Saturday, November 3
“You be good boys. I’ll be back later.”
Reggie and Roger good-naturedly receive their goodbye pats at the gate of our chain-link fence. They are accustomed to taking on the responsibility of guarding our home while I’m away.
Reg and Rog know I will return.
Their comfy dog beds are set in the sunshine at the end of the covered patio. A bowl with fresh water is nearby. This is their favorite spot for soaking up the rays and also for “keeping a look-out.”
With a final wave to the boys from the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I set off for . . .
The Cowboy Festival!
This is going to be fun! It’s perfect fall festival weather. . . cool but not chilly, no wind, clear, blue sky, lots of sunshine. . . . I want to take lots of pics of horses . . . .
The PTV carries me across the familiar, golden grasslands of Cochise County in southeastern Arizona. Beyond Sonoita, I turn at the blue festival sign, entering Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. (You may recall that the crew and I camped here last winter and previously.)
Smiling volunteers direct vehicles toward the ranch entrance.
There’s no charge for the festival, but a donation of $10 is expected at the parking lot. Once the PTV is settled into her place, I grab my camera and set out across the field that is already well filled with vehicles at 10 a.m.
I anticipate a long walk.
At the very moment I reach the dirt lane that goes to the ranch, a free ride appears and I climb aboard. (No, that’s not me in the photo. I’m behind the camera!)
What a great beginning!
Disembarking at the entrance, another smiling volunteer welcomes me and hands me a program of the days events and sponsors.
After taking the above photo, I make a short detour before walking under the welcome banner to the festival grounds.
I see something interesting going on over by the horse trailers . . .
Oh, the horses are practicing their dance steps!
What a treat to watch them and away from the crowd!
With no instruction apparent from the rider, the horse practices the dance routine.
What a delight to watch this magnificent animal move!
An announcer from the festival grounds gives the word the show is about to begin. The dancing horses and their riders respond to their cue.
Away they go!
I gotta’ tell you . . .
The young woman in the photo above — the one in blue — has the most engaging smile. Later, during their performance, that smile lights up the arena!
Of course, I follow the horses through the entrance and hurry to find a vantage point from which to take more pictures.
Glancing at my program, I see the group listed as “Charros y Modelos de Tucson.”
The U.S. flag and the Arizona state flag . . .
. . . and the flag of Mexico.
See what I mean about her smile?
Radiant! So is the horse!
Leaning on the corral fence along with the crowd I watch and photograph the dancing horses and the young caballero who shows us his lassoing skill. I have a bunch of pics of that which I’ll publish in the next post.
Let’s wander around the festival!
First thing I come upon is the adoption display for wild horses and burros.
I learn that the Bureau of Land Management partners with the Arizona Department of Corrections to ready the animals for adoption and to involve the inmates. Many of the inmates have no experience with horses or burros. They are trained how to train the animals.
As anyone who has developed a loving relationship with an animal knows, the daily care and interaction can have a positive and profound influence on one’s life.
Next is Horsen Around Rescue . . .
Also known as Horse’n Around Rescue Ranch: “Where Horses Can Be Horses.”
And where burros can be burros, too.
I overhear the woman tell a festival-goer that this type of burro is the largest type. This burro IS big.
Aww, don’t be shy . . .
“It’s okay. You can open your eyes now.”
The Horse ‘n Around Rescue display illustrates a few of the success stories.
People and animals are here from Coronado National Forest to give a demonstration of “Mule Packing/Crosscut Saw.”
I don’t catch the demo. Stuff happens simultaneously at the festival. I also miss Ballet Folklorico (darnit). I hope to catch their performance at next year’s festival (if I can pull myself away from the horses and burros!).
Vendor booths are always fun to browse.
Boots for the stylin’ cowboy and cowgirl:
A good hat is required:
Tooled leather accessories:
Ooh, I’d love to take one of these pots home, but how could I choose?
Won’t find a dish like this one down at the thrift shop!
Good ol’ Raggedy Ann. She never gets old.
Here’s a unique piece of fabric art:
There are more booths, including food, of course — Mexican and barbeque choices, kettle corn, dutch oven cobbler . . . .
You can grab a kiss here:
The folks from Tombstone!
(That corset is a marvel of engineering. Goll-ee. Scary.)
Of course, the Tombstone bunch can’t resist a few, good hangings.
That’s all for now . . . I’ve gone on too long already.
More festival fun in the next post!
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