Trip West 2014: Return to the Ranch (Monday)

On Monday, Mom, Jean, A.J., and I drove out to see the branding not too far from the house. We got there too late to watch the cows being driven in from a reasonable angle, but I suppose I should be grateful we got to see it at all.

I don’t have pictures from the actual branding because we were really too close for photography (we were right up on the fence where the cowboys and their wives were working). I have to say, the heat and the smell were nauseating. I can’t help wondering if it would have been better if I’d had something to do instead of just watching.

On the way back to the house, I looked up and saw this hawk sitting on the gate. I got Mom to stop the Suburban and got some pictures. I really wish he’d flown toward us instead of away, but I suppose you take what you can get. After the pictures from Sunday, I was pretty excited to get to see anything at all!

We had our last ride Monday morning. Aunt Jane and her family were getting ready to go to town, so Jean and I rode with John up to Joe’s Spring (Aunt Jane, John, and I did this ride when Tony and Mom went to Cliff Dives). We took a meandering way back to the house, which was perfect for my last ride at the ranch this year (for real this time, which was sad).

After lunch, we left, which was really sad. I can’t say I remember ever being happy to leave the ranch. Leaving in June was easier because I knew I’d be returning in less than a week. Leaving in July was much harder because I don’t know when I’ll be back, but it won’t be this year. Goodbye ranch!

More pictures in the album.

The following are the posts in this series:

  1. Traveling West
  2. Activities at the Ranch
  3. Wildlife at the Ranch
  4. Cowpunchers
  5. Las Vegas with Dad
  6. Jean’s Promotion
  7. Visiting Jean & Family
  8. Return to the Ranch (Friday)
  9. Return to the Ranch (Saturday)
  10. Teturn to the Ranch (Sunday)
  11. Return to the Ranch (Monday)
  12. Nevada and Utah
  13. Utah and Colorado
  14. Colorado, Kansas, Missouri
  15. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Home
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Trip West 2014: Return to the Ranch (Sunday)

We went riding Sunday morning. As you can see, Alexus was ready to go! Of course, I just wanted to lag behind… If you believe that, I’ve got some great oceanfront property in Kansas I’ll sell you for cheap.

The ride on Sunday was much longer and more interesting. Aunt Jane asked if anyone wanted to “go fast.” I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t take advantage of that offer, so, of course, we did. Jean went and started in a trot, posting, but her horse decided to lope after a bit and Jean was struggling to adjust to the change in gait. Aunt Jane yelled that she should “sit down!” When it was my turn to go, I started in a trot (I don’t know how to direct the ranch horses directly to a lope), posting. Behind me, in Alexus’s voice, I heard, “sit down!” I couldn’t help but laugh and, when my horse shifted to a lope, sat. She was pretty pleased with herself when Aunt Jane caught up with us.

After lunch, we drove out, intending to get to Wagon Tongue, but with as little gas as we had and the rain threatening, we called the trip early and turned around. We stopped at Number 6 to look at the new solar pump and take some pictures.

On the way home, though, we got some amazing wildlife sightings – antelope:

deer:

a couple of roadrunners (Tony has been wishing for a chance at this forever and I’m definitely gloating that I got it first):

 and Francis:

Oh, wait. You mean to tell me he’s not wild? Sorry about that.

Unsurprisingly, Alexus fell asleep on the way back to the house….

More pictures in the album.

The following are the posts in this series:

  1. Traveling West
  2. Activities at the Ranch
  3. Wildlife at the Ranch
  4. Cowpunchers
  5. Las Vegas with Dad
  6. Jean’s Promotion
  7. Visiting Jean & Family
  8. Return to the Ranch (Friday)
  9. Return to the Ranch (Saturday)
  10. Teturn to the Ranch (Sunday)
  11. Return to the Ranch (Monday)
  12. Nevada and Utah
  13. Utah and Colorado
  14. Colorado, Kansas, Missouri
  15. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Home

Trip West 2014: Return to the Ranch (Friday)

My original plan when I made my plans to go visit the ranch and Jean was to leave around the same time as Tony (Monday, June 30). As it turned out, Aunt Jane invited me to return to the ranch to attend the Prescott Rodeo on Saturday and anyone who’s going to give up time at the ranch should just let me know so I can take their place! Jean’s plans included getting to the ranch (late Thursday night) in time to enjoy a day at the ranch (Friday, July 4) before the rodeo.

Alexus learned to love riding on the first day. The grin on her face was ridiculous. And she was begging to ride the rest of the time we were there.

Of course, Mom’s influence showed through after riding. Babies playing with bones? What will they think of next? Fortunately, Jean thought the Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles act was super cute (more pictures in the album).

I think by the time we got to the ranch, Alexus had learned “kitty, rawr,” so she was practicing every chance she got. Of course, this was sometimes just a good mask for a grumpy girl….

After dinner on Friday, Jack spent some time with Alexus, helping her get Raven to do some tricks.

More pictures in the album.

The following are the posts in this series:

  1. Traveling West
  2. Activities at the Ranch
  3. Wildlife at the Ranch
  4. Cowpunchers
  5. Las Vegas with Dad
  6. Jean’s Promotion
  7. Visiting Jean & Family
  8. Return to the Ranch (Friday)
  9. Return to the Ranch (Saturday)
  10. Teturn to the Ranch (Sunday)
  11. Return to the Ranch (Monday)
  12. Nevada and Utah
  13. Utah and Colorado
  14. Colorado, Kansas, Missouri
  15. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Home

Trip West 2014: Cowpunchers

Williams, AZ hosts the Cowpuncher’s Reunion Rodeo. Aunt Jane took us again this year (she took us in 2010, but I didn’t write about it). The rodeo starts with one of my favorite events – the wild horse race (this page has the best description I can find with a short search).

Most people’s favorite event seemed to be the bronc riding though – as soon as that was over, a lot of people started leaving the stadium, even though there were several more events.

There was also roping, of course. There was dally calf roping, team roping, girl’s team roping, mixed team roping (girls and kids were on teams with guys), and various age groups of roping.

Another of my favorite events is wild cow milking. I don’t have a good picture, but someone has a video on YouTube from this year (though on a different day).

Cowpunchers was an all afternoon thing – it started in the afternoon and we didn’t head back to the ranch until around sunset.

There are more pictures in the album.

The following are the posts in this series:

  1. Traveling West
  2. Activities at the Ranch
  3. Wildlife at the Ranch
  4. Cowpunchers
  5. Las Vegas with Dad
  6. Jean’s Promotion
  7. Visiting Jean & Family
  8. Return to the Ranch (Friday)
  9. Return to the Ranch (Saturday)
  10. Teturn to the Ranch (Sunday)
  11. Return to the Ranch (Monday)
  12. Nevada and Utah
  13. Utah and Colorado
  14. Colorado, Kansas, Missouri
  15. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Home