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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Springtime in the Rockies!

The  horses have been saying it for awhile; I have NOT been believing it as we are getting a good share of snow and lots and lots ... did I say LOTS ... of wind.  Today Jesse proved she was right - again!  As I was doling out 'bowl food' this morning, she raised her head and stared over my shoulder with the tiniest of sounds (meaning LOOK).  I turned and there was the prettiest, big bobcat staring right back at us, from in front of the neighbor's shed ... oh, 100 ft. away or so.  So we just stood and stared at each other for quite some time; it stayed even though I hollered at Bill who was filling the water tank.  A true sign of spring here in our mountain country!

When Bill saw it he commented on seeing kitty foot prints in the snow on our front porch, coming to just in front of the door, then turning and leaving.  He had thought they were too big for a normal sized cat, so considered maybe the neighbor's smaller dog, even though it was pretty obviously cat tracks.  Neither of us had thought about it being time for the spring cats to be out.  Yeah!   Warmer weather to follow!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Missed Manners

Juanita and I went out to feed the horses this morning.  Sophie the lodge dog asked if she could join us, and we let her.  She's pretty well behaved around the horses... no barking or chasing, and doesn't go into the corral.

Ranger is an old mustang, and has never been bothered by dogs.  I guess the Nevada coyotes weren't much of a nuisance to his herds in the wild. Ranger just ignores dogs.

When Jesse was just a few months old, Juanita started walking her up and down our roads, and was usually joined by neighbors walking their dogs.  Jesse thinks of dogs as her friends.

Washoe thinks dogs are an affront to all nature.  If all dogs were to disappear tomorrow, it would be a day too late for him.  Washoe HATES dogs.

As I was pouring the hot water into the horse water tank, and Juanita was getting the hay, we heard an earsplitting yelp and dog leapt back and gave me a VERY SURPRISED look.  "Did you see what he did?"

Sophie was snuffeling up the beet-pulp under Washoe's bowl, and she got grabbed by the scruff of her neck by a very annoyed horse.

She didn't get near his leftovers again.

The dog is rather like me.  I can't be taught, but I can be trained. 
There needs to be consequences.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Close Call

We live in a windy area, at least it is for 5 months out of the year.  November to April it blows almost all of the time.

In fact the monthly local paper is called the "Allenspark Wind".

The last week or so, the wind has been even worse than usual.  It has been blowing HARD.

We have to haul water by hand to keep the horses' water tank thawed.  One six gallon jug of hot water will usually suffice for the three of them, because they prefer drinking out of the stream at the bottom of their corral.  But for the last few days, I had to haul three or four jugs of water over to them.

"Bill, when I was feeding this morning, I saw the neighbor's trashcan had blown down the hill by the stream" Juanita told me.  Ahhh, that explains the extra usage of the "top" water.  I thought the stream had frozen closed, but there was a monster guarding the water hole.

I went down the hill and dug the garbage can out of the snowbank and carried it up the hill.  Ranger saw me coming and stood next to the feeder, bug-eyed and on full alert.  But Juanita's two greys ran over to me as I was crossing the corral to see what I had.

"Wacha' got, Beel?" they both asked, and snuffeled the can completely until they realized it had no food in it.  Then they wandered back to the feeder to eat hay.

Now, Ranger has always been ... umm... "concerned" about unusual things.  Like mail boxes, windshields, bunny rabbits... so me walking at him carrying a garbage pail would usually send him away in terror.  I have worked on this by making him "touch" things he spooks at.

As I continued carrying the trashcan  up to him, he turned his back to me and stuck his head into the feeder. And pretended to eat.  He held his head down by the hay, and stood there.  I'm not sure if he was even breathing.

I stood next to him holding the can and said "Hey Ranger!"

He pulled his head out of the feeder, gave me a nod and reached out with is chin in the equine equivalent of a "Hey, dude"/fist bump, and then stuck his head back into the feeder.

Wow, how very nonchalant.  "Gosh, you must not be bothered by this can at all, Ranger.  I guess you don't need to touch it".  And I crawled through the fence dragging the can behind me.

As I took the can back to the neighbors yard, I heard him breath again and  say-


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dry or Soggy

Food.  I prefer it with texture.

Bread pudding=not food.

Potato skins=food.
Mashed potatoes=not food.

I open the packages of "Peeps" several weeks before Easter so they will be edible by Easter.

