Tuesday, July 27, 2021

WE'RE BACK...........!!!

 We had a lot of fun, drove 1,231 miles just to watch a night of dirt track racing.  But all along the way there was things to see.  I can get more fun out of gawking out of a car window than probably anyone else on the planet.  

I spent a lot of time on the road as a kid, traveling from Texas to Missouri and visiting the grandparents in between in Oklahoma.  That was before computers, so what does a kid do?  You look out the window to see what's out there.  Never got over the habit I guess.  

I'll say one thing about California, they have a lot of wind turbines, miles and miles of them.  I'm not sure they are worth the cost not only in money, but what they do to the landscape.  When I look out the windows of the car I like to see the hills, mountains and the different rock formations, not a bunch of windmills.  Most of them weren't even rotating, so at least they weren't killing birds and bats.

Did enjoy seeing the Imperial Dune State Park, miles and miles of really nice sand dunes, made me wonder if that is where a lot of the movies like Lawrence of Arabia were shot.  

We knew the race track was between 2 small towns Lakeside and Ramona, small being the important word here.  That means probably no motels, although  they were close to El Cajon, so that's where we decided to find a motel.  

Talk about "culture" shock, we quickly noticed that CA must have ordinances against billboards and lots of information along the freeways.  That means if you are driving on the freeway at the speed limit looking for motel signs, and the "natives" are passing you like you are sitting still, you probably are going to have a hard time finding a motel.  I noticed a Motel 6 sign way up in the air and told John to exit.  My idea of camping is Motel 6, but what the heck it's within sight and we won't have to keep looking.  

John goes in to register, comes out looking like he's been robbed.  It's a Motel 6, how bad can it be?  He asked if we wanted to pay $192. to stay overnight.........!!!  GOOD GRIEF..........!!   We discussed looking for other motels, but finally decided if Motel 6 could get that much, the rest of them were going to be as much or more.  OK, we'll stay the night, and look for something else for Sat. night.  

Got in the room and started laughing.  I can almost list on one hand what was in the room.  Bed, one night stand, 1 kitchen chair, TV, cabinet for TV, no refrigerator, no microwave and John already knew they didn't have coffee in the lobby in the morning.  When he checked out in the morning, the woman asked how the room was, John told her it was clean, which it was.  There wasn't anything in the way of the maids cleaning it........!!! LOL   

Had all day Sat. to find the track, another motel, and get familiar with the area, so off we go.  Had instructions on finding the track, luckily Fri night we were running around and happened to see a race car headed out for practice.  Because if we had only had our instructions, we'd still be looking for the track.  We followed him about 12 miles in some of the most up and down, sharp curves on a narrow road with lots of traffic going both ways, we've seen for awhile,   Arizona is a lot more wide open.  But he led us right to the track.  

Tried to find a motel and they were all full for the week-end, because of lots of sports going on in the area, one of the motel clerks told John.  So we decided to leave the area right after the races Sat night, if nothing else it should be cheaper........LOL  

The races were really good.  Lots of cars in 6 classes, lots of spectators, you just can't beat Sat. night 1/4 mile dirt track racing for entertainment.  They had Sport Compacts which are about like our Hornets.  

We headed out after the races and drove to El Centro about 100 miles, stayed at a Motel 6 for $52. and had a great breakfast the next morning at a Mexican restaurant that was about the only thing open in town, everybody in town that was awake were there.  Then we headed home.

You might notice no pictures, I forgot to take my camera.  

Suzanne had to contend with rain at chore time, she said the wash actually ran a little bit, but not bank to bank, thank goodness.  But she said everything went good and the donkeys behaved themselves.  



This is such a great picture of the finish of the pack burro race in Fairplay, CO this week-end.  These two teams have just ran 29 miles, some of it over 10,000 feet and look at them still racing.  Yukon and Bob Sweeney, beat little Buttercup by about 3 or 4 feet at the finish. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021


 John and I are headed for California tomorrow morning to watch some dirt racing this weekend at Lakeside.  Not sure where that is, but I've got a map......!! LOL  They have 6 classes of race cars, mostly stock cars of one kind or another.  They also have a class called Sport Compacts, which is a 4 cylinder class, like the Hornets, but they are allowed to do work on the motors and suspension that the Hornets can't do.    It's not suppose to rain out there, as of a couple of hours ago, it's suppose to rain all night tonight here, so the wash may run again.  Hope the weather settles down, so Suzanne doesn't have a "wild" week-end while we're gone....!!   

