Wednesday, January 13, 2010




When I left Ron at Belle's Tuesday night I had expressed some concern about him staying in the tiny cabin but he assuredly informed me he's a Vet, & therefore a survivor plus this is the west & things are done much differently than in the east!!  I headed over to Belle's earlier than usual to check on the resident survivor figuring he's gonna be mighty hungry.  Ron was already out walking around the property & had already found his way to Douglas & back.  He had a catalytic heater with him in the cabin last night but it had ran out of fuel an hour after he turned it on so he had a bit of a cool night when the temps dropped to about 32F.  No other heat source in the cabin.  Now, had that been me I would have went out to my vehicle, turned the heater on full blast & stuffed myself right inside it!!

A partial cloud cover hung over the valley with only the occasional warming sunsplash passing by.  Luckily I was in my lined winter pants, T-shirt & two flannel shirts.  I think Ron just had a T-shirt & light shirt on.  Geeeezzzz, & I'm the Canadian too.  Supposed to be used to the cold, right...........wrong!!


Jesse, a friend of Belle's was there repairing a broken water pipe so he brought the Gator over for Ron & I & we headed ourselves up to the hay compound to load up some bales of alfalfa for the animals.  Right off the bat we knew something was wrong when we saw the 2 loose resident horses inside the wire instead of outside of it.  They had broken down the flimsy gate & were happily munching away on a wagonload of alfalfa bales.  Neither Ron or I have too many horse smarts but we knew enough not to get behind the big guys as we tried to calmly shoo them out of the compound.  Of course being novices we talked quietly to the horses trying to explain to them the error of their ways & how it was not good manners to be eating off the hay wagon.  Well, the horses just gave us a passing glance, never budged an inch, & kept on munching.  Voices were raised, arms were gently flapped, tails were switched, darting glances from big brown eyeballs were felt & the munching stopped.  Heads were turned & now it was a four face standoff.  Two eastern Gringos face to face with two very large weathered western Cayuses.  And we were between them & their food source.  Gunfight at the OK Corral thoughts flashed through my mind as Ron & opened fire first with loud shouts & vigorous arm movements.  Startled by the Gringo's quick action the white horse turned first & bolted for the open gate followed closely by the second darker horse.  Chalk one up for the Gringos.


Loaded a couple bales of alfalfa on the gator, closed the flimsy gate behind us & went about feeding the first batch of donkeys & horses down at the corrals remembering to check water levels on our way.  Just a week ago Cindy was showing me the feeding process & only days before that someone had shown her & here I was today showing somebody else.  These have been a fast paced few weeks on the old western learning curve.  You might have guessed that by the time we headed back for our second load of hay the two wily horse guys had pulverized the gate again & were back to their favorite free smorgasbord of yummy alfalfa.  Well, there was no pussyfooting around this time as we Gringos turfed those 2 horse guys right out of there.....toote suite!!  It was obvious we were going to have pool our engineering prowess & construct us stronger gate........and that is what we did.  The dark colored horse came back around for a closer look see as to what the 2 novice easterners (Ron's originally from around New York) were up to, pawed the ground, gave us an unapproving snort & trotted off with it's tail in the air.  Took us about 20 minutes to wire together some kind of a mossmagator gate & by the time I left the Silverado about an hour later the horsey guys hadn't figured their way back in yet. 



It was about time for Ron to head back to New Mexico so it was time to go in & talk to Belle.  We seated ourselves down in the small area just inside the door where Belle has her computer.  Couldn't help but think this was a meeting of the minds as I sat & listened to Belle & Ron talk over the possibility of Ron coming back to stay at the Silverado ranch.  Each laid out their expectations & concerns.  There were some hand gestures, a few good laughs, some shuffling of feet, a bit of serious gazing, & a few stories told.  But, more than anything there was an understanding between a couple individuals who 24 hours earlier had never met one another.  I could see a trust being forged here.  I felt, as I sat there, very privileged to be a part of what I was sitting in on.  I had a feeling again that I was learning something very special here.  I was witness to something that I had a feeling will somehow come back to me someday in the future with a positive outcome. 


The pow wow wrapped up in about 20 minutes & it was time for Ron to head out.  Talked beside his truck for a few minutes about the future of the ranch & Belle's well being & with a wave he was headed on down the road.  Might meet Ron again someday, might not. 

I did a final check of a couple watering troughs, said good-bye to Belle & headed off down to Douglas under cool cloudy skies.  I was appalled at the smog hanging over the city as I descended from a slightly higher altitude and, I could smell it.  Even some of the closer mountain peaks were smogged in.  So disheartening to see this in a land of beautiful mountains, big blue sunny skies, & supposedly miles upon miles of fresh clean air, under a blanket of pollution.

Stopped at the Napa dealer & picked up a pre-arranged battery for the ATV back at the McNeal ranch, rumbled through the Burger King drive-through & totally destroyed by calorie intake for the next month.  By the time I got back to the rig I felt like a 500 pound bag of sludge!!  The rest of the afternoon was spent in a state of sludgy doze.  Managed to water a few more trees & haul a bale of hay out to the 3 donkeys & that was about it for the rest of the day. 


Tomorrow we hope to slip over to Sierra Vista & see the movie Avatar in 3D.  Haven't seen a 3D movie since probably back in the mid fifties sometime when it was all a craze to put on them goofy looking colored cardboard glasses at the local movie theater on a Saturday afternoon matinee & scream like nuts as the big lumbering dinosaur birds came swooping right out of the big screen straight onto your face!!!!!!

GROANER'S CORNER:((  I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are: eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That is my idea of a perfect day!!




The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.


  1. So I'm Ron coming back from New Mexico? Don't leave us hanging out here in blogland. Can't wait for the next chapter.

  2. I'm with Margie...that makes 2 of us Ron coming back?
    Can't wait to hear about your "experience" watching Avatar!

  3. You're going to see Avatar? Are you positive one of those horses didn't just kick you in the head? I'll be interested in hearing your opinion about this Pochohantas movie.

  4. You gringos may have won the first round with the two wayward horses, but it ain't over til it's over. My guess is that they will figure out a way to get back in.

  5. Watch out for the supposed "hidden meaning" and "hidden agenda" in Avatar. Why must the fearmongers always dig up wierd ideas and have to warn us about everything we eat, drink, see, touch or even ignore?

  6. I too would like to know if Ron will be back. That would be great for Belle and the ranch. I am sure you will keep us informed.

  7. "and I'm the Canadian" Uh Al,,,you sure your still 100 percent Canadian???? Might be your becoming a whole lot Arizonian, since you haven't spent a winter in Canada for the last how many???
    Oh well there's a lot worse things you could be, right?