On the Road to Chama New Mexico

Painted Desert

Painted Desert


Along Hwy 40, headed to Chama we saw a sign for the Petrified Forest, so we hung a right and took the 28 mile drive. This photo is of the painted desert, it took millions of years to create this beauty, formed from wind and rain, against the blue skies of Arizona it is truly a sight to see.
Painted Desert

Painted Desert


Yet another view of the beautiful desert.
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Paleontologists have studied fossils in the park since the 1920’s, finding skeletons of the Phytosaur which is one of North American’s earliest dinosaur fossils and also found was a skeleton of the aetosaur Stagonolepis. These fossil finds are important to finding out what the world was like over 200 million years ago.

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest is like a land lost, trees felled laying for millions of years to be covered with a mix of silt, mud and volcanic ash from distant volcanoes to create what we viewed today, petrified wood. The minerals from the silica-saturated water, iron, carbon and manganese created patterns with blended colors of yellow, red, black, blue, brown, white, and pink. These chucks of petrified wood are surprisingly heavy weighing up to 200 pounds per cubic foot.

Colors of the petrified trees

Colors of the petrified trees

They appear to be wood

They appear to be wood

We travel long the 28 mile drive and come across a natural bridge named Agate Bridge, a fallen tree petrified. Centuries of scouring floodwaters formed this gully beneath the fallen tree, forming the bridge. In 1906 visitors form a group to save this bridge, in 1911 they formed piers to assist in sustaining the bridge and then in 1917 placed the concrete span. If discovered today, the parks would have let it erode naturally.

Agate Bridge

Agate Bridge

Agate Bridge showing how the water flooding underneath created the bridge we see today.

Agate Bridge showing how the water flooding underneath created the bridge we see today.

Rocks around the bridge

Rocks around the bridge


The area around the bridge shows the signs of many years of water swirling and flooding to create beautiful rock formations, in what I believe to be sandstone. This formation was begging to be photographed.

Newspaper rock

Newspaper rock

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Along the drive we find Petroglyphs carved into the stones, they call this area Newspaper Rock, you can clearly see why when you view these rocks with messages carved into them. What do they say? I am fascinated with these carvings, such history that survives the elements. Love the man with the large private parts… who was he and why did they feel compelled to share this story?

More drawings

More drawings

Kachina Point

Kachina Point

The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest is a place of great wonder, beauty and history. If you happen along Hwy 40 and see the road sign, hang a left or right and take the tour, well worth the time and delay in arriving at your destination. It took us about 2 hours and we really could have wondered for many hours longer. Bring your camera, water and some hiking shoes.

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.

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…

Cave Creek Balloon Fest

Our second stop through the gates to the festival yesterday, was a food truck. The first you ask, of course the wine booth. After investigating several food trucks, Grilled Cheese, Bar-B-Que, Chinese, we decided on the J-Licious Tasty Teazy Tacos.... sooooo happy we did.

Our second stop through the gates to the festival yesterday, was a food truck. The first you ask, of course the wine booth.
After investigating several food trucks, Grilled Cheese, Bar-B-Que, Chinese, we decided on the J-Licious Tasty Teazy Tacos…. sooooo happy we did.

The Chef has studied French cooking and has such a unique approach to her food. I enjoyed Duck Tacos. According to her Mom, who was out helping her, the Duck is prepared 14 hours ahead of time. I love Duck but it must be prepared correctly or it is dry and gamey... Not this Duck! It was moist and flavorful, served with a bit of chipotle sauce on street sized corn taco shells, incredible.

The Chef has studied French cooking and has such a unique approach to her food. I enjoyed Duck Tacos. According to her Mom, who was out helping her, the Duck is prepared 14 hours ahead of time. I love Duck but it must be prepared correctly or it is dry and gamey… Not this Duck! It was moist and flavorful, served with a bit of chipotle sauce on street sized corn taco shells, incredible.

Jordan, the chef/owner, was just as refreshing as her food. She proudly informed us that she will be opening her restaurant in about 30 days in the Art District of Phoenix... You can bet I will be there...

Jordan, the chef/owner, was just as refreshing as her food. She proudly informed us that she will be opening her restaurant in about 30 days in the Art District of Phoenix… You can bet I will be there…

The sun soon sets and the balloons are starting to be set up, the crowds are growing and we are ready for Glow!

The sun soon sets and the balloons are starting to be set up, the crowds are growing and we are ready for Glow!