We sure enjoyed seeing the wash run twice last week, unfortunately the 70 feet of fence across the wash between the 10 acres where the house and pens are and the 20 acres of Burroland is still down.  One thing about living out in the boonies, it takes time to gather up all the stuff needed to fix things.  Just got the tractor up and running, thanks to our neighbor Jorja, John has been so busy the last couple of days he wasn't getting to it.  It turned out the rock hit the filter, knocked it loose and of course all the fluid leaked out.  New filter, fill up with hydraulic fluid and good to go.  While we're gone to California Jorja is going to use the tractor to clean up monsoon damage at her place.  

We've still got people coming out to visit with the donkeys and it makes it a little more difficult to do tours with the donkeys having access to 30 acres.  No one in their right mind would want to tramp over 30 acres of rocks and brush to find donkeys.  But it's more interesting to have the donkeys out loose rather than in their pens.  So we've been letting them out right about the time the people are suppose to be here for their tour.  That way most of the donkeys are still in the house/pen area.  

John Henry, the mammoth that joined our herd recently is really getting into this "tour" business.  He seems to end up where the people are when there is a tour.  We don't have to find him, he finds us.  Then he presents himself for petting and will stand there as long as someone will pet.  Most of the donkeys have learned to milk people for attention.  They know we don't give treats when they are out of the pens.  Buddy Brat has been known to walk into an empty pen and stand there waiting for a cookie, because he knows they get cookies when they are inside a pen.  Anyone that thinks a donkey isn't smart hasn't spent enough time with them.  We're still trying to figure out how Jasper can open a chained gate with a clip on it, that usually takes us mere humans 2 hands to open.......LOL

This is called sheet flooding.  When it rains really hard the rain ends up running a couple of inches deep all over the property.  The land naturally runs downhill towards the San Pedro River about 1/2 mile west of our property.  

Our neighbors to the north lost their road literally, there was nothing left where the wash that runs across our property was rushing towards the river.  Another neighbor has a D9 Cat, actually he couldn't get into his property either, so he reworked the road.  If the wash runs again it will take the road out again.  It's amazing the damage a little rain can do. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021


Didn't get our overnight soaking rain, which gave time for the ground to dry out.  John decided this morning to go over and dig the fence that separates the 10 acres from Burroland out of the mud and do a temporary fix on it.  I closed the regular gate to Burroland this morning, but that 70 feet in the wash is wide open, if they bother to check.  Since they are very nosy, I'm surprised they haven't already figured it out.  

 He planned on using the tractor to pull the wire out of the mud, so off he went.  Wasn't gone very long and came back walking, not a good sign.......!!!  It's pretty rough over there and he managed to find a big rock that took out the hydraulics, while down in one of the big washes.  That means nothing works, the backhoe was on the ground, and the front bucket was almost on the ground.  So it is going to have to be dragged out of there.

Thank goodness it was within sight of one of the gates, so then what?  We know of 3 possibilities that might could drag it.  Our closest neighbor has a Toyota 4WD truck, and was available.  They had to get it out of the wash, which wasn't easy, if the Tojo went down in the wash, it was going to get stuck in the soft sand and gravel.  So they strung a bunch of chain together to reach the Tojo up on the bank and started dragging the tractor out.  Got it out, got it dragged to the gate and down the road they went about a 1/4 mile to our gate.  John said it didn't have any power steering and wasn't much fun to steer........LOL  Hopefully it is only a torn hose, but when you think of big rock there are all sorts of possibilities.

Last night when it was time for round up, the donkeys were reluctant to leave the beans, but we were determined, finally got everyone in except Boaz.  Boaz usually runs with Tula and the A-team, we had seen him earlier in the day, but not since the wash ran.  Looked all over the 10 acres, looked in the wash but didn't see any prints.  John even took the golf cart over in Burroland and he wasn't anywhere.  Years ago he got out a few times, but would be yelling at the driveway gate at feeding time, so this was all very unusual.  John said maybe he got caught in the wash when it started running and got drowned.  YIKES that's a little scary...........

