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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

GRV - The Biting Fence

October 18: Day 6
It’s another bright, sunny day and boy would a shower feel great. We aren’t used to the heat and it has been between 80 and 90 since getting into AZ. We decide to walk to the shower house, and what a wonderful surprise. It’s a beautiful brick structure, all tiled inside, bright and clean. It’s divided into two sections, for men and women, each with several very large shower stalls and obviously low-flow shower heads, but with plenty of pressure and the water was hot.
Now it’s time to head for White Tanks Regional Park outside Phoenix, AZ ( This is just about 10 minutes from our son Daniel’s house in Surprise, so it makes a great place to camp with the horses, since they have an equine camping area. We pull out at 7:30 am, and reach the outskirts of Phoenix about 10:00 am. The next half hour is a little hairy because we end up in some major busy street traffic after leaving the highway, and it’s hot. Fortunately it’s only a half hour and the horses handled the heat well. They are really wonderful travelers.

We check in at the park. The park ranger tells us he’s worked there over 1 ½ yrs. and nobody had camped there with their horses, so the sheriff will probably stop and check on us being in the park after hours. They actually lock up this park at night and reopen at 6:00 am. He directs us to the equine camping area and we pick the spot near a tree for shade and a picnic table. Bill backs the trailer in perpendicular to the tree and makes a really nice shady spot for the corral. We setup camp, using our PVC pipe panels for the horses. Bill had cut enough pipe for a couple more panels, so with 6 of them, it’s really pretty good space for 3 if they behave. We ran a hot wire around the top and between the lower bars so Jesse wouldn’t pick up the corral and move it. The whole setup works really well, and it folds up like an accordion to hang on the side of the trailer.

OK, the corral is good until a horse touches the hot wire. Ranger hit it first and wouldn’t leave the middle of the corral because if you go near the fence something bites you. So you have to bite the others so you get the center to yourself. Then Washoe touches it reaching for a leaf and jumps, touches it again and jumps again, then stands there staring at the leaf. Jesse just watches from her little corner by the trailer and thinks the guys are pretty stupid to not figure this out.
If you get bored you can play with the handle on the water tub, according to Washoe, or you can pick it up and drop it to make the water splash to cool your face, according to Jesse, or you can just hang out in the middle of the corral and nap, according to Ranger, slightly bug-eyed, biting at anybody trying to get him closer to the edge. Bill finally takes him out and ties him to the tree in the shade. However, the next day he discovered the tree bites, too. It was a very prickly desert “Russian olive” type and he scratched his nose trying to rub on it. He didn’t seem to hold a grudge against the tree, though, like the fence. I guess it was easier to figure out than a wire.

We call the kids to let them know we have arrived and come on over. They can’t get there until later so we nap and read until it cools off a little and decide to go for a short ride. We saddle up Ranger and Jesse and get ready to mount when the sheriff does pull up. He’s a really nice guy with an interest in horses, having grown up with them in NM. We spend about ½ hr. talking to him and getting all kinds of information about other places to come back to ride next time. He tells us to be careful of mountain lions. The deer population has gone from about 900 to about 400 over the last year because the lion population has grown so much. Bill thinks we could have had a job if we wanted it! By the time we got started we only got to ride an hour, so we could be back before the kids came, but it was a nice easy intro for the horses to the type of trails we would be on.

The kids showed up about 7:00 pm and brought dinner with them. They had made a chicken, rice and broccoli casserole and garlic bread, so we didn’t have to cook…and iced tea. It was great having something cold to drink after warm water the last couple of days. We spend the rest of the evening gabbing, watching deer, and watching a huge ¾ Halloween-type moon come up over Phoenix. A great way to end the evening.

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