Sunday, August 5, 2007

July 30, 2007

Pinetop, Arizona July 29-30

We drove out Sunday morning, July 29th, to visit the Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery, but it was closed on the weekends, so we continued on along the gravel/dirt road to find Hawley Lake at 8,500 ft elevation on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. It was quite a drive, but we saw lots of pretty country including loose cattle in the meadows and trees. We drove half way around the Lake and stopped for a snack at the camp store. This, and the Outer Logs Campground, by the river, looked like very nice places to camp. Who would think that this mountainous area full of pine trees and streams would be in Arizona. We got back to Pinetop by 12:30 pm because Scott and Alisa had to drive back to Sierra Vista to work this week. Braden kept busy with racket ball, pool and mini-golf, while Emily and Heather watched movies in the room. We would spend the upcoming days discovering the area.

On Monday, July 30th we were off for our horse back riding adventure. We had already scouted out the Porter Mountain Stables so got there way early to be able to pet the horses. Emily got to put the bridle on her appaloosa horse, Buckshot, because her wrangler had one arm in a sling. Heather was a bit hesitant on top her horse, since it was only her second time, and Braden seemed to be ready to go. I was to follow Buckshot in line, on "Yellow" and was warned that Yellow, a palomino, might get kicked if following Buckshot too closely. Also Yellow didn't like crossing water and would get spooked at flapping clothing. No problem. We started out by crossing the road and continued on a leisurely promenade through the pines, then we started down the rocky and muddy trail down to the stream. Yellow did just fine crossing the stream, although he jumped the little ditch just after we had crossed the road. As we climbed back out and up the rocky trail we reached a meadow and it started to rain. The guide said everyone could put on the "slickers" tied to the saddle if they wanted. Of course we all thought positively and declined the opportunity. As soon as we started out again and were among the pines and rocks, it started pouring rain. The thunder was crashing all around us and we became very wet. I decided to brave the spooky horse and try to get on a poncho. Unfortunately I had a wide brimmed hat on (although good to keep the rain out of the eyes) and the hood got all twisted. The guide came back and held Yellow while I wrestled with the poncho. Yellow jumped all around, but then settled down to be a good trail horse. The kids refused to put on their rain jackets and they were covered in wet goose bumps. The rain never let up until we were about done with the hour ride. I would have been fine if the ride had only lasted a half hour, but the kids didn't make one complaint. I guess they enjoyed the whole drenching adventure. (The first time Heather rode, was last year when I took them on a moonlight ride at Ft. Huachuca... unfortunately the moon was completely covered by dark clouds and we were all blind in the dark night. I wonder what she will think when ever she goes on a good weather and good light trail ride!)

No comments: