Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Joust No Darn Fun.

Bad decisions make good stories.

About a year and a half ago, our daughter, her fiance, Juanita and I went out for a ride in the national forest across the highway from us (I love that the lodge is within a couple hundred yards of twenty plus hours of trails).  Beautiful day for a ride, the horses were feeling good and so were we.

Now, for the last few years, I would occasionally grab a stick or limb while riding and carry it like a "lance".  Ranger was never amused, but would put up with it for a couple minutes.  On this particular trail ride as we were walking along the trail, I passed the best-lance-ever beside the trail.  It was about twenty feet off the trail in the middle of a small, pine-needle covered opening in the trees.  "Woo hoo!" I chortled as I jumped off my horse and ran for this long, straight, natural lance.  Great, about fifteen feet of straight stick!  I grabbed my new stick and climbed back onto Ranger.

Ranger and I have reached an understanding over the years. He understands that he can buck hard enough to send me skyward, and I understand that it hurts like crazy when the trip is over.  This arrangement works out pretty well, though I think Ranger is happier with it than I am.

I had just seated myself on my little mustang, when he took serious offense to the new situation. ***"DROP IT BILL"***    "Wait, Ranger this is a really great..."    ***"NO NO NO NO OFF OFF OFF OFF"***..  I have a very clear memory of thinking how stupid I was going to feel trying to explain to the EMT's why I had fifteen feet of stick jammed into me.  I threw the stick away about the third bounce.  Ranger continued *** "OFF OFF OFF OFF"***.  So, I did.

I had made a world class three point landing (both heels and my butt) in the pine needle covered clearing, and was still holding a rein.  At the end of this particular rein was a bug-eyed, lock-jawed, pissed off little mustang.  And, just off to my right, still on the trail were three horses, with three riders and all six had the same open mouthed expression-"Swiss cheese feces! What was that!" (It's a G rated blog, I can't say holy sh*t).

I stood up, dusted myself off, and climbed back onto my horse, without my stick.  I think I'll pass on any future jousting tournaments I might be invited to.

No pictures, thankfully.


Friday, January 29, 2010

A Rare Sighting

We were headed home yesterday, after a jaunt into Loveland.  As we rounded the corner past the quarry, Bill said, "There's the horses!"  What a great surprise.  Only about once a year, do we get to see them down close to the road, just across the river.  They don't have to come down for water with all the snow on the ground right now and some drinking areas much closer to their favorite hangouts.  We pulled over quickly and got out to "talk", but Cannon, not used to car doors, took off at a run and the others followed.  By the time I could get the truck door open and get out, they were up on the bluff.  I yelled at Jesse and Washoe anyway, and they actually turned the herd and headed back, stopping at the edge of the cliff.  After looking at us for a couple of minutes, they finally slithered on down for lots of hugs.  We managed to split two little granola bars among five horses (3 opted out of sliding down the embankment, waiting on top for the rest to come back.)  It took us a really long time to quit smiling after that!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seek and...

Juanita and I play a game when we walk back into the mountains to find our horses. We calm ourselves, clear our minds and "listen" for the horses.  Juanita sometimes gets vague pictures of where they are, and I get a gut feeling as to the direction.  We walk back to the same point a couple miles in and start our search.  Now, I don't really buy into this "woo-woo" stuff, but I'll be darned if it doesn't seem to work more often than not.  Last trip up a couple weeks ago, my gut feeling was that they were a "good ways" west of us, and we found them about a mile and a half directly west.  Weird.  Probably just because we know the horses and the 15 square miles of mountain land they hang out on.  Probably.

   Today we went up and I tried to get a location for the horses.  I got the feeling of confidence.  Just that. As if they were saying "We are right here. OF COURSE you will find us.  Even a flat faced barn ape like you should be able to find us." (Ranger can be pretty brusque with me).  We got to our starting mountainside, and began our search.  "Juanita, I'm going to look down this valley here, 'cause they are RIGHT HERE."  Nope, they weren't.  Up another hundred yards.  "Juanita, I'm going to look down this hillside next to us 'cause they are RIGHT HERE."  They were.  They had never been on that hillside before when we were up there, and it was right above the cliff we were walking under when I felt the "confidence" feeling that we would find them. Couldn't hear or see them from where we were walking. Woo-Woo stuff.  Maybe my sense of smell is better than I think.  Not too bad for a flat-faced barn ape.

