Saturday, February 7, 2009

Whoa! Settle Down Buckaroos!

We hit the dusty trail on horseback. South Mountain park provided the backdrop for our western horse back adventure. Our guide Kyle pointed out South Mountain park is the largest park owned by a city in the nation. Saguaro, ocotillo, and cholla cacti were featured attractions along the ride. Shane, Sophia and Savannah loved the adventure. Shane scoured his mind for every little question he could think of and launched them at the trail guide. Kyle decidedly answered each question with great attention to Shane's curiosities. Kyle was a bull rider trying to get to the PBR. He told us of the many broken bones he has suffered this early in his career. Traci's cousin James used to ride broncos and he always spoke of broken bones, his wife ended his riding days after their first child was born. Traci had Sophia on her horse with her and had a little problem fearing she would lose Sophia off the side of the horse. The trip back home featured a prolonged planning session from the children on how the family can buy a ranch and raise horses.
Savannah and I went on an eight mile bike ride after we arrived home. The evening plans include a trip to the movies. It is supposed to rain tomorrow and we will be forced to stay off the trails. The whole week ahead is going to be cold and rainy. Maybe we can start getting accustomed to the cloudy environs of Seattle.

Saturday Morning Soccer

Savannah and her team, Silver Strikes, had a good game. They are struggling to come up with a victory but the individual skill improvements are phenomenal. It is fun to watch them play. She has several players who have never played before. They appear to enjoy playing and get to run hard for an hour on Saturday mornings. Their scores have been close for the most part.
We plan to go horseback riding today. While hiking around South Mountain we came across a trail ride and the lead rider pitched the ride to us saying all ages can ride. Shane immediately attached himself to the idea of riding horses. He has been reminding us daily of his desire to be astride a horse in the western desert. He says he'll feel like a real western cowboy. We'll see how things go. When he was only two he saw horses and called them "yee haws". We had a chance to ride horses and the proprietors tried to shut down early before Shane could ride. He pitched such a fit we were allowed to ride. He has a thing for horseback riding.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Up El Norte

While our family at home is either struggling with too much ice or relishing snow days from school we were having a little snow withdrawal. So we went for snow and we found some of it. The higher elevations still had some white magic left on their peaks. Lucky enough for our crew we were invited to a friend's cabin north of Payson. We were immersed in the primitive lifestyle where the television signal still comes in from the antenna on the roof. It was a very nice place. The whole house was nearly larger than our home in Troy. There was a nice deck wrapped around one half of the home. There were neighbors about an acre away on all sides. The whole area was surrounded by tall pines.
We arrived after Savannah's soccer game. They suffered a miserable defeat with a score of too many to none.
Our hosts were gracious, generous and inviting. They made lunch the first day and breakfast the following morning. Traci supplied Taco salad for dinner. We played games into the night. The boys made a fort inside with the dining chairs and blankets and took forever to settle into sleep. The grown ups enjoyed a little star gazing. The dark sky spread open with stars. It had been a while since I had seen stars like that.
The next morning we played some more in the snow. The boys made a fort outside with wood collected around the yard. Savannah set off a snow fight when she snuck a handful of snow down the back of my shirt. Sophia had the opportunity to give the baby her bottle,a real baby! We found the sign for Strawberry Arizona and had to take a picture with Sophia. She kept asking where is Strawberry?
We had a great time and say thank you to our kind friends for having us out.