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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rode Trip

B-  Hey Ranger!  We have a lodge full of "scrap-bookers" that would like to meet you.  Let's go into the lodge before we go for a ride.

R-  Okay Beel.

R-  There is something here Beel.

R-  You have snacks.  That is good.
B-  You dope!  Don't eat the houseplants.  It will probably make you sick.

R-  I only eated a small some.  I will eat more tomorrow if I do not get a belly hurt.

B-  No you won't.  We're outa here.

B-  All righty, let's go for a ride with Compass, the manager of the livery next door.  She wants go go out with her horse Eli, and a new addition to the livery, Blue.

R-  I have meeted the horse she is sit on.  He was part of my herd.  I do not know the following horse.  His head is bigger than all of me.

B-  That's the new Percheron cross, Blue.

R- He is big,

B-  Yup.  She's ponying him to get him used to the trails up here.  And speaking of trails, here we go!

R-  I do not think the big one will fit.

B-  He'll be fine.  But the trail is pretty snow drifted.   HEY COMPASS,  LET"S HEAD BA...

R-  The one she is sitting on falled down in the snow.  Now he is up.  Now he is down.  Now he is up.  Down.  Up.  I think he is staying up now.  He is walking with an ouch.

B-  Compass!  You Okay?  Yeah, Eli is limping on both hinds.  Good thing you brought a spare.  Man, Eli is a big horse but your saddle just BARELY fits Blue!  And there is NO WAY your bridle will go even halfway up his nose.  You say you've never ridden him before?  Well, maybe if we clip one of the reins to the side of his halter, you will at least get stop.  Okay let's mosey.

R-  The nice neighbor lady almost could not get up to the top of the big horse.

B-  It was quite a stretch, that's a fact.  A Percheron cross makes for a big 'un.

R-  The one in the little truck is staring at us.  I do not think he has seen horses before.

B-  Well, maybe just not loose ones. 

B-  Okay, Eli is walking fine now that we have made it back to the livery.  Let's drop him off, grab a bridle that will fit Blue, and just ride around the block.

B-  Wow.  You only have ONE bridle that will fit that jug head of his, and it's a closed, driving headstall?  Well, let's see how he does with blinders.

R-  He is big Beel.

B-  All right Ranger, we're back home.  Even got in a short lope.  It was kind of like cantering next to a freight train.

R-  I understand why they are called  Perch-up-ons.  But he did not seem very cross to me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Short One on the Grays

There is still a lot of snow in the high country around us up here.  And all of the northern slopes near us are still under a couple feet of snow.  But the hill side across from us is dry and beckoning us to come ride, so today we did.

The last time we went out for a short ride, I rode Ranger and towed Washoe behind as we trotted down the neighborhood dirt roads.  Ranger went into a long trot (okay, it was long for HIM) and seemed to have a wonderful day.  Today we went out without saddles, just towels to keep our jeans clean.  I don't like ponying a horse when I don't have a saddle, and it was Washoe's turn to go out with a rider, so Ranger stayed behind.  He was not pleased.  We went out for less than 45 minutes, and Ranger sang from the corral  the whole time.

Juanita was on Jesse.

 I was on Washoe.

We ran into a couple neighbors that had gone out for a short hike, and had been turned back by the deep snow on the north face of the hill.  We chatted for a couple minutes, and then continued our ride.

Quite soon, we were also turned back by the deep snow.

Meeker Peak is still VERY snow covered.

 As we rode back down into the Greater Allenspark Metropolitan Area, We could REALLY hear Ranger hollering up to us.  Kind of odd.  He usually is okay with being left alone.  May actually prefer it.

As we rode over to the corral, we were greeted by a rather pitiful horse, looking quite wounded.

We climbed off of the two grays, and turned them loose in the corral.  Ranger came up to me and looked at me balefully.

Oh yeah.  If you don't go out, you don't get a post ride treat.

Sorry buddy.  Next time.


Monday, April 14, 2014

If The Trend Continues, We will Be Flossing

It's been a few days since I've blogged. 

Our horses are home and we get to spend time with them.
But I'm not blogging on that.

A couple days ago I helped build a pen for our oldest daughter's soon to arrive new horse (a mustang).
But I'm not blogging on that.

Yesterday we had about 12" of new snow, and the temp was *8F this morning.
But I'm not blogging on that.

I'm blogging on TP.

Now, I have noticed a trend lately.  Manufacturers are downsizing the packaging or product size for the stuff they sell. It is getting very hard to buy a half gallon of ice cream. It can still be done, and I make sure I don't buy the "one and a half quart" container, even if it means I don't get any ice cream.  I can not tell you how mad I was a couple years back when I realized I hadn't bought a gallon of paint. 

It was 3 5/8 quarts.


Well, we have a lodge with 13 guest rooms.  We sometimes have up to 28 guests spending the night with us.  We feed and house these nice folks, and take care of their needs.  We are the ones who buy the huge cases of eggs,  massive bundles of paper towels, and megga cases of TP at the warehouse clubs. We go through a lot of toilet paper.  A LOT of toilet paper.