John and Suzanne went out in golf carts to check outside the fence for hoofprints.  While they were gone I decided to walk around in Burroland and look for prints.  I was in the big wash over there, looked up on the bank and guess who was looking at me.  He was really spooky he's usually a real mellow guy.  His ears were up and he was looking at me like I was some sort of monster.  I yelled at him and he took off running, which left me way far behind, so I couldn't really tell if he came over to the pen area or not. When I got to the pens I still hadn't seen him, but I blew the horn to let John and Suzanne know I'd found him.  

We think he might have gotten stuck on the other side of the wash by himself when it started to run.  He was still spooky going into his pen, but he's fine today.  

A couple of days ago Suzanne and I were walking on the north side of the east pens and up out of the wash comes 2 cows, that aren't suppose to be here.  I guess they heard breakfast was being served, one of them grabbed some of Bella's hay before we got them moving.  Cows can be interesting to herd if you are on foot.  You can't "herd" them, you have to just follow them at a distance and only get involved if they change direction.  John opened the driveway gate, which they went around rather than thru, but they were following the fence line, just on the wrong side.  So we just kept following them.  John had moved down in front of them and when they saw him they went thru the 4 strand barbed wire fence and out on the road.  

This is why we are never bored..........LOL


Link to Road Tripper's article by  Emily Cantaneo


Friday, July 16, 2021

THE WASH IS RUNNING...........!!!

 It's been over 2 years since the wash ran bank to bank, but it did this afternoon.




It's still raining, but nothing like earlier, last check we got over 2 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes with accompanying strong wind.


Suzanne wanted to make sure all the poo left the area

Three fences cross this wash, 2 of them will just need to be stood up, they are kick-out fences.  When debris gets up against the fences rather than breaking the wire, the posts pull out of the ground.  When the water goes down you just stand the fence up again and stick the posts back in the ground

The rain and wind caused beans to fall.  It is still raining and the donkeys are having a field day running around picking up beans.  I would imagine round up in about an hour or so is going to be fun because the donkeys aren't going to be the least bit interested in going into their pens.  

It was still raining pretty good, when I took this picture of Frijolita looking for beans.  

The way it's raining right now, we might get a slow and easy all nighter, which would be great.  The wash running is fun to watch, but unfortunately the moisture doesn't stay here, it all ends up in the San Pedro River not too far west of us.  A long soaking rain will stay on the land and hopefully fatten up the prickly pear cactus.  

Suzanne took this right after the wash started running.  This is the view from her RV.  Cisco is just waiting for it to quit.  There are plenty of shelters but the donkeys usually stand out in the weather.  They can't hear "danger" if it's raining on the roofs, so they stand with their butts to the weather and wait for it to quit.
Earlier today before the rain came, Suzanne caught Koshare on one of the car trailers, looking for beans in the trees.  I guess he figured out the trailer would let him get higher into the trees.  Anybody that thinks a donkey is stupid probably shouldn't try to out think one.............LOL

I'm surprised his little gang of followers weren't there to share in the bounty.  Some of them have figured out when he's shopping and knocking beans down, there are plenty for everyone. 

Monday, July 12, 2021


Since the monsoon started about the 1st of July, we have watched clouds everywhere but here.  We've seen rain falling in the distance almost daily, and seen people putting messages on facebook about how much rain they had gotten, but nothing for us............until Saturday afternoon at chore time.  

We got a good old monsoon rain for about half an hour, bad timing and only 1/2 inch but very welcomed.  Didn't even mind getting soaking wet and was hoping for more.  So far........nothing.  The rest of the week, they are predicting rain in the area everyday, so we'll see.  

Right before the rain started we got quite a bit of wind off the clouds.  The mesquite beans have been getting ripe quickly because of the high temperatures, a few had fallen. Nothing makes beans fall, like a wind storm and the donkeys were ready.  Needless to say, the idea of getting rounded up to go into a pen to eat old dry hay, when all those lovely beans were just laying around........everywhere.......wasn't a big hit.  In fact it was like trying to round-up pigs, or cats no cooperation what so ever.  Took  forever to get everyone in and interested in hay.  

