Thousands of acres and they’re all mine!
Our timing is perfect. As we arrive at the cattle grate and gate at the entrance, two RVs are leaving. Now it’s just us!
It’s much greener this year. Fresh grass grows all over. I pick up the ammo shells lying around and the cans with bullet holes in them. I put the Best Little Trailer in order, including the hoisting of the antenna, and then I relax with the crew for the rest of the day. Bridget and Spike amuse themselves as they get reacquainted with the campsite.
I want to find the herd of horses.
This morning the crew and I walk to the watering trough.
On the way I scan the sandy ground in search of hoof prints. Nothing but jackrabbit prints. The watering trough, though full, is not dripping fresh water. Around the trough are horse droppings; none of it is fresh. It’s apparent the cattle have been removed and the horses don’t frequent this trough often.
We walk the lane that leads to another watering place.
On the way I see hoof prints on the sandy road which gives me hope. On second thought I realize the prints are probably from a horse being ridden. Horses don’t graze in the road! Spike and Bridget hurry ahead, climb the man-made berm, and discover the pond is dry.
Bridget and Spike happily trot on the soft sand, a welcome change from the rocky ground of our recent camps. We take a turn for home.
Bridget runs ahead and lies down waiting for Spike and me to catch up.
Well, darn. No sign of the herd of horses. And they aren’t likely to show up in this area without fresh water to draw them here.
Later I dig around in the back of the PTV.
I pull out our folding grill and bag of briquets and set up a cooking station in the shade of the palo verde at our campsite. It’s the hottest part of the day — around 90 degrees I estimate — but it’s cool in the shade. There’s even a breeze. I place five chicken breasts on the grill.
I can count on Spike to keep a careful watch on the grilling.
As soon as a chicken breast is ready, I cut it up and Bridget, Spike, and I feast together.
Toward the end of the day, the crew and I resume our horse hunt.
Our destination is another watering trough that can be viewed from an overlook.
I survey the wide valley, the washes and gulches, the slopes of ravines, and the ridge far off to the east. No movement at all. Up on this hill, a slight updraft blows through the palo verde. It’s rocky up here. Bridget takes off down the slope on a different path than how we came. There’s that homing instinct again. Spike and I follow. Of course, when I try to take a picture, Bridget sits down. See our camp in the distance? Look at all that green grass! The mesquite trees are grey with very few leaves.
Well, Spike is keeping an eye on them. However, it would never occur to him that, since he’s a dog and they’re rabbits, perhaps he should chase them. No. Spike has a live-and-let-live attitude. That’s one of the things I love about him.
Bridget has absolutely no interest in wildlife. Not even as a spectator. She doesn’t care about jackrabbits. She’d rather be inside, lying on the bed, close to me as I blog away.
Note: Five steady bars for internet and several television channels!