   Treats around, good rubs, snuggles and we were done.  Ranger's cut has closed and should be just a fine white line in another month or so.  Great weather, great company, great day.


Friday, January 22, 2010

January 2010 Recipe: Spicy Sausage-Potato Soup

This is for Bill; he even had to show me how to copy into this @#$%@ program. He came up with this recipe early in our days of Innkeeping, as a way to save by eating leftovers (leftover potatoes, sausage, etc.). Now it is so popular we had to learn how to make it from the bottom up without precooking the potatoes on the grill! Cut back on the seasoning if you want less spicy - or buy less spicy sausage. You can pre-cook your potatoes by cooking, whole, in the microwave for two minutes per potato (6, turning half way through for this amount). They will only be partially cooked and easy to slice. We eat peels and all; adds texture and flavor.

Spicy Sausage-potato soup

1 lb spicy sausage, browned
½ c. onion, thinly sliced
½ c. celery, chopped
1-2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
2-3 c. milk
3 lg potatoes, pre-cooked and sliced

Saute’ onion and celery with sausage. Add all ingredients to a large soup pan, bring to a slow boil, simmer 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stock Show Time

Made our first trip of the season to the National Western Stock Show yesterday.  Yes, another probable trip is planned for later this week, to see the big boys:  the draft horses.  A close friend of ours is in charge of the big boys while at the NWSS, so we have to make the effort.  Never mind we love those gentle giants and are always totally amazed at what they do, so if the storms don't get too bad up here on the mountain, the plan is to watch the draft horse pulls and six-horse hitches on Thurs.

Yesterday, we met up with one daughter and her kids and headed off to see Super Dogs.  Due to some car issues, we arrived after the start, so we discovered we could get some last minute rodeo tickets for the matinee performance.  Ducked into the arena just as the pre-show was finishing up.  Love the rodeo!  Even had a special treat when Trevor Brazil, the 7-time World Champion Cowboy, roped his calf a full second faster than the fastest time this season.  He is on his way to his 8th Championship, topping Ty Murrey, who quit after seven.  We've watched Trevor at the Wrangle National Finals in Las Vegas, but you seldom get to see these greats at the beginning of the rodeo season.  To be a champion "cowboy", you need the highest average in several events, which means you might not "win" individual events, but you compete in several (usually 4) and your "average" in each is higher.  It does mean you need to place fairly high in each of the chosen events, hence making you and all-around cowboy.

We then walked around some of the child animal displays, stopped at my favorite book stall (collecting more reading material, of course), and tried to locate some horses in the horse arena.  Only saw a few but did have a nice conversation with one of the Denver Mounted Patrol while watching a couple of their horses trying to relax in their tiny stalls.  He said the hardest part for them was being confined, since they usually have lots of runs to play in plus their time on the streets.  We certainly understand that!

I tried to get some pictures of the One Armed Bandit and his buffalo during the special show, but it was too dark and we were too far away.  So you will just need to go see them for yourselves.  Had a fun, relaxing afternoon in absolutely wonderful, non-stock show type weather.  Won't complain about the nice sunny day, since it looks like the next trip will be back to ice.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January Recipe

Mud pies

  4 cups dirt
  2 cups water

mix dirt and water, mold into roundish shape
let dry in sun

This is all I got.  Man, I wish Juanita would post something tastier.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Found again

Juanita and I went back in to find the horses today.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.  We ended up walking about two and a half miles back in 'till we found them.

We spotted them across a valley from us in a small clearing, and decided not to try calling them as that would bring them to us in a wooded area, and we would rather have some space around us when the herd shows up.  We figured we would just walk over to them in the clearing. (you can click on the pictures to view them larger)

  But Washoe spotted us and had other plans.  FOOD PEOPLE!  IT'S THE FOOD PEOPLE! OMG OMG OMG!! He came, and brought the rest of the herd to us at a dead run.

                                                             HI!!  GOT TREATS?

Things were a little crowded in the trees, so Juanita gave Jesse her "tail up" command and Jesse towed her up the hill to another clearing.  I should teach Ranger that command.  When I grab his tail, it's a cue for him to stop  walking away from me.  One of the DJ's on a local radio station uses the "tail pull" to back her horse out of a trailer.  Must look pretty impressive to spectators watching the gal drag a horse out of a trailer by its tail. Come to think on it,  I'd rather teach my horse that.

Everybody got a taste of dried apple and dried pancakes or waffles.

