Texas

Trail Ride at Los Cedros Ranch

Since we were had to be at Cowgirls and Cowboys of the West at 1:00 for our trail ride we just hung around the RV this morning. We had lunch before we left on this very cold day. In fact the temperature while I was riding was a cool 37 degrees with a little wind!

We rode out to Los Cedros Ranch and when we got there we missed the turn. I called and the owner told us to where to go – we had just passed it – and that there was a gate there. I asked how we were supposed to get in and she said to open the gate and then ended with “This is the real deal Girl”! We got to the entrance and I got out and opened the gate. This gate was to keep the bulls from getting out! We went down the lane only to discover another gate which I got out and opened. Don’t know what this was keeping in – or out.

Upon arrival we were greeted by two young ladies who were to be our trail leaders today. They couldn’t have been friendlier, more courteous, more caring or more concerned about our safety. After we signed the waivers they took us out to meet our horses. I got lucky because I got Lucky! There was one other person on the ride and she had never ridden before. I mounted first – yep, used the mounting block just like at home – and my stirrups were adjusted. As I mounted and everything was being adjusted Kendra, the cowgirl kept a running commentary on how we should be doing things, e.g. posture, legs, heels, etc. and emphasized safety. She showed us how to keep a light rein on the horse. Riding a quarter horse western style is quite different from what I am used to and the instruction was great. Unlike other trail rides I have been on I had a very comfortable saddle and at the end of two hours could hardly tell I’d been in one. On other trail rides I was a bit uncomfortable after 15 minutes!

This is a real working ranch and the cowgirls are real wranglers. In fact our ride included two chores that they had to accomplish. One was closing another gate on a fenced in area where there were bulls. This ranch is the first in a line of steps to get cattle to the feedlot as this is where the breeding is done.

My wild ride!
My wild ride!
We rode posse style. In other words we rode abreast from each other rather than head to tail and were encouraged to ride where we wanted to as long as we stayed just behind the lead wrangler. Lucky likes to be in the lead but we were able to stay where we should. We rode up to the side of Palo Duro Canyon and what a sight! Can’t wait to get there to hike tomorrow.

It was a cold, cold day but what a fantastic ride. Just before the ride I decided to wear my heavy down coat – good decision so I was never really cold although my hands were a bit and I was not sure my feet would work when I dismounted. Fortunately they did and I didn’t fall on my butt when I got off!

If you are ever in the Amarillo area and want an authentic ranch trail ride with ranch horses be sure to check out Cowgirls and Cowboys of the West. You won’t be sorry!

Our next stop was of course to Walmart where we finally got all of Jerry’s meds. What a fiasco! We left there to go to the iconic Cadillac Ranch. I am so glad it was just a short distance and not a main part of our day. What a disappointment. We saw 10 cars, possibly Cadillacs, upended with spray paint all over them. In fact, there were people painting while we were there. The area was littered with cans of spray paint and other trash. Although it’s supposed to be one of the top things to do in Amarillo I would certainly say miss it if you can!

Back to the coach and another cold night. It’s supposed to get down to 19 degrees tonight but fortunately our propane kicks in and we stay nice and warm. With the heat pad going we don’t have to worry about anything in the coach freezing. I think it’s supposed to start warming up Saturday, the day we are leaving!

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Texas

American Quarter Horse Museum

Well, we came south for the winter but obviously not south enough. It was so cold last night that we had to disconnect the water after dinner due to freezing conditions. Although we have a heated hose we were told that the water would freeze at the pipe and if it did there was a $95 charge so we remembered to disconnect! I think it got down to about 23 last night.

Although we’re traveling when the 25th comes around bills at home have to be paid and bank accounts reconciled so I spent a long time working on that this morning delaying our departure until nearly 11:00.

