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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From Deep in the Heart of the Rockies

Just wanted to share our winter wonderland and wish everyone Merry Christmas!!!
St. Catherine's Chapel at Camp St. Malo
 Long' Peak (right) and Mt. Meeker (left)
Sorry, Mr. Daddy.  These two burros are as close as we could find to elk.
Sophie is rolling her eyes at Bill....
From Jesse and I
Washoe said, "I'll shake it, but I won't wear it!"  As soon as this shot was taken, he took it from my hand and threw it on the ground.

Ranger liked the idea of that silly elf hat even less....
  Estes, on the other hand, was more than happy to model.  Isn't she stunning in green?
 And, not to be left out, Mr. Eli, who came back and asked to have the hat - again.
Bill had to wear his antlers at a rakish angle so Ranger would quit snorting at them.
Bill, Juanita, Sophie, Ranger, Jesse, Washoe,
Estes,  & Phoenix the Dove

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last of Vegas

We don't get out much.  Still talking about our vacation a couple weeks ago.  Time to put this puppy to bed.

We did fun stuff.

We ate well.

 I think this is some sort of red mutant cockroach out of the cryptobiotic dust.

We were in "Cowboy Christmas", one of the larger shopping gatherings during the rodeo national finals, when we saw this display.

Bullet and Trigger.  Roy Rogers' faithful sidekicks.

While looking at the display, a younger women asked "Who is Roy Rogers?"

Words fail me.  I am old.  Oh My Goodness, I named my mustang "Ranger" because we bought him the day Clayton Moore died (okay, for you children, he played the Lone Ranger on over half of the TV shows) and I thought "Clayton" would be a stupid name for a horse. 

Who is Roy Rogers?  Gene Autry?  Hopalong Cassidy?

How about- Who is 50 Scent? Enema (or is it Eminem)? Snoop Doggy?  Assalt and Pepper?

I am old now.

I remember, years ago I heard Roy had Bullet stuffed after he passed away.  Roy had Trigger stuffed after he passed away.  I remember thinking "Man, I hope Roy dies before Dale...". 

If you get that, congratulations. You are old, too.

Happy Trails.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Paris? (Just for you, Rachel)

Me: “Hey, sorry we couldn’t get together this afternoon. We had just gotten into town when you called and we were trying to get the rental car, check in and get rodeo tickets, so I wasn’t sure of our schedule. So how about going out with us tonight? We’ll pick you up and you can just hang out with us while we check out what’s going on around town.”

The Kid: “No, thanks. I’m in bed, reading.”
(Huh?) It’s 10:00 pm and we are in Las Vegas!

Me: “Come on. Get up. ”

The Kid: “I’m too tired and I have to be up early for a meeting. I’m working here, you know.”

Me: “ You told me you took a three hour nap this afternoon. Get your butt out of bed and let’s go have some fun. We won’t be that late.”

The Kid: “I have a 7:00 am meeting and I have to look like I know what I’m talking about (or something along those lines…)”

Me, figuring in my head, sleep 1:00 am – 6:00 am is 5 hrs. plus 3 hrs. from earlier equals 8 hrs. (right?): “How much sleep do you need? Get your butt up and come meet us!”

The Kid: “I’m older, Mom. I need sleep.”

Me (Huh?): “I’m still 20 some years OLDER than you! How much sleep do you need?”
We won’t discuss that answer, but I actually LOST that argument. She refused to meet us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
You don’t want to go up the Eiffel Tower with us?
Whose daughter could say ‘No’ two days in a row? GunDiva, that’s who! OK, maybe it wasn’t Paris, France, but we thought she could trot along with us on our adventure. After all, we had gone to her hotel to watch the rodeo, so she could join us after her mandatory dinner. Had a great time there; we were given a primo table to watch from and GunDiva only missed the first event, bareback riding. Afterward, we were all psyched to walk a few blocks to Paris and go up the Tower to watch the Belagio fountains.

But guess who decided she needed sleep so she could be responsible at her work meetings the next day? Where did this child of mine come from? Where did I fail her? Well, OK, I’m pretty proud of her and she’s not much of a child anymore….but, dang, it’s Vegas. Maybe next year….


