Winslow AZ

Standing on the corner of Winslow AZ, what a fine sight to see, a girl my Lord in a bright red flatbed ford slowing down to take a look at me

Standing on the corner of Winslow AZ, what a fine sight to see, a girl my Lord in a bright red flatbed ford slowing down to take a look at me


We found our way to Winslow, looking for my past, Dad was born there and Grandma and Grandpa were business owners in the early 1900’s. Time seems to have stood still pretty much in this town, which was great luck for me.
Grandma at the corner by the Double Dip Fountain.

Grandma at the corner by the Double Dip Fountain.


When Grandpa passed, Grandma opened a fountain called the Double Dip.. Which according to the 1937 Spring Flagstaff Telephone Directory was on the corner of 2nd and Kinsley Ave, which I believe to now be either of these.
Double Dip?

Double Dip?


Double Dip?

Double Dip?


Not sure…but I did find Dad’s house
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School Mascot...

School Mascot…


So enough of my history… there is a beautiful Hotel there named La Posada “the resting place” Fred Harvey decided to build this grand hotel along the Santa Fe Railroad in the 1920’s. The construction costs alone were in excess of $1,000,000.00 in 1929. Total cost were rumored at $2,000,000.00 which included the grounds and furnishings, in todays world this would be just around $40,000,000.00. Winslow was selected for it’s Northern Arizona location, most things to do there are within a days drive.
Fred Harvey famous for attention to detail and fine furnishing of the Hotels along the Santa Fe, and of course the Harvey Girls, Judy Garland stared in the movie, The Harvey Girls, about these girls.
The Hotel opened May 15th 1930, just after the stock market crash of 1929. The Hotel remained open for just 27 years. It closed for good in 1957, all the beautiful furnishing being auctioned off, and threats for years to come by the railroad to demolish the grand structure.
In 1997 Daniel Lutzick and his wife Tina moved in and started the restructuring of the beauty. It today is a living museum. A must see on your visit to Arizona. I took a few photos to share with you.
Cooled entering the La Pasada

Cooled entering the La Pasada


Entering the courtyard

Entering the courtyard


Courtyard water feature

Courtyard water feature


Beautiful art is around each corner

Beautiful art is around each corner


Entrance back to the hotel.... from courtyard.

Entrance back to the hotel…. from courtyard.


So much to see and no time to stay, our day was long and we had to head out…. next time I will be laying my head to sleep here…. now this grand hotel also has a history of ghost sightings… cant wait! I wonder if there is a supernatural lens for my camera?
Love you Grandma

Love you Grandma

Winslow AZ

My fathers, father passed when he was 8, his mother passed when I was 16, he passed when I was in my thirties. He was an only child, his latest wife refused to give us his personal belongings and with his passing so did much of our history.

Being a child of a divorced family there really isn’t those family nights of tales of childhoods. My past is pretty much a mystery and I feel much regret for not finding out more as I grew older… never thought they would leave I guess.

So I am excited for this weekend as I have located my Grandfathers plot in Winslow AZ and going to see what I can trace backwards….

Wish me luck.

Bisbee AZ

Street Corner Wall

Street Corner Wall


Cooled and I spent Saturday in Bisbee last weekend. Bisbee a mining town of copper, was founded in 1880 and named after one of the monetary backers, Judge Dewitt Bisbee. It was the largest town in the early 1900’s from St. Louis to San Francisco, with population of over 20,000 . In the mid 1970’s it became unprofitable, and the town was attractive to many artists and free sprits and has been home to many artist since. The town is still pretty much in tact and the old homes and buildings are still occupied making it a charming community.
Wall art

Wall art


When we drove into town I just knew this was going to be a fun place… even the walls had been painted. This is nestled between homes along the historic road into the town. It brought the song Happy to mind, ” clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because I’m happy”. It just made me happy to see it…
Wall of Peace

Wall of Peace


Just around the corner from the “Happy Room” was the Peace Wall, the 70’s are being reunited in my soul… this town is calling me home. This is just the type of art I would sit in class and draw, memories flood my mind.
Heading into town