This week we bought a case of TP and I noticed the box was different.  Sure enough, the rolls were now 429 sheets rather than 450 sheets.  "You jerks" I think to myself.

I install a roll in one of our holders.

Really?  Fewer squares AND a narrower roll?

Four inches wide, rather than four and a half inches wide.

I looked for wider stuff, but I can't buy it in bulk locally.  Most manufacturers seem to have gone narrower.

Tomorrow I will be looking for new TP holders for the lodge.

So to the corporate leaders that make the decisions to downsize products:  Please let me know that is what you do when you check in to my lodge to spend the night.

Your check out is 37 minutes and 18  seconds sooner than anyone else's.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Ride of 2014

I know a lot of you have had multiple rides by now, but we were pretty pleased that we were finally able to get the horses home.  The next day was beautiful and it was obvious what was needed.  The snow is still too deep and unpredictable to be on the mountain, so we figured our 1.5 mile loop around town would suffice for a start.
Looks like somebody is pretty happy to have his best bud back.  Notice the snow on the steps of the cabin.
Is that really running water?  Yes, Washoe, the snow IS melting.
The horses were happy and spunky, choosing to long trot a good deal of the distance.  As soon as they had limbered up a bit, Jesse broke into her fun version of a running walk, with Ranger dropping in right at her heels with his trot.  Normally Ranger can not be bothered to go faster than a walk unless his life is in danger, so we were more than mildly surprised with his attitude and his choice to start off at such a brisk pace.  They certainly came home in great condition this year; not over weight and very toned.  I also suspect some of the good came from Bill changing to a lighter weight saddle.
Ranger also came home looking like someone really had bleached his mane.  It's not usually quite this light!
When we got home, Jesse just had to have a good roll in the muddy part of the corral.  She had been so pretty and clean and white.

The rest of us just watched in amazement.
"Please."  You couldn't possibly tell they are all waiting for me to dig treats out of my pocket.  It's kind of a ritual between them and me; if we've had a good outing, they each get a treat just before I leave the corral; no pushing, no shoving, just a nice polite, "please".

Found one.  Enlarge the picture and you will see the treat in my hand.  Now the wait to see whose name I say to get this treat; they know they will each get one.  A happy ending for all.

As I write this, I am watching it snow outside.  We woke up to five inches already on the ground.  I would guess we have had at least eight or nine by now.  The horses were not too happy at the change of weather for this morning's feeding, but they have such phenomenal furnace systems.  They quit shivering as soon as they started munching their morning hay.  The forecast improves tomorrow, so they are probably going to live through this also.  I can certainly empathize with them; I think we are all ready for spring.
Bionic Cowgirl

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

They're Home!

Today we brought the horses home!  All of a sudden I feel energized; what a difference it makes to have them where we can go touch them and love on them.  They did their normal whinnying when they got out of the trailer and stood looking toward their corral - announcing their arrival.

And what do you do when you find all this lovely snow in your pen?  You make snow Pegasus!

It took all of 15 minutes to catch them and load them in the trailer - even Ranger.  He tried half-heartedly to make it exciting, but ended up cornering himself in a small area with Jesse, Washoe and I blocking the only exit.  He could easily have smashed through us but chose to stick his nose in the halter Bill was holding and walk nonchalantly to the trailer.  He can be good, it just has to be his choice.  I hope they are as happy to be here as we are to have them.

Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sometimes I Don't Like My Horse

B-  Say Juanita, after a fun day at the zoo, I'd like to stop and brush our horses for a couple minutes.

B- Ranger! Jesse!  Washoe!  HEY YOU GUYS!  TREAT!


R- Do not give away all of the waffle treats Beel.  I am here to eat them.

B-   I saved some for you, Ranger.  And I brought the curry comb to scrape off some of your winter hair.


B-  Okay buddy, we're going to take off now.  Be a good horse.  Eh well... just be a horse.

R-  Okay Beel.  I will see you on another day.  Bring waffles.

B-  Well that was fun, Juanita.  Got a horse fix and now we're heading home. What?  I think you're right!  That was the Ranchers Daughter that just passed us with the horse trailer.  Today must be the day our horses need to move to the next pasture.  We should go help.  I'll just turn around here...

B-  Hey!  Need any help catching the horses?

RD-  That might be good.  Sometimes Ranger can be... difficult.

B-  Naw, we just spent a half hour brushing and feeding them.  It'll only take a minute...

B-  Ranger!  Jesse!  Washoe!


B-  Hey you guys!  Okay Jesse, you have your halter on.  And Washoe, there's yours.  And the other two mares get theirs.  And now, Ranger, here's yo...

R-  No Beel.

B-  Awww for Pete's Sake, Ranger.  Get over here and put your halter on.

R-  No Beel.  It is the same day.  You are supposed to come see me on another day.  You must go away now.

B-  Now stop that!  You get your tail back here and

R-  No Beel.  It is time for me to run away.

B-  Hold still!  Just stop!  Wait! 


B- You turd.


B-  Okay, now just...

R-  Goodby Beel.


B-  I can still see you Ranger!.  It's only 40 acres.  (Of course, you're a quarter mile away now.)





