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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A great present

A couple weeks ago, we hauled a horse trailer down to our friend Bucky's ranch in southern Arizona, near the Chiricahua Mountains (no spell check, it's NOT the "Chihuahua Mountains").  He runs trail rides into the National Monument, and into the national forest down there. The mountains are not terribly tall (hmm... maybe spell-check is right), but they do get their share of snow in the winter, and the trails are criss-crossed with small and medium downed trees after the winter storms.

We all saddled up some of Bucky's horses and went for an early spring ride in the national forest to check trail conditions for the season.

Bucky knows I love my short horse, so he tries to give me a 16 hand  or better so I crack my forehead if I quit paying attention.  I'm back there somewhere, honest.

We found that there were indeed downed trees all over the trails.

This past Christmas our oldest son and his family gave Juanita and I a pair of small, backpacker's cable saws.  When we got them, we thought, "These will be perfect for spring trail clearing!" and we stuck them in our saddlebags to make sure they were always with us when we needed them.

Since we were just delivering and leaving Bucky's trailer, we didn't take our horses down this trip. 
Since we weren't taking our horses down, we didn't take our saddles. 
Since we weren't taking our saddles, we didn't take our saddle bags.
Since we didn't have our saddle bags, we didn't have our stinking, perfect, brand new cable-saws.

I love my "Leatherman Wave" multi-tool, but its saw blade leaves something to be desired when you are taking down trees that have fallen across the trail.  I used it to finish cutting the broken stuff at the stumps, but damn.

On the plus side, the cable saws are still brand new!

 It was nice to ride, even though the snow did finally turn us back.  It was 80 degrees, but the 4-year-olds that some of us were riding had never seen snow.  Scary to a southern Arizona pony.

I wish we had had our horses with us. One foot of snow?  No problem!
(I would have had my saddle, too!)


Saturday, April 24, 2010


Well, we are "back in the saddle" here at the lodge after a very trying couple of weeks.

  Two weeks ago my brother called to tell me that his sixteen year old son was in intensive care in a hospital in Albuquerque.  He was in a coma after suffering heart failure while practicing with his high school cross country team.  I made a quick trip to Albuquerque and stayed for a weekend until he seemed to be stable and out of immediate danger, though still in a coma.  Our oldest daughter and a family friend worked at the lodge in my place taking care of the group we had in (thanks guys!).  After returning home, Juanita and I loaded up the truck for our vacation to Arizona this year, which involved delivering a horse trailer to a friend  at his ranch in the southern part of the state, near the Chiricahua National Monument and then going to visit our son and his family near Phoenix.  We dropped off the trailer and we were preparing to do some riding in the area, when my brother called to tell me his son had passed away shortly after a surgery to install a feeding tube.

  You read about young athletes having heart failure in the newspapers, or hear about them on the news.  But never think it will happen to anyone you love.

Rest in peace, Nick.  Sixteen years wasn't nearly long enough to know you.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A New Herd - or Two

We went with GunDiva to see her mare and had a great time with the third generation.  Ida bred each of Estes' daughters to the same Friesian stallion last year and seems to have gotten two pretty fantastic fillies.
Who are you?  Wanna play?
None of us had been in with the babies before, yet their curiosity got the best of them and they raced up to the GunDiva and pretended fright when she raised her arm.  Then they mugged her and got their first ever treats (I bet).  Sorry, Ida.  She couldn't resist; they were so cute.

Hi.  I'm Dakota.  I'll be a year old in May.
'Momma' Meeker with Bill
Notice Meeker's crescent, yet her daughter is pure black with no markings.
Hi.  I don't remember my name.  I'll be a year old in June.
Now notice that Audobon has no markings, yet her daughter has the distinct crescent on the forehead and one white hoof.  Looks more like her aunt!  Audobon is also half Belgian, I believe; much larger than her sister and a totally different nature, more stubborn like her draft daddy.  I'm curious to see if the fillies show a size difference later.  Right now they stay nip-and-tuck.
'Momma' Audobon
'Grandma' Estes and GunDiva
And the proud grandma with both grand-fillies in the background.  Estes has just had a mini spa day and is about to fall asleep on the hoof.  Couldn't quite get the babies to stand still long enough to get the burrs out of their forelocks, but Bill and GunDiva did get a curry on most of the mud spots-with no halters,even.  Although as soon as they were a little cleaner, they promptly waded into the pond-up to their bellies-and came back muddy again; just like their aunt Jesse, who is NO relation at all!
Hey!  I found the goodies!!!
The blue bucket is really GunDiva's grooming bucket, but I had tossed my little treat bucket into it to 'keep safe'.  Obviously there is nothing wrong with this one's smeller.  She zoomed right in on where those horse cookies were.
Where you goin' with the bucket????
Bill decided it was time for the buckets to go away - to the chagrin of the culprits!

On our way home we found a different herd - the Rocky Mt. Sheep were down by the road.  We were extremely happy to count all nine of them.  A week ago we had spotted a new herd of one male and three females in a different location, so the herds are expanding.  When we first moved to the mountains, we would only see five of them and watched as they aged - their horns growing more curl each year, and the numbers increasing every couple years.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just For Bill

We went to check on Estes last week (I really needed a horse fix), Bill spent a lot of time trying to get the perfect picture of her for me.

You wouldn't believe how many pictures he took (113) just to get these three with her tongue sticking out.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Recipe: Turkey & White Bean Chili

I know, I missed the recipe for March, so since it is still winter here in the high country, you get March's soup recipe.

Turkey & White Bean Chili

Brown the following ingredients until pink is gone:
• 3 T. Olive oil
• 3 lb. Ground turkey (93% lean)
• 1 ½ t. salt

Add the following, cook 4 more minutes:
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced

Add the following and bring to a boil:
• 4 T. Chili powder
• 1 t. cumin, ground
• 4-15 oz cans chopped tomato
• 4-15 oz cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 cans of water
• ground black pepper, to taste
• crushed red pepper, to taste

Simmer 30 minutes

Serves 12-15 people

This one is quickly becoming a favorite. Give it a try. Juanita

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Bowzer

The Easter Bowzer says... well, she doesn't say very much.
She's a dog, you know.

                                So I'll say it.  HAPPY EASTER, EVERYBODY!


(Juanita's horse would wear these, but mine would stomp me.  I'll just pick on the mutt.)