Heading into town


The town is nestled against the Mule Mountains, the historic district is on a long winding sloped street. The town was rebuilt in the early 1900’s after a fire and most of the buildings are still in tact, the buildings just speak of how the community was at its peak.
Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel


This is the Grand Hotel, still in operation!
The Salon in the Hotel

The Salon in the Hotel


The Salon in the Hotel is still serving and was just amazing how it hasn’t changed. You can just feel the spirit of the old west here, and the other kind of sprits still being poured.
Some of the Buildings

Some of the Buildings


Buildings

Buildings


Store signs

Store signs


Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting


Alley Ways

Alley Ways


In between the buildings were alley ways with vendors displaying their art work. This alley was occupied with an two artist, a jewelry maker and a women who hand painted scarfs, along with a purveyor of coffee.
Walkway

Walkway


Painted walls

Painted walls


Every corner turns up surprises, little back alleys with painted walls.
Best use of real estate

Best use of real estate


Homes built in every inch

Homes built in every inch


Bisbee was a thriving community and by the way these homes were built over the cannels I am going to say real estate must have been hard to come by. I am not sure I would sleep knowing that my home was on a bridge.. remember I am a California native and earthquakes are big part of my history.. this would not work well in earthquake country.
I recommend a visit to this charming town, one day really isn’t enough plan a weekend trip.
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Great Wine in a Portable Bottle

Saving the Planet

Saving the Planet


We are always looking for ways to take our wine safely on the trail, right? So I have stumbled onto one of the best yet. While saving the Planet I can enjoy a great red wine, ride without worry of breaking glass, and enjoy a good wine on the trail. Life changing. The wine is red blend from Paso Robles, a region in California where the climate and soil are great for red wines. Paso Robles was awarded the Wine Enthusiast Wine Region of the year award.. based not only on the wine but also for innovation and excitement… shown here for sure.
So back to the bottle.
Recycle

Recycle


Again the wine is great, you would not know it was bottled in plastic and paper, but because it is you can totally recycle this bottle, and save the Planet, while saving your horse from an unexpected cut from falling over on your saddlebags and breaking the wine bottle.
Insides

Insides


So here is the inside of the bottle… isn’t is crazy?
Outside/Inside

Outside/Inside


Totally dismantled.
I took this wine on my campout in Salome and it was perfect. I am had to please with wine, it has to be good or I wont buy it, so for my horse outings it has been hard to pack on my rides. This was just the most incredible find, packed for safety, and so delicious. I am sure you can think of many places this packaging will come in handy.
I purchased mine at Safeway, and while at Total Wine this past week it was there also.
Enjoy the safety of your new world.

Tea for Life

Our table was Women Wine and Whinnies...

Our table was Women Wine and Whinnies…


Saturday, April 5th I was invited to speak at the Tea for Life, a yearly fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. An honor I quickly found myself so unworthy of. My day starts with my dear friend Kathy Brown greeting me and escorting me to our table. Which was designed around my blog, I was elated and humbled… beyond touched. This was the beginning of a powerful journey I was to take this day.
Our Table was adorned with photos of my horse buddies.

Our Table was adorned with photos of my horse buddies.

Our table dressed in all things horse, from apples, carrots fresh from Kathy’s garden, weeds from the river bottom where we ride, photos on wooden blocks adored with grapes and photos of my gal pals, Val and Mya, plates with cracked white paint, an old board with horse shoes, burlap flowered napkin holders, just beautiful and all in green just like my blog page… needless to say I was speechless and my heart touched.
My table buddies

My table buddies


Kathy seats me next to her and Sandy, who I discover latter, along with her, that she is to the recipient of the Black Flag Cancer Award… you see Sandy has dedicated her life to raise funds to fight this war after the loss of a dear friend. Sandy is surprised that she is to be awarded this today and between her tears of joy she shares with the room of 240 women that she found out last week that she has breast cancer. We are the first to know, as she wasn’t ready to share… this is where the day takes it’s journey and I along for the incredible ride.
The Warriors take the stage