When we ran out of treats, they were perfectly happy to go back to grazing and just hanging out with us.  Ranger's gash is healing up nicely with no sign of infection.  When I asked him about it he just stared at me a moment and said, "Been hurt worse." and went back to eating.  He doesn't say too much.

We left them to their meal and headed home ourselves.  What a great day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Signs of Winter

Winter is here in full force.  The trails we ride all summer are now snow covered and drifted in.  Our horses can plow through them, but with sub-freezing temperatures, and gale force winds all winter up here, we just don't care to ride out there so much.  So the horses are turned loose on the mountainside 15 miles from us on thousands and thousands of acres of land, playing at being wild horses again.

Finding them can be a chore at times.  They are on a huge tract of mountain land and it takes us an hour or so to walk back to their "digs" and then another 1/2 hour to find where they are at that moment (wild horses often cover 20 miles a day), so we have gotten pretty good at reading "signs".

Here are some of my favorites............



Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Hiking

So...on New Year's Day you are supposed to do something that you enjoy and want to continue throughout the I hear.  Sounds good so far.  Bill's sister came up from Albuquerque for a visit with her boyfriend and, both being avid hikers, wanted him to meet our horses.  She seemed to think he had some sort of innate fear of horses and thought we could help clear the way with that, since she likes to ride with us on occasion.  We all hopped in the car and headed for the quarry, where our herd currently resides, and were delighted to find sunshine and NO wind!  We had a great hike back into the hills next to the quarry, through about six inches of new snow on top of last week's old crusty stuff.  Once we started climbing, we got onto the southern, windswept upper fields and soon spotted the herd grazing along the next ridge.

We got their attention and soon they were headed our way.  Love to watch my grays come running when called.  It's always a surprise to people with us that we can just holler and have them come.  Ranger was a little stand-offish.  We thought he was just playing "wild horse" again, but when Bill got up to him we found a new wound on his left flank.  It looked painful, but not dangerous.  We don't know if he scuffed it on one of the rock ledges or trees, got bitten by one of the others (but don't know why, they get along really well) or had a run-in with a cat.  We followed fresh mountain lion tracks up the trail to get to them.


It was fun to watch the horses mingle with Bill's sister and boyfriend - no sign of fear from him.  I think she was spoofing us.

And how about a little kiss from the Peanut (who was actually fascinated with the smell of her gum).

It was a great way to spend the first day of the year.  Happy New Year to all our blog followers.

Two Upcoming Crafters' Weekends

It's officially winter now, and we don't get to spend the time with our horses that we like.  We visit them at their winter digs whenever we can and gather lots of pictures, which are stored on our computer albums.  We should probably take some advice from our craft groups and DO something with them!


And now, a word from our sponsor.

The Allenspark Lodge B&B is again hosting two craft weekends in January 2010 (our 6th year of hosting) and would like to cordially invite you and your friends for a fun time of cropping, knitting, quilting, stamping, or whatever project (including napping and reading!). The weekend retreats for 2010 will be:
  • January 15 - 16, and
  • January 22 - 23

Bring your supplies and we’ll furnish the tables, chairs and FOOD! Please feel free to extend this invitation to your families and friends.

We are offering a reduced all inclusive price and limiting it to twenty (20) persons per weekend. The cost includes lodging, cropping room and all meals (2 full breakfasts, a snack lunch, and 2 full dinners with dessert). The Lodge has 19 beds, located in the twelve rooms and one apartment; first calls get first choice. Please, no children, as this is a “get-away” time for everyone.

Available Rooms:
  • Private Bath - Double Occupancy $115/person Rooms: 4, 6, the Apartment (3 persons)
  • Private Bath - Single Occupancy $170/person *Rooms: 1, 8, 16, 22
  • Shared Bath - Double Occupancy $100/person Rooms: 18, 20
  • Shared Bath - Single Occupancy $145/person *Rooms: 2, 3, 15, 21
*If the beds in these rooms are shared, they will be priced as double occupancy.

Arrival time is 3:00 p.m. (or later) on Friday; Departure by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Breakfasts served at 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dinners served at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Lunch snacks will be provided on Saturday. Please let us know of any dietary requests, i.e., vegetarian, vegan, allergies....

Call (970-747-2552) or email ( to reserve your room.  Normal Lodge cancellation policy will apply: a credit card number will be requested at time of booking and a $5 booking fee added. If a cancellation is necessary within the last 7 days of arrival, you will be charged the full fee, unless that space can be re-booked.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Juanita & Bill