October 16: Day 4
We’ve been robbed!!! Well, OK, maybe vandalized would be a better way to put it. Bill walked down to the truck to pull it up to the corral for loading and found…5 donkeys happily munching all the bales of hay they had pulled off the back of our flatbed PU. They were sure they had found the mother lode of gold with our travel hay. There was one really large donkey that could have easily passed as a large mule. I suspect he was the gang leader in getting the bales off the truck. All you can do in a situation like this is laugh! (The ranch was gracious enough to replace the hay.)
Today we were to drive to Catalina State Park, outside of Tucson, AZ. We figured somewhere between 8 – 9 travel hours. When we crossed into AZ, we realized that our later start (donkeys) was going to cause us to get into the State Park well after dark. We decided to crash in on some good friends in Wilcox, AZ to spend the night. It wasn’t much shorter distance, being close to Tombstone, but we knew the roads and knew they would have an open corral for the horses. We called them and got a warm welcome, a nice home cooked meal and, indeed, a large pen for the horses. Bucky is actually the horse person that got us started in horses and we had a great time catching up on gossip.
Bucky and Andrea have 25 riding horses and hold the only commercial permits to ride the Chiricuahua Trails and the Cochise National Monument. They had bred four of their favorite mares last year, and our only regret was not getting to see this year’s foal crop, born in March. They had just separated them and taken them to a neighboring ranch for weaning a couple days before we got there.