The Warriors take the stage


After Sandy is seated, we take a break… we need to digest the news and catch our breath. I am next to speak… well who am I to talk to this room of Warriors? Me, I have never walked in their shoes, I have just sat on the sidelines to help encourage my Grandson through his battle, and watch hopelessly as my dear friends Jaime and Clark loose their battle to this thing that consumes our life’s, suddenly I wish to sit and not say a word. Kathy introduces me and I take the stage and begin to speak about the Childhood Cancer that steals the life from our children….bla bla bla is what I hear from me and the sound of my internal voice saying Sharon this room is full of woman who should be up here not you… hurry finish and sit down. I complete my speech, and sit down… glad to have it over. Cathi Hill speaks next of her incredible journey from near death to being here to share her story… a miracle. Not an easy story to tell nor a journey at its end… she still fights everyday.
Speeches are over and we move to the auction and raffle gifts, while I am blessed to be able to encourage Sandy and sprinkle water on brand new friendship… yet another gift for this day.
I need to show you all the beautiful tables that the ladies donated their monies and time to…it was a wonderland.
Tables of love

Tables of love


Twinkle Tree

Twinkle Tree


Flowering beauty

Flowering beauty


Country love

Country love


Beautiful

Beautiful


Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand


Tiffany's

Tiffany’s


Fairy Wonderland

Fairy Wonderland


Fly Away with Me

Fly Away with Me


Cat in the Hat

Cat in the Hat


Just a wonderland

Just a wonderland


All signs lead to hope

All signs lead to hope


The day reminds me of the power of women, no bond ever so strong, well with the exception of that of a woman and her horse, but then again its a woman!
To my new sisters, may your walk in the war against cancer be filled with the peace knowing that we are walking alongside you in this war we have waged. May you always feel the power in the room at the Tea.

Our Saturday Walk

On March 15th Travis, Stacie and I volunteered for the Phoenix Brain Tumor Walk to raise funds for research of a cure.

On March 15th Travis, Stacie and I volunteered for the Phoenix Brain Tumor Walk to raise funds for research of a cure. The day starts early, we have been assigned to the food tent.


We are given our yellow shirts as to identify us as volunteers and we are off to setting up the food tent.

We are given our yellow shirts as to identify us as volunteers and we are off to setting up the food tent.


We quickly are told what our responsibilities will be which include setting up the tables full of several hundred doughnuts, bagels, trays of fresh fruit and the icing of bottled water, all of which has been donated by local stores and bakeries. Upon opening the first bag of bagels from Chompies’s Deli we learn that they must be cut in half…. with knife in hand Stacie and I tackle the hundreds of bagels to be sawed in half. These bagel are so fresh that they fold when pressure is applied by the knifes. I do believe these were the freshest bagels I have ever encountered. Travis takes up manning the doughnut boxes and making sure they are replenished when emptied. Waters are iced, we set up the apples, bananas, oranges, Kind snack bars and put the juice bags on ice for the young walkers. We are ready… just in time as the walkers are coming.
The walkers are arriving and filtering in, some in groups walking for a friend or family member that is or was fighting this horrible illness.

The walkers are arriving.


