Tuesday, June 24, 2008

3 Week Tour of the West: Slim & Coaty's Ranch

We got here in the late afternoon, it is quite a way off the road along a dirt track. Half way there we bumped into Slim with his horse and cart, and he gave all of us a ride on the back of that and we all got a taste of how dusty things were going to be! Well, I was expecting a bungalow type of ranch and us camped in a field. Way off!!

The campground in the middle of nowhere!Slim & Coaty have built a sort of covered space out of cactus trunks! And they sleep in a caravan. Very sparse. The toilet was just a dug out hole with a shed built around it, the others all tried their best not to have to go, but as usual that didn't stop me. I'll try any loo! We had a real cowboy meal that evening, beautiful beef which had been cooked in a hole in the ground with home-baked bread, the traditional cowboy baked beans and salad with a garlic dressing. All very delicious. After dinner we all sat down around the fire, and started drinking, I was drinking Southern Comfort and coke, delicious, I could get used to that, actually I might treat myself in the duty free.

After an hour around the fire, Tina taught us a line dance and we also all had a go at lassooing, that was certainly not for me, after a couple of tries, I could feel my wrist hurting, so before the feeling could get anywhere near my shoulder, I stopped, and went back to sit by the fire. Had a good chat to Neil and went to bed at about 1.30. But there was no hope of sleep, as Neil and Kylie had both had one too many, and were intent to use their voices to the full extreme. They finally went to bed at 3.30 and we could all sleep!

Wow, was that saddle hardGot up after about 4 hrs sleep and then we were in for a real treat, a cowboy breakfast. Which is " Biscuits and Gravy ", sounds revolting but the biscuits weren't biscuits but a scone type of bread and gravy was a corned beef sauce. Not my kind of breakfast, as I'm a Coco Pops girl. Although this holiday I'm growing partial to Quakers Granola Oats and Honey! If there is any room in my bag, I might try to fit a box in!

After that hearty breakfast, I had to decide whether I was going horse-riding or not. I decided to go. As soon as I sat on that saddle, I knew exactly which parts of my body were going to hurt the next day! Riding is SO painful, if you don't know what you are doing. The non-beginners kept saying: " go with the horse " Ha-ha, I just kept slamming down on a saddle that was rock hard. Just the thought makes it all hurt again. The view of the desert and all the cowboy cacti made up for it though.

Saguara, or as I said " Cowboy Cacti "Well, that was what I thought after about 2 hrs riding, but the third hour was murderous! The others all wanted to gallop, but every time my horse went faster it hurt me even more. So I hung back with Harvey, one of Slim & Coaty's sons. In the end after I'd asked how much longer if I carried on at this speed and he said 45 mins. I changed my mind about galloping and geed my horse up! And actually it didn't hurt too bad after all in fact it was less painful. So safely back at the ranch after 3 hrs on horse back we all got off the horses and tried not to walk like cowboys - impossible! Before we left, we had to sign the guestbook and while that was underway Slim read us a couple of cowboy poems. That was really good.

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