Our first stop – Walmart! We knew that Jerry’s medicine would run out before we get home and were told that we could get them refilled at a local Walmart. We’ve been waiting until we got to Amarillo to do that because we were afraid that it might take some time. We were right! The first time we went to Walmart Jerry gave them all the information and then we left for a while. The second time we went he realized that he had given them an expired insurance card by accident. (When we received our new insurance cards we put them in our wallets but also kept the old ones because it was not January 1st and we might have needed them thus having two.) Once that was settled we left, got some lunch, went back to Walmart only to find out that they were out of the most important medication so we get to go back tomorrow after 2:00 to pick them up. Fortunately Walmart is close to the RV park and the places we visited today.

img_1811Our first stop was the American Quarter Horse Museum. What a nice facility with two floors full of interesting information and memorabilia. We entered the Grand Hall through massive beautiful doors and realized the hall is lined with tributes on both sides listing the members of the ASH Hall of Fame. On the floor in that room is a diagram of the sires beginning when the American Quarter Horse Association began to keep records. You can follow the bloodlines of several horses but there was one that stood out – Traveler. He had no descendants so we began to question that. It turns out that Traveler was traded for another horse and no one knows what his bloodline is but he sired many great horses.

The only way I'll ever get him on a horse!
The only way I’ll ever get him on a horse!
We watched a video in the Kenneth Banks Theater which also housed absolutely stunning original oil paintings by Oklahoma artist Orren Mixer. The video centered on the importance of horses in our lives featuring a young girl and her best friend, her horse. As a previous horse owner I know the connection one feels with your horse and there’s nothing like it.

Early Morning Disagreement by Mehl Lawson
Early Morning Disagreement by Mehl Lawson
There are several larger than life bronze sculptures outside and at least one horse is interred there. Inside there was one particularly outstanding sculpture of an Early Morning Disagreement by Mehl Lawson. The detail was incredible down to the spurs on the cowboy.

In between Walmart trips we had lunch at Whataburger. I had told Jerry that I had heard of Whataburger but I couldn’t remember if it was really good or really bad but it was one or the other. We decided we’d find out for ourselves since it was located right next to Walmart. The burgers were good and not typical fast food. They were certainly big. In fact I couldn’t even eat all of mine.

Our next trip was to Jack Sizemore RV Traveland Museum. That place is amazing with RV’s from long ago. One RV was one that was used in the filming of the movie RV. It was amazing to watch the progression from pop-ups to small pull behinds, some with bathrooms and some not. Also, Jerry looked at one of the showers and commented that you couldn’t drop the soap in that one because there was no way you could pick it up. When we went back into the store we actually met Jack Sizemore, a very nice gentleman and we had a nice chat with him.

Back to Walmart, then back to the coach for a brief rest before it was time for our chauffeured dinner at Big Texas.

Our ride for the evening
Our ride for the evening
We finished the evening by going to the Big Texan Steakhouse for dinner. We were chauffeured by a horned limo to the restaurant and along the way the driver explained the procedure telling us that it was a very busy place with something going on in every corner. It is indeed quite a production and I guess one every Amarillo visitor should do. As we walked in the blue double doors our senses were assaulted by action everywhere. To the left was the gift shop filled with all kinds of memorabilia. While I was in there a buffalo head on the wall spoke to me. I don’t remember what he said and we could never get it to speak again. After that we walked across the hall to the dining room. The area is set up with long tables family style. We sat at the end of one but no one else was seated at that table while we were there. All around the top of the room are mounted heads of various animals plus a wild turkey. All of the waiters and waitresses were dressed Texas style with cowboy boots, sheriff badges and cowboy hats. I even noticed the chef in the back wearing a cowboy hat. I ordered a filet and Jerry got a T-bone and we both got the usual baked potato and salad and dinner rolls – ah – thank goodness we don’t have access to those rolls at home because I’d be big as a barn. As it was I ate both of my rolls slathered in butter for each bite! As we were finishing dinner a trio of singers with instruments came up and serenaded us. It was a good harmony song and I sang right along.

After dinner we walked by the fudge area and the ice cream area but we were way to full to take advantage of that although we did sample a bite of fudge. Towards the back where the bathrooms are is a hall filled with haunted pictures. When you look at them one way you see an attractive person but as you move they turn into awful looking scary folks. They are for sale in the gift shop but I don’t think I’d care to have one. We also sat in the huge rocking chair and had our picture taken.

We decided that it was time to return to the campground so we went outside and sat on the porch and immediately one of the horned limos drove up and took us right back. Needless to say it was an interesting evening.

We came in, got ready for bed and soon after Jerry went out to disconnect the water. I think it’s supposed to get down in the teens tonight. So much for coming south for warmer weather! Of course Amarillo is in the panhandle so it’s north Texas, not really south!