The walkers are filtering in, some in groups walking for a friend or family member that is or was fighting this horrible illness. They are sporting tutu’s, T-shirts with their loved ones names, it is awesome to see so many caring for this cause. After their registration they are off visiting the booths and “carbing” up for the walk. At this point my day becomes quite a blur as Stacie and I can barely keep up on the cutting of bagels…. Bagel Frenzy
Teams walking for the cure
The walk begins and I am able to sneak away to grab some photos to share.
Red Shirt Team
Grey Shirt
Hundreds are walking
Such a wonderful sight
As the walkers continue I am able to speak to some of the survivors at the event. One young man, now 28, has been fighting this for 18 years, he is partially blind with a bit of hearing loss. He has taken up magic and is very entertaining, I find myself completely amused with his abilities.
I talk with another that had 3 years free of treatment, but has found it is back and again the fight begins.
Travis is one of my reasons for being at the event, he was diagnosed at age 10 with brain cancer. A type that they say the child is born with and it presents around the ages of 10 to 23 most often. It has been 3 years since he was first diagnosed, he tries to forget about it and my asking him to come and help today is a reminder that it is a life long fight. I am worried that this might be a bit much for him, and his quietness this morning reminds me of how frightened he must be.
Childhood cancer is a sad fact and it strikes hard and fast. So many times the symptoms are dismissed as they can present as a normal illness, or headache in our Travis’s case. When we are blessed to have beaten the illness, we are still left with the damaging effects of the very treatment that saves our loved ones life. The child is to face of life of uncertainty and questions of what will happen in the future.
I am not sure what the future holds for a cure for cancer but I know we need to focus on prevention also, as the treatments are just as scary as the cancer itself.
I want to say in the last 3 years I watched my Grandson overcome his brain cancer, lost a girlfriend to her brain cancer and lost our cousin to his brain cancer. Not to mention the several others in my circle currently fighting breast cancer. It is our responsibility to help in this fight and volunteer to the originations that have formed to help raise funds for research, such as the Brain Tumor Foundation.

We really can make a difference….. and they really do need our help.. I know we could have used some extra hands cutting those bagels…

Live life like someone left the gate open….it can close all to soon.

Sharon

Day Two The Mardi Gras

The day begins
Our morning starts with a hot breakfast, coffee and then right to getting ready to ride! We go out in groups and today we are in group 4 of 6. Patt French and Val Silva our ride leaders… Since I have time I grab my camera and head out to photo group 2 heading out for their 5 hour ride. The gals are so sweet and stop along the way to allow me to take their pictures. Thank you guys!
Group 2 Parade
The Parade
The Parade
Rocky Mountain Horse?
Rocky Mountain Horse? Is it?
Pretty Pony
Pretty pony
My Boyfriend Sam...
This is Sam he was next to me in camp, Paula’s mule, he is my boyfriend. I miss him.
Yvonne and her sweet baby
Yvonne and her pretty
Last picture as I was holding up the ride
The end
Our group leaves on time and we head out… Val and I in the rear looking forward to our day. Our ride will be 4.5 hours and we are looking forward to the new riding area for us. As we head out, Patt French our trail leader is tossed from her horse and it is serious. We send the nurses on the ride in to assist and we all pray for Patt. She isn’t able to get up and 911 is called for assistance. The ride continues, and well Hank is not going along with this group today, he bucks, bucks and then bucks some more I dismount and the ride leaves us behind… Well we are resourceful and take out in the opposite direction on our own. Not as much fun, but we allow the other riders to be safe and I can school my darn horse without endangering others. Our day is nice, but of course not as fun as if we were with our group. We find an active mine and have lunch while finding incredible stones everywhere. We head back and the ride comes in shortly thereafter. Time to get ready for the Mardi Gras!
Decor
The tent has been decorated and the air is filled with laughter. Let the night begin.
Mucking Maids Horse
Body Guard
Bedazzled Boobie Babes
It seems they lost their B
Tonight  should be fun
Tonight should be fun.
LOL
More Boobs
Selfie
Selfie

Love this one

Love this one


So creative

So creative


My BFF Val.. love the cup its a  red solo cup kindda night for sure.

My BFF Val.. love the cup its a red solo cup kindda night for sure.


The twins

The twins


You tell me this isn't serious partying

You tell me this isn’t serious partying


This young lady was just beautiful.

This young lady was just beautiful.


The evening begins.

The evening begins.


I think this is Dana... but after all the wine I might have got her name wrong... Dana is that you.

I think this is Dana… but after all the wine I might have got her name wrong… Dana is that you.


The Party starts

The Party starts


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A fellow AZ gal...

A fellow AZ gal…


BFF again... Hi Val

BFF again… Hi Val


Okay the one man in the room and he wont even look at the girls. So darn funny and my entertainment of the evening.

Okay the one man in the room and he wont even look at the girls. So darn funny and my entertainment of the evening.


