Sunday, February 11, 2007

Coming to Scottsdale

We began our trip at 9 a.m. on Friday and arrived on the show grounds in Scottsdale, Arizona at 11 p.m. Saturday. A childhood friend, Reah, wanted to caravan with us for part of the way so that she could ferry her Honda CRV to Austin, Texas. We met Reah south of the Twin Cities and pointed south along I-35. After a few hours Reah asked me to spell her driving. Her CRV drove quite nice and we talked nonstop from Missouri until 1:30 a.m. in Oklahoma City where we bid Reah farewell. She got a hotel rom and I rejoined Ian and Lady in the truck and we headed west on I-40. At 4 in the morning at a truck stop in Clinton, Oklahoma we stopped for a sleep break. Actually, I had crawled into the backseat some hours earlier, allowing Lady to ride shotgun. At 6 a.m. Ian started the engine again and off we went. I popped back up front at our breakfast and gas fill-up stop. The Texas panhandle was foggy but the temps were finally bearable after the subzero of home.

In sunnier New Mexico the scenery reminded me of a John Wayne movie set with its sagebrush, straw-colored grass and thick green trees dotting the rolling landscape. The rock outcroppings got more and more interesting, as did the billboards touting dinosaur bone parks, and various Indian tribe-made pottery and jewelry. We climbed into Albuquerque and treated ourselves to a cheeseburger and fries lunch at a Route 66 diner on the far side of town.

We continued across New Mexico and as the sun set we gassed up for the umpteenth time since leaving home at a Hopi Indian-run truck stop. I didn’t note the time that we crossed into Arizona, but I did telephoned our trainer Tony who was about four hours ahead of us on the road. Tony hauled the four horses that Genesis Training Center will be showing here. We hauled hay and feed in our trailer. We brought our own supplies for a couple of good reasons; buying either at a horse show is really expensive, and it’s best for horses to maintain their regular diet to help minimize gastrointestinal problems.

The descent from Flagstaff to Phoenix is substantial under any conditions; pulling a 36-foot trailer makes it very interesting. Ian wasn’t familiar with the road and after 30+ driving hours was working hard at getting us safely through that last little bit. After a couple of wrong turns we arrived at Westworld in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale and easily found our rented RV spot. Ian backed the trailer into its slot and we three climbed into bed and slept. Ian commented that he hadn’t driven that many hours straight since his days driving tours from London to Nairobi.

This morning we rendezvoused with Tony and saw the horses. All looked good as we fed them breakfast and topped up water buckets. This is our yearling gelding’s first show and road trip and Kiss looks none the worse for wear. He will be body clipped tomorrow, as Tony shows him on Saturday. He’s had his face shaved but hasn’t had his entire body done. I’ve never seen it done, so I’m interested to see how it goes. Today is a rest day for all of us. The show starts on Thursday, and we came early so the horses and people have time to recover from the trip.

Today the weather was overcast and it did rain this afternoon, but earlier we were running errands in shirtsleeves, calling people at home in the Midwest saying how nice it was! I spoke with Donna earlier who told me it was 10 degrees, which must feel balmy after many days in the deep freeze. During our walk around the grounds we saw a hummingbird hovering near an acacia tree.

After getting clothes, food and other supplies put away, I baked a pan of brownies (I had to test the oven LOL) and have a loaf of oatmeal bread baking in the bread machine. We’re having broiled steak and salad for dinner with a glass of wine.

Ian’s hooked up the wireless broadband so his laptop has Internet access and we can stay in touch with clients (and you, of course).


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