My horse agrees with me.  When we have leftover pancakes or waffles after feeding our guests, we toss the breads on the griddle to dry out for the day.  They turn into very crisp horse treats.

One time, we tried to give the horses "fresh" pancakes.  Ranger took a bite, opened his mouth letting the food fall, and said "It's not ripe".  He wouldn't eat it.

I understand, buddy.

Now I'm going to make myself a hot chocolate and top it with a hand full of "harsh mallows".  It takes weeks for them to get ripe, too.



Friday, February 17, 2012


Juanita and I have been driving Chrysler product mini-vans for better than 20 years.  I am secure enough in my masculinity to not think anyone will mistake me for a soccer mom, and I like to be able to carry sheets of drywall/plywood/insulation/etc out of the weather without tarping.

Problem was, someone at Chrysler decided it was more important to have hiding seats than room for an axle underneath.  No more all wheel drive.

We live at 8500 feet, and we get snow up here.  It often falls on the roads.  The road crews are GREAT at clearing the highways, but sometimes we can't wait.  We NEED all wheel drive.

We tried waiting the folks out at Chrysler, hoping they would come to their senses, but no such luck so far.  Our '97 mini-van had 272,000 miles on it and I was getting worried.  That's over a quarter million miles.  The moon is less than 240,000 miles, and even NASA junked the rovers at that point.

So, earlier this week, we traded in or '97 for a '03 with 170,000 miles on it, to buy us some time.

And now, we wait again.


(When we pulled in with the replacement van, the horses were stone quiet even though it was well past dinner time.  They will recognize it soon enough, I'll betcha.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Road Rage

 Heading down the highway yesterday we hit a traffic jam.

Gridlock, Colorado style.

We don't hear the horns here so much as dodge them.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Routine

Our February routine is a fairly predictable one.

Get up, let the dog out, stoke the wood burning stoves, do office chores, if we have guests- make breakfast and feed the guests, feed the horses and haul a 6 gallon water can of hot water to their water tank. Back to the inside and work on chores around the place, until it gets dark and we feed the horses again.  Watch a movie while eating dinner.  Read, stoke the fires, go to bed.

No horseback riding in that list.  Limited outdoor activity, period.  With the temperatures running from 0 to the low 30's, and the wind blowing a lot of the time, neither us nor the horses are too thrilled with the prospect of saddling up and going for a trudge.

Get up, let the dog out, stoke the wood burning stoves...

Who was the genius that decided we should add the extra day in leap year to FEBRUARY?


Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Build a Snow Mountain

Let's just say that you will need ample snow... and a sufficiently ample tool.
Get ready ...
Get set ...


And LIFT .....
Again ...
Another pass .... you get the idea.
Finished product:  Mt. Park Inglot

Friday, February 3, 2012

Snow Day Play?

Usually when I enter the hay shed, I have to step UP a foot to get on the platform; tonight I had to step down.

It's less than 24 hours since the horses were running around on dry dirt, rolling and doing horsey stuff.  We now have a boat load of snow on the ground; hip deep on me and I'm not particularly short.  Bill looked out the window today and said the grays were running around in the snow.  I guess they just weren't going to let a little snow get in their way.  Wish I could feel the same way about it, but it is a lot easier getting around inside the corral where they keep it trampled down, instead of outside, even though it is pristine and pretty.
Their new shed:  do they use it?  Heck, NO!  Those white spots are the snowflakes still coming down.
Any of you HCR people remember the front yard of the Livery across the street?
This hitch rail is probably not going to do us a lot of good right now.  Mrs. Mom, can we come ride at your house?
Compass' car before she shoveled it out - THIS MORNING!
Outside one of our room windows; it really is pretty.
Yesterday - before snow; about the only action shot we could get and I'm sure you can all identify with this!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Hundred Foot Difference

Today the horses were looking kind of down.  Nothing too obvious, but the energy level was tanked.  Juanita thought a little change in scenery would help them, so we moved them into the neighbors empty coral while we moved some hay from the storage barn into the feed shed.

HUGE amounts of running, bucking, passing gas and rolling ensued!  The three of them were having the TIME OF THEIR LIVES!  They were moving around like five year old children with new tennis shoes.


On and on and on for a good ten minutes.  And then I ran to get the camera.  Of course, that put an end to that.  By the time I got back, they were pretty much just standing around panting and smiling like the big dogs they are.

Now the snow has set in (10-20 inches expected by morning).

I wish we could have channeled their energy into moving the darn hay.  We would be done til spring.