Our Table... see my Paperboy Wine Bottle... so perfect for riding.

Our Table… see my Paperboy Wine Bottle… so perfect for riding.


Again the young and beautiful... she was adorable.

Again the young and beautiful… she was adorable.


Bras off....

Bras off….


Back on... kinda of.

Back on… kinda of.


So you get the idea of the energy and fun, it was a wonderful time. The evening ends around 11 and we head back to our campgrounds.
The next day is the last group ride but we awake to Pie being rather sluggish and not eating or drinking well. We elect to not go on the ride and push him. Pie is about 23 and the funniest horse I ever had the pleasure of spending time with. He has been Val’s buddy for many years and our camping buddy always.
We get him settled and drinking again and head into town for lunch, Wickenburg is our target.
Downtown Wickenburg

Downtown Wickenburg


Upon return from our outing Pie isn’t doing much better and we get the attending Vet, Dr. Raenell Killian, after a long process of getting Pi fluids we take off to Cave Creek to get him emergency attention. Pi’s outcome isn’t good and we say goodbye to our good friend.
PI
We want to thank all the Ladies who sat up with us Saturday night. We are forever grateful and Val appreciates you all. The campfire you built for us the dinners you delivered and the hot coffee to help keep us awake. It was a long journey for me to complete this post, I attempted it so many times, the loss of our friend is hard to tell and my dear friend Val is still suffering. When we reconnected with our friends from the ride we find out that at Saturday nights dinner it is announced that this will be the last Happy Hooffer ride. We are saddened by the news.
Riding is one of lives most incredible pleasures, you are able to enjoy places that you could not without a horse. It allows you to step away from the stress of your life and become connected to one of God’s most loved animals. The bond between rider and horse is so strong and it becomes more than rider and horse. I have heard it said that a horse is just a tool, but I say to them you are a tool……
Skip and Hank at the riverbottom 003
May your views between the ears remind you to live your life like someone left the gate open……

Happy Hoofers Day One’s Ride

First Ride
Our first morning ride is a warm-up ride and we head out around 10:20. The horses are happy to be out and Hank is more active than usual. He really is not acting right and after investigating it seems I have his curb chain so tight it is hurting him. Bad mom. After a tack adjustment he is back to his old self and lagging behind, head down wondering where he might find some green grass. Not much of that around as you can see in this photo. The group is fun no drama, horses are all good we take our nice warm up ride through the hillside. When you have a ride without incident, its a good ride!

Grave sites

We pass on our trail a small cemetery, I am told that buried there are families that fell to an attack, not sure what type and was not able to stop and read the history marker. Maybe one of the Hoofers on the trip can solve this mystery for me. Thats our buddy Pie looking at the site!

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This is a photo or our trail leaders, they did a great job and we appreciate their time and service to this great group of riders. Thank you both for your time and bringing us safely through the desert on our first ride out!
We return to camp get the horses set, fresh water and some treats for their service to us and off to the chair race. It seems that we bring a chair to the large tent, fight for a spot at the table you want to sit. Well Val and I had to get our products together as we were going to participate in the vendor tables. I brought my husbands cooling vests and Val her daughters jewelry, so we left our chairs in the hands of Cindy-Ann and Carmen… we scored a great table with other new riders… Thanks Cindy-Ann and Carmen!
Geneil
Well the night events are upon us and the first night is a wonderful meal, with free flowing beer and wine, along with the weekends announcements and awards. The dinner is catered freshly prepared at the site. The meals are hot, plentiful and serving all dietary types, Yummo.
Our MC is Geneil and she is entertaining and commands the room with confidence and gets this rowdy group even rowdier.. awards are given to the helpers, trail leaders and then to the Hoofers who have 5 years plus attendance on the ride. When you hit the five year mark you receive a directors chair. The following photos are of some of the prior years chairs and pinned to them are the leather chair markers, which are given to you upon arrival. As you can see many of these ladies have been on the ride for many years.
Hoofer 5 year chair
Hoofer 5 year chair
Five year chair
This is mine!
My Chair and first tag
Our first day comes to an end and we are all off to our designated campsites. Val and I call it a night early and look forward to day 2, which is really 3 as we came early. Tomorrows ride is for 4.5 hours and we head out at 9:45 with breakfast at 7 we are looking forward to our ride!
This is our campsite!
Our Camp Site
Oh and did I mention I was also car camping.. I came from the Phoenix area in AZ to meet up with Val and our horses who came from Riverside Ca…. fun times.
Car Camping
This is the last mild post….. as the Marde Gras starts the following night!!!! I promise the photos will be approved for all age viewing!