The only saving grace about the mesquite bean problem is almost all the beans that blew down have been eaten.  There are beans still up in the trees, but as long as they don't all come down at once the donkeys should be able to keep up with the supply without eating too many.  Last year was the 1st time we had such a heavy crop of beans in all the years we've been here.  The ground below a lot of the trees was completely blanketed with beans, you couldn't hardly see the ground, which is why the donkeys had to stay in their pens for almost 4 months.  Hopefully we will be able to control their access to the beans enough that they won't have to stay in the pens.  

Tonight there are 2 rain storms one north of us and one south of us neither one is headed our way.  

Suzanne and the kids headed east early Fri morning.  Sounds like they are having a great time, their parents met them half way in St. Louis so they are taking in the sights there for a couple of days before heading home.  

 Suzanne took this great picture of Richelle and Justice before they left.  

This is Kachina and Anazazi in their new home.  They got a great home last winter and the people spend a lot of time outside with them especially Russ.  Anna has problems with fly damage on her legs, when she was here we put socks, polo wraps, whatever we thought might work and she absolutely destroyed all of them.   Russ says she has learned to leave them on, maybe she figured out they keep the flies from biting her legs. 

Isn't this an interesting look mess of donkeys......!!!  The corral panel area behind them is where John feeds the birds.  The donkeys know there is bird seed in there and like to "help" with the feeding.  What that means is we have to make sure we put the seed far enough in, so greedy donkeys can't get to it.  They've gotten resigned to the fact that unless we goof up and either spill seed or forget how far in they can reach they aren't getting any bird seed, but it doesn't stop them from trying.  This bunch were pretty far away, when they saw me coming with the coffee can, they stampeded at a dead run.  


Wednesday, July 07, 2021


Every day is just like the day before, the nights are cooling off, thank goodness it gives the donkeys a break from the 100* plus days. The humidity is high feels like the Midwest in August, still no rain for us. It's around us, just not here. Suzanne's grandkids are leaving soon and I was really hoping the big wash would run while they were here. They won't see anything like that in the Midwest. Our wash hasn't ran in over 2 years, so it is overdue. 

The high temperatures have started the mesquite beans to ripen on the trees, although they haven't started to fall yet. Some of the donkeys know they are up there and are doing their best to shake the limbs to make them fall. Koshare is the main shaker. He comes out of the pen after breakfast and starts his daily routine. We've been trying to catch him on his hind feet, with his head up in the tree, trying to get those beans to fall. He obviously has been successful, because the other donkeys stand around close and wait..........patiently. IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG HOT SUMMER..........!! The trees aren't loaded like they were last year, and the pods don't seem to have plump beans in them. But I don't know if the pods have as much sugar/starch as the beans, I would guess not, but who knows. Time to start watching poo to make sure they aren't getting too many beans, or we'll have to restrict their time out of the pens.

Koshare with Suzanne, thanks Roger Thompson for the picture

 John Henry is settling in. The first few days were a little rough he wasn't eating, which for a donkey can become a crisis quickly. We've dealt with hyperlipidemia before, not sure he had it, but it's very unusual for a donkey not to eat if food is available. He was picking at food, so it wasn't a crisis.  Dr. Jeremy said we'd try Karo syrup, which is the home remedy I've used before. The vets give an IV of electrolytes and glucose, which is a little fancier, but a couple of syringes of Karo got him back to eating. I think he's use to being in a dry lot with food available most of the time. He needs to get over that, he doesn't clean up his hay, so he either has to stay in the pen or the pen has to be shut up, so the greedy bunch can't eat it all. Believe me they know who leaves food and are willing to squabble over it. 

Because he wasn't eating his body thought it was starving and the liver was ready to release any fat it had available (which most domestic donkeys have or have had fatty liver disease.) The problem is the fat is released into the blood stream and depletes the oxygen and they can die from lack of oxygen. Years ago we lost a pretty little pregnant jenny. We had a necropsy done because she had only been here a couple of weeks and we didn't know if she had something that could run thru the herd. Her organs were all white, they had no color and obviously no blood flow. Since then we have dealt with the problem at least 3 times and Karo has done the job thank goodness. 

