May 12, 2010

Groom Creek Camp-out/ Mothers Day weekend-

   I  was loading pictures to photo-bucket and face book Sunday night until I couldn't keep my eyes open! Glad I took Monday off to "Unload the truck and do laundry" or I wouldn't have got my ride report finished till next weekend!! Finished up loading pictures Monday  morning and after all the animals were fed I got started on writing about my Groom Creek / Mothers Day weekend camping experience.

  Apparently min weekend  was not as exciting as others but I am thankful for no  mishaps (although my friend Sue might slightly disagree as the last half of our ride  Saturday was painful for her (bad back) and it was a little too much for one of their horses. Even tho we only took the Wolf Creek loop the hills gave the horses quite a work out.)

  Anyway Friday morning I timed my drive up so I would meet up with another AZBCR member in Congress so she would have more help available if needed if she had any problems with the horses as her rig has had overheating problems in the past and she wasn't confident that it was fixed.  She called me when she reached Congress as planned and I was only a few miles on the other side of Congress coming from the direction of Aguila when I got her call. 
Within 15 minutes I caught up to her on Yarnell hill. Found her pulled over about half way up -- -  overheating. Embarrassed

I pulled over and she said her traveling companion went on ahead and might not know she had to pull off. She didn't need  help so I went on ahead and found her friend waiting at the fuel station on top of the hill.
      I let her know what was happening and decided to wait with her. ..

 To pass the time I brushed Mocha in the trailer and took some pictures ...

 Normally it shouldn't take more than a half hour to get up the hill even driving slow. It ended up taking her an hour and 15 minutes as she had to stop several more times the rest of the way up. Sometimes she hadn't even traveled a mile before the needle started rising again.  Vehicles sure can be a pain sometimes can't they?
 Another driver that had stopped to offer her help down the hill pulled up to us to let us know she wasn't far down the hill and should be coming up any time. When she finally made the top she let the truck rest a bit more before heading on.

Finally the three of us were on the road again, I took up the rear. She did good all the way up Iron Springs Road till just about a mile or so from the top and had to pull off again. She waved her friend and I on ahead so when I caught up to her friend in Prescott we stopped in town to wait. When she caught up with us she took the lead as she knew the way to the campground. She had to stop one more time when she overheated again on the way to the campground. I'll bet she is going to make darn sure it is fixed right after that ordeal. I felt bad for her - I once had a Toyota 4-runner that had overheating problems and had to drive through Death Valley with 3 kids. Same thing- had to keep stopping to cool down and pour water over the radiator.

 Anyway, finally at camp I found "B-11" and pulled in and unloaded Mocha, got parked and set up camp.

The "Kitchen"...

Here is my "Tent" and  sofa cushion bed..

We had planned a Potluck dinner with my camping neighbor Sue and her husband Jerry. Their campsite was right up the hill from ours.

This is the view of our camp looking down from Sue and Jerry's campsite up the hill..

My oldest son, his wife, my grand-kids, my middle son and his girlfriend would be arriving around dinnertime.

 Sue and Jerry live up in Chino Valley. Not many other AZBCR members know them as she doesn't post as much as me and she lives too far to attend most of the rides but you can bet money that her cooking is UNFORGETTABLE! If you have a meal at their table, trust me, you will never forget. She really goes out of her way to make her meals delicious!! ...

 The rest of my family showed up just in time for dinner. They were a little late because they stopped at the lake so my oldest son could drop his crawdad traps.

Dinner; Hot dogs and home made lasagna, salad and garlic bread- Mmmmm. Her lasagna put our hot dogs to shame.

 The next day Sue made  breakfast burritos. I brought fresh chicken eggs from home for them. She had sausage and green onions to add to them.  Her friend Janet and her husband drove into camp to join us for breakfast. They had planned to camp with Sue and Jerry and ride with us Saturday morning but they had a mishap with their horses in the trailer so they had to cancel riding but couldn't turn down another meal that Sue has cooked and I don't blame them! Wink (We were expecting them for dinner the night before too but they couldn't make it.)

The next morning my "kids" etc.. took Mocha for a walk around the campground. 
There's my clan! ...

 We didn't go on the longer ride with everyone else because none of our horses were in any kind of condition for climbing the mountain. But after seeing everyone's pictures I do have regrets. Next time I will try to have Mocha in better shape for the ride up Spruce Mountain.

Came across another group returning from their early morning ride..

Seen some wildlife...


"River" crossing...

   We had a few water crossings, and Mocha got to see his first deer! I would have taken a picture of it but I didn't know how he was going to act when when the deer bolted up the hill. Also seen some off road riders and hikers (with loose dogs) Huh. When we were on a road with a steep ledge a hikers dog came running up towards us and spooked the horses. Luckily none spun or bolted but they were ready to bolt if needed! Gave us all a good startle. And when Sue told the hiker he is suppose to have his dog on a leash he just argued; "This dog is ok with horses", she said; "But not all horses are "OK" with DOGS!!!"  He is lucky none of us had a horse that likes to attack dogs! 

 Any ride has potential for an adventure or mishap so I am just glad nothing bad came of it, that was a pretty steep hill and if one of the horses were spooked over the side of it that would have been a very bad deal. There was a prospector at the bottom so at least we would have had a witness.

 By the time we got back to camp Sue and Jerry were tired and sore so they skipped the potluck and called it a day. Sue made a strawberry truffle desert and sent it on with me. Her cooking is always guaranteed to be delicious! 

  The kids spotted Madeline the Mini Donkey near the potluck area. This is the same one Mocha was afraid of at the Lake pleasant Fund Raiser ride back in March.

 At the potluck my grand daughter was attracted to everyone's little dogs. Shawn and I watched and commented on what a social butterfly she was. Lol 

    We didn't stay at thew Potluck long and didn't come back for the campfire.

Sunday morning came too soon.
I got up early and built a fire and put on coffee about 5am. My clan  crawled out of their tents about an hour later while I saddled up Mocha. He was a bit spunky so I took him for a ride around the campground to settle him down so I could give the grand kids a pony ride after breakfast. Meanwhile Shawn and Jeremy went to the lake to get the crawdad traps. Saturday  they had found that they only caught 9 Friday night.

I rode Mocha around the campground and took pictures of campsites and early birds---

As we were riding arounf someonne at one of the campsite offered to take a picture for me...

There is our camp just beyond our neighbors horses...

Hey everyone! Is breakfast ready yet??

 Sue and Jerry came down and helped me give the kids their rides. Tyler was undecided about it at first but fearless Taryn was eager to go so she went first.

Look at that horse-crazy smile! Does she have "the bug" or what??!!....

Now Tyler's turn..
He was a little hesitant at first but relaxed after just a couple circles..


 Good boy Mocha for taking good care of my Grand Kids...


Now Shawn's turn. (He doesn't think purple is his color tho)

 As everyone started getting ready to pack up to go home Tiff and the kids had to get one last "Horsey Fix" over at the corral--  Mocha ate up all the attention...

Mocha looking on while I pack up camp...

  The weekend went by too fast.  
  Next time I am reserving 3 nights so I will have 2 full days or riding and camping.