Happy Hoofers Day One

This year I had the honor of being invited to an all women’s ride in the remote desert of Salome AZ. This area is located between the Harquahala and Harcuvar Mountain ranges, about 50 miles South of Wickenburg and located on Hwy 60.
The Valley is remote and sparsely populated. Perfect for a gaggle of gals and their horses!

Sea of Trailers in the Desert Hills

Sea of Trailers in the Desert Hills

It seems this was the 28th year of this group of gals coming together for 4 days of bonding with women and ponies. The mantra of the group is ” We firmly believe that every horsewoman needs the opportunity to leave her worries and her diet at home, ride through the beautiful winter deserts, laugh until her sides ache, eat wonderful food, make delightful friends and be treated like the special person she is” I think from this photo you can see they accomplished this.. our first night and the festivities begin. Good times for sure.
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Day One:
There are many ways to tether a horse, ground tie, trailer tether, tie lines, hobble, and my favorite corral. Val and I have always had the ease of camping at State Parks in CA that supply corrals for us. This would be our first trip of bringing our own method of corralling our guys. We choose corrals, Val and Cooled took a lot of time getting them ready for us, as you can see in our photo… they are looking pretty good with Hank and Pie safe and comfy in their temporary homes. I think my next option would be the trailer tether as it is much less effort and the horses are able to lay down while on the line and roam a bit too.

Trailer tether

Trailer tether

Corral set up

Corral set up


Since we arrived one day early we were on our own the first night, no water, no outhouse and no food. Val and I made friends with our new neighbors Paula and Yvonne from the area of Parker AZ. Great ladies, Paula enjoying her 5th year and Yvonne her 6th. We are happy to have new friends showing us the ropes…
We bring our own water for the ponies, easy camping food, and of course free flowing wine…which by the way I found perfect for the event. It is bottled in a plastic bag with a plastic mouth and twist cap, the outside is surrounded by thick biodegradable paper… the wine from Paso. More on this latter….
Our evening passes quickly and we hit the sack early looking forward to our first ride at 10 am…

Business Women

I am still finding my way in Arizona, leaving behind my 30 plus years of relationships has been hard and at times, like last night, I am reminded of what I left behind.
Not remorseful of my decision but a bit melancholy, perhaps.

Last night was a social hour of professional commercial female brokers, a still a predominantly male world. Although a relaxed atmosphere and light conversations I was able to speak to 2 very powerful women.

One still very young in her career but has achieved so much in such a short time, a decree in law, head of a commercial firm and raising children…most recently securing a 20 million dollar land acquisition for her client of State Land… amazing young woman. Now the difference here is that she offered an almost stranger her knowledge and assistance in a land acquisition of the same type and difficulty, not what I typically see in this world….off to the corner table they went and mapped out the plan!

Next is a woman who started her career in Banking in the late 70’s, yes a complete mans world. She at 22 became a branch manager one of three women to achieve this status at her bank, the other 2 women were in their late 60’s! Powerful. She climbed the corporate ladder and yes accused of sleeping her way there, it really did happen back then. Now a leader in her industry with a firm of predominantly men. Our conversation casual, light and sharing of our past, so much fun.

These women in this room have very powerful jobs and huge careers and yet most of them said their goodbyes early to go home and cook dinner for their families, with a smile on their faces and no sense of drudgery… the stamina of our sex, incredible.

As the evening ended I was reminded of how I miss my relationships of past, but so embracing the new ones to come.

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