing, her first time being high-lined and she was a perfect lady the entire time.

Jerry made dutch-oven biscuits, gravy, sausage and hot, strong camp-fire coffee for breakfast.

We washed dishes, saddled up, and were on the trail by 10 am.

Hey there Amy, hurry and get that lunch out of those saddle bags so we can eat! Amy rides Remington with a cool Australian saddle, more comfy than a western or huntseat saddle on the long trail rides.

Our trusty mounts are tied while we break for lunch. Pistol, in the foreground, was my ride for the weekend. The second mule is our little Millie, Jerry's trail partner this trip. In the background is Rock, my mare, who was ridden by Tristan all weekend. Tristan usually rides Cheyenne who stayed home with a sore hoof and the colt Wrangler stayed home to keet him company. I drove home from the campground to feed and check on them, the dogs and the cats.
On this ride I neglected to take any pictures of our actual trail riding. I was too busy steering the mule.....

A few years ago, I thought mules were fine as pack animals but swore I'd never ride one . Now I have to admit that I am quite fond of them and enjoy the ride. The difference between riding a horse and a mule can be compared to riding in a luxury automobile versus a 4-wheel drive diesel truck.

I enjoyed our first campout of the season but was glad to get home, take a cool refreshing shower, and relax.

Now we have lots of projects to complete around home to prepare for our big Cowboy Memorial Weekend Party here.......
more about that later, I am off to bed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My May Post

I fully intended to start blogging more regularly...... I didn't until today.

I've been busy working at clinics and here at home. We have constant projects needing our attention: Planting, building, repairing, maintainence, animal care, house work, laundry, yard work, horse & mule training, meetings, and so on and so on...
Today I am home -alone -. That is not a complaint.

I am taking a computer break. This morning I paid bills, went to the post office, sprayed our little baby orchard and rose bushes with fungicide (yes we have fungus, two types), finished three loads of laundry, went to our hospitalized neighbor's to take care of her cat and 2 dogs (one is fecal and urinary incontinent, so is no easy chore), looked at my garden's weeds and sighed and came in for lunch.

Our flowers and yard and pastures are lovely this time of year. I'll post pictures soon. *wink*

I need to run now; I have stalls to clean, a building to clear, a garden to de-weed, camping gear to pack up for tomorrow, halter the horses for the farrier at 4pm, camp grocery shopping to do, and who knows what else, maybe wash a vehicle or two, maybe paint the wood shed (not likely).

I fully intend to start blogging again more regularly.

I miss you all.
May your trails be peaceful.