B-  Okay, Ranger.  We took down part of the fence so you can go stand next to the other horses by the trailer!  Isn't that wonderful?

R-  No Beel.  You must not go through fences.  It is against the rules.  You must wear a head rope to go through fences.

B-  Well, just stand still and I'll put a halter on you and...

R- No Beel.


B-  I'll kill him.  I'll flipping kill him.

RD-  Say Bill,  How about I saddle up one of my mares and try to circle him back to the trailer?

B-  Sounds good.  I've been stomping around here for nearly an hour and a half.  (I could have gone home and gotten a gun by now...)

RD-  All right, here we go.


B-  Quick Ranger!  Run to the trailer and hide behind Jesse!


B-  Quick, Juanita!  Catch him while he' already have a piece of twine around his neck.

R-  Hello Beel.  Waneeta said I have to go now.

B-  I don't even like you, horse.

R-  Do you have waffle treats Waneeta?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Zoo Day

It was April 1st this week and even though we are still getting lots of snow (five inches last night), it seemed like we should do something 'spring-like'.  When Nebalee mentioned taking some of the younger kids to the zoo for Spring Break, we sort of invited ourselves along.   It had been years since Bill and I had been to the Denver Zoo and it is always a favorite.... with lots of changes since our last trip.

There are new 'attractions' at the entrance, like these metal statues that capture the heart and get you prepared for what's ahead.  We saw the real items later in the afternoon.
And how much cuter can warthogs get?
Here's the real item - not exactly a Disney scene, this one.
We finally got everyone gathered together - inside - the gates and started off.
One of the little ones with us was in a body cast and wheel chair; two weeks ago she had a hip restructured and has to be in a cast for 12 weeks.  Never a sound of complaint out of her; what a trooper!

The first exhibit we came to were a couple of hornbills - displaying signs of spring courtship.

In the same exhibit, watching very carefully, these deer-type critters seem almost mesmerized.  The one in the back is one of the zoo's new babies.
And of course, strolling the fence next door...were these two cheetahs.   ???
By this time it is mid-morning and Papa Bill 'needs a rest, but his feet are too short to reach the ground'.  Asset is not buying his story, but is willing to entertain him on the bench.
What's a good zoo without a monkey house ....

....which was remodeled just three years after our lodge was built...and has lots of monkeys.
While us older ones were being entertained by these guys, the younger ones found that a 'hands on' experience was much more exciting.  Really - a goose?

Just shows you where the priorities are!  Fortunately for them, there was a great surprise in store.  One of the friends with us has a relative who works in the bird section of the zoo.  We met her just before lunch and she introduced us to her favorite buddy, Imok.
 This flamingo was hand raised and just LOVES any human attention she can get, so of course most wanted their chance to snuggle with her.
Nebelle, giggling because it tickles to have a bird poke its beak into your armpit.
The younger kids weren't in the least intimidated by this brightly colored bird on stilts, in fact....
I was beginning to think we would have to leave the youngest there.  He kept going back for more snuggles.  At least he and the bird matched.
Neither was the bird intimidated by the wheel chair; she brought lots of smiles this day.

Even Papa Bill had to get in on the act!

It was very gracious of this lady to spend so much time with us and the kids, explaining how the birds eat, answering all their questions, letting us invade her workspace and giving the birds extra treats to show the kids.

When the other flamingos realized treats were involved, they wanted to come see, too.
This is what 73 flamingos look like inside their winter quarters.  They are scheduled to be put back outside in a couple of weeks, when the temperatures are a little more moderate.
It's a little difficult following a class act like that, so we opted for lunch, and found a nice picnic table outside the pachyderm pavilion.  We finished our picnic just in time to see the afternoon elephant demo.  Meet Dolly, the audience loving elephant.  Her favorite trick seems to be holding her trunk in her mouth.

That's the end of a 'runway' she is standing on and she hogged it all to herself for the entire show.  Apparently, the other elephants don't trust her to not throw them into the water - and it's cold right now.

Across from the elephants were a couple Somali Wild Asses.  They spent a lot of time chasing each other around their huge enclosure.  They made me think of a cross between a long-ears and a zebra.
We saw this strange site; a zoo keeping snuggling with a rhino.  Now that's a face only a true animal lover could like.  It's good to see that there seems to be real fondness between the animals and their caretakers here at the Denver Zoo.
We got to see the youngest member out on exhibit; an Okapi.  It looks like a baby zebra that got its front end dipped in dark ink.
He even had an official birth announcement.  He's barely two months old.
Finally, the live giraffes; much more elegant than the ones at the entrance.
The littlest member of our group was getting tired by now, so Kyzer took over the chair controls.  All the kids were so good the whole time.

We had promised Asset that we would look for turtles, so we headed for the Tropical exhibit and made a quick run through.  The little rays caused some fascination; they put on a show while the kids watched.
Then it was time to head for home.  Bill and I made a fast run into the 'cat house'.  These Servels curled up in their food dish looked just like we were beginning to feel.

 It was a very full, busy day; this was only a portion of the animals we saw.  I guess we should go more often.
Bionic Cowgirl