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Opening Rodeo, Hoover Dam

We got to Las Vegas about two hours before the first rodeo and got checked into our hotel, actually Motel 6.  This year we opted to stay at a 'regular' motel instead of a casino.  Our biggest complaint has always been having to traipse through the casino every time we wanted to enter or leave our rooms.  Try carrying a lot of horsey type stuff (2-3 trips to the car) through a really busy casino and up the elevators to whatever tower they have assigned you to.  Then you never get complete quiet - guess why.  None of us are gamblers so the only entertainment value is eye-candy for the guys, checking out the skimpy bar hops.  So we opted for Motel 6, which was much more convenient, for all of the above reasons.  (Of course, you have already read Bill's plumbing version of the stay!)

We travel with some friends who have had box seat tickets for the last 25! years. We buy our tickets when we get there because I refuse to pay online prices for them, so we only get to see whatever rodeos we can find tickets to.  It's not a problem, because we actually enjoy seeing some of the action on the big screens in the bars, to get the behind-the-scenes views.  On the off chance of getting tickets for the first performance, being on a Thursday and all, we stopped by Cowboy Christmas and checked the ticket booth.  Managed to scrounge some plaza tickets (just above the boxes) and we were all off to the rodeo.

Reba McIntire sang the national anthem.  Wow!  She still looks great and she sure knows how to do justice to that song. I didn't know that was how she got her start in the rodeo finals.  Then a bunch of fireworks and the most amazing horse act.  With all the fireworks going on and just spotlights, four girls rode their horses out to the 4-point positions and a final rider appeared on a beautiful palomino with a mane that touched the ground (how many hair extensions did that take?).  That horse pirouretted around on his hind legs while his rider did rope tricks from his back, including encircling himself and horse while rearing.  That horse was amazing to let all that go on around him and put on such a performance.  The epitomy of a true actor!
At the beginning of every performance, all contestants ride into the arena and form this type of lineup - by state - and do a formal salute to the audience.  They all raise their stetsons in a cool salute, then they all charge out at a full gallop.  It's pretty breathtaking, to say the least.  However, on the first night, about the tenth or twelfth horse in lost its footing at the far end and bit the dust, dumping the rider.  A little excitement prevailed as the poor, startled horse did NOT want to further participate.  The announcer decided he was a roping horse because of the speed with which he could back away from anyone trying to snag his reins!

The rest of the action was just too fast for my camera to catch; all the images were just blurs.  Remember, this is the top 15 riders (and the best animals) in each category:  bareback riding, steer roping (bull dogging, in the old days), team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping (calf roping), barrel racing, and bull riding.  Just a note:  the bulls were way ahead of cowboys this night!  Remember when 'bull-fighters' were called clowns, and it was NOT a derision?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _
To amuse ourselves during the daytime in Las Vegas, we do day trips, shop, wander, etc. (never sleep).
When we were in Las Vegas last year, we visited the Hoover Dam and were amazed by the construction of the huge new bypass, to keep all the traffic off the dam proper. The magnificence of the original dam project was about to be superseded by this new project: huge concrete and steel stanchions leaning out over a deep chasm – an abhorition in the sky. Now we visit to find all those cranes and stanchions are gone and in their place is a beautiful, arched bridge.

We had heard that when the new bridge opened you would no longer be allowed to cross the dam on the ‘old’ highway, so when we came to the junction, we opted to go across the new bridge, thinking we would have this wonderful view of the world, including the dam and Lake Mead. Obviously, we were in a lineup of cars of similar thinking. Nothing could have been further from the truth; the ‘protective’ concrete walls were at the exact height to completely obscure all vision from short rental cars. Bill figured semi drivers probably had the best - and only – view.
 Old road across the dam, as seen from the new bridge.
 New road as seen from the old road.

We drove back across the new bridge to the junction in the road and went on the old road, across the dam (may be the last time we ever get to do that), turned around and crossed again – for good luck. This time when we came to parking we stopped and walked up the new pathway to the new bridge.
 It’s a really nice path up, either stairs or ramps, and sitting areas along the way.
 Once you get to the bridge, it’s 1.5 miles to cross and back! We walked to the middle, took lots of pictures and headed back.