The balloons are being filled and getting ready to be raised.

The balloons are being filled and getting ready to be raised.

Hot air rises, so in the middle of the balloons are the "torch blowers", the flames are released and the balloons fill up and rise. The light from the flames  light up in the balloon and the glow is on!

Hot air rises, so in the middle of the balloons are the “torch blowers”, the flames are released and the balloons fill up and rise. The light from the flames light up in the balloon and the glow is on!

This happy face belongs to a dentist...

This happy face belongs to a dentist…

This guy, a bit hard to see, is a giant bubble bee, you can see how tall he is by the people below!  The evening was so fun and the town so entertaining.

This guy, a bit hard to see, is a giant bubble bee, you can see how tall he is by the people below!
The evening was so fun and the town so entertaining.

Silly Mountian AZ

Cactus Bones

Cactus Bones

Today is the 24th day of my move to AZ! Between work and traveling to CA to see husband and family I have not had much time to spend enjoying the State! Today I was able to get out and hike Silly Mountain

Today is the 24th day of my move to AZ! Between work and traveling to CA to see husband and family I have not had much time to spend enjoying the State! Today I was able to get out and hike Silly Mountain

This is the chain of mountains next on my list of hikes...

This is the chain of mountains next on my list of hikes…

This is the only pool of water we found on our hike today, after 3 full days of mostly non-stop rain, this is the only moisture I found on the trail...

This is the only pool of water we found on our hike today, after 3 full days of mostly non-stop rain, this is the only moisture I found on the trail…

Gracie’s Pouting Brother

Pouting in Bed Today marks opening day for Dove Season in our County. Cooled, an avid hunter rises early to hunt these innocent birds of peace.  Chase, his trusty bird dog is left at home as opening day isn't safe for him. He has no idea this is in his best interest, only that Dad is off with shotgun in hand and he is stuck at home with Gracie and Mom...

Pouting in Bed
Today marks opening day for Dove Season in our County. Cooled, an avid hunter rises early to hunt these innocent birds of peace.
Chase, his trusty bird dog is left at home as opening day isn’t safe for him.
He has no idea this is in his best interest, only that Dad is off with shotgun in hand and he is stuck at home with Gracie and Mom…

Not quite Dove Hunting But a visit with Love Dove Grandma makes his day a bit better.  Isn't the love of a dog the best? I know my puppies make my life better and that of my family.

Not quite Dove Hunting
But a visit with Love Dove Grandma makes his day a bit better.
Isn’t the love of a dog the best? I know my puppies make my life better and that of my family.

Boogie

Boogie

This is Boogie, my American Saddlebred. He is not well-behaved, a total “scardie cat” and sould be in the arena, not on the trail. Having said that, he is my trail horse. We log many miles together and have become best of buds!

My gal pals tolerate his bad behavior and allow me to ride with them. We travel throughout California together camping and at times treat ourselves to horse and spa resorts.

Here I will be posting about my travels and of course my bud Boogie. We run up hills, eat along the trail and stop at random times for photo ops! See why my friends tolerate me? Thank goodness they love me.

As you can see in this photo, he thinks all vegetation is his. Shortly after we took this photo the fence grew to keep him away from the landscape in the backyard.

Cooled

CooledMeet Cooled, my husband, really named Danny but this is name on Facebook and I liked it. Cooled is a former GQ model and has had quite an interesting life before our stars aligned and we met. He supports me in all my crazy adventures and has started a new business Cooled Comfort, thus the name Cooled. If you have read my Gracie’s story you pretty much know ours.

My dear Mom would tell me always that you really don’t know someone , for a very long time. I sort of understood what she was telling me when I was a young, thought I understood it when I grew older and then really understood it when I feel in love with this guy. Men can be so non-sharing, now I am not saying that they don’t share on purpose, but I think they have very little words each day to say, they don’t like to talk much. So little by little words come out that share who they are, where they were and what they think. It is like a long slow movie that unfolds before your eyes. I enjoy this slow unfolding movie.

Now me, I read somewhere that the average wife has over 80,000 words to tell their spouse each day, double that and you might reach mine. Thus the blog… what better way to express myself and spare Cooled! I don’t think there isn’t anything in my life that he hasn’t heard about already at least twice. And my girlfriends… they take at least half of those words for me!

Well Cooled is pretty funny, full of interesting stories and keeps things lively in our lifes. He collects friends where ever we go which adds such greatness to our lives. So here I will share about his adventures and friends.

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