Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cattle Drive

Cows bellowing means only one thing.....cattle drive, so I grabbed my camera and ran outside.  Neighbor Nate and his daughters were moving a herd through our place to their pasture on the southwest side.

The girls ride drag.  It's dry and dusty.  

The cows know the way and move easily along the fence line.

Still, as they pass the first gate, Nate moves ahead to block them from heading for the interior of the ranch; he wants them to enter at the second gate.  Cows are pretty smart, but after passing the first gate you can be sure they won't be thinking about the next one!

Up until just a few years ago all the local ranchers moved their herds along the roads.  No more, you can see why from the traffic in the distance in the third shot.  (I was lucky enough to ride with a different neighbor on their last drive up O'Byrne's Ferry Road.  Hap (my beautiful old palomino) and I were on drag.  I had a bright pink hankie waving like crazy, not to move the cows, but to be sure the traffic saw me!).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quick Trip Home

A window of cooler weather was in the forecast for the next few days so I jumped on it for a straight through drive home to California;  1800 miles, five days and four nights later I was home in Jamestown.  OK, well, maybe not STRAIGHT through.  While visiting with a gentleman at a laundry mat before I left he said he usually took a break for a couple hours in Tucson.  Yikes!  That is not my kind of traveling!  I need time to take pics of the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets along the way.

My first night I stopped in Junction.  It's a good jumping off point for the long drive across West Texas.  There are a couple campgrounds, but this time I discovered that the city allows overnight RV parking in the park along the Llano River.  This is really great news and will be regular stop for future trips.

A shallow lake is created by a concrete dam.  Again I was beyond shocked that walking, swimming, diving, jumping, whatever, is allowed on the dam!  No pics of the kids swimming.  But believe me it's enough to give a former dam tender night mares!

The very best reason to drive across West Texas is Balmorhea State Park.  The campground is harsh with shade structures over the picnic tables, no trees though, but the springs more than make up for that shortcoming.
I spent what was left of the afternoon and evening swimming with the fishes.  The water is nippy and absolutely pristine.  When you go,  be sure to take snorkeling gear.

A pair of Great Horned Owls next every year near the pool.  Last trip I got a pic of one of the adults.  This year a youngster was hanging out mid day.  It was actually kind of sad.  So many people snapping pics.  I didn't stick around to get a clear shot.

Sunrise is the nicest time of day in that part of the country.  But I wanted to hit the road early!

This old mill near town was an amazing pink in the morning glow.

I was headed to Benson, but a RV park just off the freeway in Wilcox caught my eye.  Happy serendipity for me!
Wilcox is not only the home town of film star Rex Allen,  but there was a Wine and Cheese Festival going on downtown with live music. Score!

Another early start to try to beat the heat at Havasu City;  the forecast was for well  over 100;  I knew my luck could not last.  And it didn't!  I got a great site right on the Colorado River in Buckskin State Park,  but the electrical system was not up the draw on that hot day.  No AC for me.  That said, it did cool off enough after the sun went down for nice sleeping.   The river is so beyond my ability to describe there, I don't even mind that it's always hot.

First sunset.....

(the beach near my camp :)

And sunrise......

Down river there is another big campground on the Cali side....

Crossing the Mojave the next morning I had temps in the 80s!  I guess my luck with the weather held after all, but the real highlight of my quick early summer trip across the south west was the Saguaro Cactus were blooming.