 It's a looooong way down!
As we walked down the path to the parking lot we noticed cairns people had set up: hundreds of cairns side by side.

Not to be outdone, we added our stones to the cairns.

Well, time to go poke a sleeping dog, errrr Bill.  Both seem to have fallen asleep on the floor in front of a fire, obviously trying out Sophie's new pillow/bed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zion National Park

The next leg of our journey took us to Zion National Park.  Even on our way to Zion, the scenery was majestic!

In case you all think it is always warm in these parks, it was 19 whole degrees outside when we took these pictures.  The snow on the trails  - and on the roads - meant not much hiking; but it sure made for beautiful scenery.  The ranger at the gate warned us that 10-15 mph was advisable as we approached and left the tunnel.  This was taken after leaving the tunnel.
OK, so a couple of places were just too high and straight up for even snow to stick.
For one last chance at a short hike, we drove into one of the loops to Temple of Sinawava, and found the river walk somewhat doable.
Even the waterfalls were frozen.....

 Even the waterfalls were frozen.....
Oops!  Getting late...onward to Las Vegas.  Gotta be there in time for the kick-off rodeo!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arches National Park

On our way to the rodeo we opted to leave a day early and drive through Arches National Park. It turned into a bright, sunny day, but still very chilly, so the previous day’s snow was still in the Park when we got there. It made everything especially paradoxical, a study in contrasts, such as reddish hoodoos against a backdrop of steep, snow-covered mountains.

We decided a short hike was a necessity, after sitting in the car for several hours, so we headed to the North and South Windows.

Of course, being ‘mountain’ people, we decided to take the precipitous trail around the back side.
We had to practice our trail skills following cairns, but couldn’t help laughing at the ones growing antlers.

Along the way we had to practice our reading skills at the many signs. Notice all the footprints; obviously today’s hikers are not too literate.

Maybe that wasn’t the best decision, as we found Bill in the trail like this:

Gotcha! It’s just Bill being Bill!  Fortunately, Ranger wasn't here to see this.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cliff Notes of Our 2010 Vacation

To make a long story short (Have you ever noticed if you hear that, it NEVER happens?)

We got ready to go on our vacation.  I changed a half dozen washers in faucets to stop them from leaking.  I changed the flapper in one toilet and the fill valve in another to stop their leaking.

We went to visit our friends in southern Arizona, Bucky, Andrea and their kid Jake a couple days before Thanksgiving. His toilet was running.  I fiddled with the fill valve.

We went to visit our son and his crew in Surprise Arizona (just north of Phoenix) and stayed in the campground outside town (White Tanks).  Never did get that shower in the camp ground to shut off.

Really liked the light switch in the shower house.  Sometimes you just need a reason.

We stopped by in Albuquerque to visit my sister and her boyfriend and see the house they have just purchased (WOW! Nice!).

We went back home for a couple of days and fixed the broken pipes that had frozen during the cold snap we missed while we were in Arizona.

We picked up a couple of friends and went to Utah to see a couple National Parks, Arches and Zion.

We drove over to the Boulder Dam to see the new bridge that was put in so everyone wouldn't need to drive over the dam.

We drove over the dam anyways.

 Water level is down in Lake Mead.  Must be leaking.

We went to Las Vegas to see the first half of the National Finals Rodeo.

We stayed in a motel rather than a casino so we wouldn't have to walk miles just to get to our car. The toilet was gurgling when we walked in.  When I test-flushed it, it overflowed.  I called the office.  They replied "So do you need a plunger or what?"

I went to the office for a plunger.

We went to the rodeos and did assorted touristy stuff for the rest of the week.

 Water spraying all over down there at the Belagio.  Probably a broken pipe or something.

We came home and worked on the water heater that had sprung a leak while we were in Nevada.

Juanita will have to give details on the actual vacation.  I'm spending my time listening for dripping sounds, and checking to make sure my pants are completely pulled up.

I seem to have developed a twitch.

I REALLY don't like plumbing.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're Back!