Suzanne and I are doctoring Gigi's foot every other day probably for the foreseeable future. It's not getting any worse but the open area has to be kept clean which means covered with a bandage. She started out insisting she wasn't going to lift her foot. But the last couple of bandage changes she been cooperative. I think animal crackers and peppermints make a difference........!!! LOL I hope she continues to be cooperative when Suzanne takes the kids back to their parents. John will be the "hold-ee", she might decide he isn't the regular crew chief and make him wrestle to get that foot off the ground. 

 Big Gus has made his 2nd break for freedom. This time he got out on John and Suzanne. He managed to catch Suzanne half way thru the gate, as he merryily took off a different direction than he went the other day. Guess he'd seen that and wanted to see something else. 

To add to the fun, we had a tour coming in and sure enough they showed up while ALL of us were involved in trying to change Gus' direction. They even came down the back road where we were chasing him, turned around and headed back to the driveway. By this time John is late for an appointment, Gus has met a bull with horns on the trail, which the bull didn't appreciate and Mikaela and Suzanne are plowing thru mesquite brush, you couldn't expect him to stay on the trail.....!! LOL 

 Finally got him turned around and managed to get a halter and lead on him. He wasn't within sight of the driveway, so it was going to be a long walk. I took the golf cart and headed up the trail to see if I could find the couple on the tour. Sure enough they were waiting at the driveway, along with our truck and Suzanne's truck. At least the gate got closed, so none of the other donkeys could go on a walk about.....!! He has a special tree he stands under and watches the gate, and if it looks like he can make it, it's amazing how fast the old boy can move......!!! One of the reasons we're never bored....!! LOL

Saturday, July 03, 2021


 Some of the donkeys got to go on an adventure today.  Benson had their 4th of July parade, so we loaded up donkeys and decorations and joined in the fun.  Wish you could participate and also see parades, but it doesn't usually work out that way.  You just get to see the groups around you.  

Waiting for something to happen

This cute little "short eared" guy was behind us in the lineup

For a town of 5000 people, I think they were all out on the streets watching the parade.

Lots of people along the route

Wendy and Koshare...... Koshare needs to work on his parade skills.  He seemed to think it was a "timed event" and Wendy got quite a workout trying to hold him to a parade speed. 

Gary and Harley ready to go, thanks Gary for the pictures

Our vet was hiding in the crowd, somewhere along the route and shared this picture he took.  John had his sanitation department tools in case one of the donkeys couldn't wait until they got back to the trailer.  They all did just fine, although a lot of the horses left a deposit, which John ignored....!!  LOL  

When the parade was over, everyone came out to the house and we had pizza.  I stayed in town to get the pizza, while everyone else came out to unload the donkeys and let the others out of their pens.  When we leave early like that, they get fed early but don't have time to finish their breakfast.

When I came home, Big Gus was out and in the area of the driveway gate, not really that close, but obviously close enough that he came at a fast walk and I couldn't get out of the truck, open the gate, get thru the gate, get out of the truck and close the gate in the time it took for him to get out of the gate and head out for a walk about.  I tried to get him back in, but unfortunately Frijolita and Buddy saw what was going on and decided they'd like to get out too.  So I couldn't leave the gate open while I tried to encourage Gus to come back in rather than go on an adventure.  

Drove to the house and told everyone what was going on and they took off to capture him.  He's harder to capture than most of the donkeys, he's not out to eat weeds, he wants to see what's out there.  If Buddy and Frijolita had gotten out they would have probably been within 50 feet of the gate, eating whatever was there.  Not Gus, he was headed east on a mission.  

But we got him and he was more than willing to come back with us, but we'll have to watch him for awhile, if he is within sight of the gate when we drive in.  We'll also have to  probably marshal people coming in for tours for awhile.  Most of them probably wouldn't have a clue of what to do with a big brown donkey strolling out of the gate, not that there is much you can do except go get him....!! LOL