Just got back from our wanderings of two weeks; yes, we were home for 2 days in between the two weeks, but that was so crammed full of stuff to do to switch from one trip to another, I didn't get the blogging done that I wanted.  Now, let's hope I can catch up.  Of course, high on the priority list is checking on the horses (more for my peace of mind than theirs) because we MISS them!!!!  We had a wonderful time at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeos; will try to get my scattered thoughts on 'paper' here soon.  Lots of reading to catch up on, too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Turnout update

I haven't been out to see the horses in their temporary pasture and am dependent on Mom and Bill for my updates. Lucky for me, I was able to catch up with them in Las Vegas and get at least a verbal update. I don't know if they got pictures last week when they visited, but they assured me that the horses are all doing well and have "fuzzied up". According to Mom, they've got twice the fuzzies they had when we turned them out and are fat and sassy.

Like you, I wish we had pictures, but we'll have to wait until Mom and Bill are back from the NFR in a couple of days.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turnout Video

The video of the turnout is up at GunDiva's place, Tales from the Trail.

Please forgive the choppiness of the video - first time using YouTube's video editor (yikes!).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

They're Gone

Yesterday was turnout time - horses went down the road to a winter pasture on Hwy 72.  Now that the tears have quit flowing long enough to type - tears of laughter, not sorrow....  We had five horses to transport and a three horse trailer, so we decided to take Eli, Estes, and Washoe first, then return for Jesse and Ranger.  All the horses were as excited as we were; getting only three out of the pen turned out to be quite a challenge...'cause the other two did NOT want left behind (it's their trailer, you know!)  I explained that we would be back and they were slightly mollified, although when we returned one was standing point-guard at each end of the corral, heads up in alert position, listening for the trailer.  As we pulled in we could hear them start to whinny and true to form, they were waiting at the gate to get haltered.  Loading?  Took about 30 seconds!

I only have a few still shots because I was trying to work GunDiva's Flip camera and Bill had his on video also, but you will get the idea.....
As they were getting unloaded, Washoe immediately took off through the trees, even though he had no clue where he was going - they have never been on this pasture before.
This is a new area to the horses; the rancher who leases it to Ida just wanted the pasture eaten down a bit before next year, so our guys get to spend the next month there, then we will transport them back to the main ranch in mid-December.

As we pulled up with the second load, we couldn't see the first three.  We stopped, started to unload and turned around to find we were being watched.  It was like they had just materialized; they've been watching Harry Potter...(invisibility cloak).

Isn't this a great shot of Eli?
How's this for a backdrop?  That's the Indian Peaks, almost always covered in snow.
From L to R:  Eli, Estes, Jesse, Ranger, Washoe
If I managed to get the Flip's videos uploaded OK, you should be able to see some fun videos from one of GunDiva's blogs....or maybe Bill can get his posted.  My pics are after the horses settled down!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Really Don't TRY To Kill Cops...

 Sometimes it just works out that way.

One of the Blogs that we regularly follow is written by a police officer in an unnamed western city.  We invited Momma Fargo and her daughter Bug (aka "The Squirrel") to spend a couple days with us and maybe do some horseback riding before we turn our horses loose for the winter.  Not really that complicated a plan.  Our daughter GunDiva, and another friend, T!ink (two more bloggers) showed up so we all went out for a wintery ride in the Rockies. We ran out of horses, so Juanita stayed home to keep the home fires burning.

We had gone nearly 100 yards, when Washoe (The Wonder Idiot) decided the small stream that he drinks out of EVERY DAY was some sort of threat to his welfare.  He LEAPT over that foot wide trickle of water.
                                   ( My camera was in my pocket)

  Sadly, Momma Fargo was riding him bareback, and didn't know about his fear of that 5 foot long section of stream (training incident when he was a colt) and was unprepared for lift-off.  World class six point landing.  Four hooves and two butt cheeks hit the ground at about the same moment.  Momma dusted the snow off her... ummm... pride and climbed back up and we all went for a comparatively uneventful ride.

Back to front- Me (other side of camera), Momma Fargo (with snow on back and rear), Bug, T!nk and GunDiva in lead.

Later when we got home, a neighbor that was moving to Florida, brought us a t-shirt, quickly modeled by Momma Fargo.

All in all, it was a great, quiet couple of days and it was wonderful to meet other bloggers (and the Bug!).