Tierra Bella 2016 had arrived and to avoid the rush, a group of us arrived at the camp site approximately three hours after the stated arrival time. We were not disappointed at the location selected and were promptly greeted by committee members. After parking the rigs and setting up the corrals for the equines, we found the sign-in table by the food tent and were provided with ride details. On Thursday, this rider went on the Greaterville Ride which was organized/lead by Diane and Jeanne. The ride was listed as 4.5 hours in length, but the four riders rode back into camp about 3.5 hours after leaving. Trotting or gaiting occurred often with the top speed being 11.1 mph. The group enjoyed lunch in the shade of trees next to an open rock well with water in it. A hawk was screaming at us as we returned to camp through a canyon. The group traveled 8.95 miles in 2 hours and 42 minutes of moving time. Bonnie recited Cowboy Poetry by the evening campfire, including one she wrote herself. On Friday, this rider went on the Boston Gulch/Kentucky Camp Ride which was organized/lead by Don and Colleen. The ride was listed as a 3.5 hour ride. The lunch spot of Kentucky Camp was ideal with water and shade for the equines. A plus was the rental cabin was open and we could tour the inside. It is a three room unit, kitchen, living and bedroom. The bathroom is down the pathway, but water is out the back door by the BBQ. After traveling 7.93 miles in 2 hours and 40 minutes, plus the time stopped for lunch, the riders rode into camp. They attempted to have their equine step on an egg, which was accomplished in just under the 30 seconds. This rider backed his mule over the egg to break it. During and after dinner, a father and son provided country music entertainment as the riders ate dinner and then by the campfire. On Saturday, this rider went on the How Many Canyons Ride. All rides were Poker Rides and Gary had the best hand. This rider came up with 13 canyons, but was told that was too many. Counting every tributary was not a canyon! The ride was listed as a 4 hour ride and organized/lead by Bonnie and Mary. You can count on Bonnie to take you over hill and dell and she did not disappoint. She took the riders in the washes and under the trees, staying in the shade for awhile. Lunch was in a small wash after riding down a steep rocky slope. As the riders rode back to camp, they rode past a rock cabin. The builders grand-daughter was there and had the cabin open. She graciously allowed any rider to tour the cabin, which Bonnie did! After traveling 7.78 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes of moving time, plus about 57 minutes of stopped time, the riders rode back into camp. During the afternoon and evening, a local author provided information about ranches in Southeastern Arizona, followed by a short video of a TSC sponsored clinic, the poker hand awards, and a raffle ended the day. On Sunday, Tierra Bella was coming to a conclusion. A short ride went out, but this rider elected to stay in camp and slowly break-down camp. It was a good ride. Thanks to the committee.
See what you missed? Hope to see you next year!
October 12-16, 2016
Ride report by Jennifer Browm
What a fantastic Tierra Bella we had! So many details all came together for such a rich time of getting to know new people and having fun with our horses. I am always so impressed at how so many people participate and give their time to the members of the club. It all seemed to dovetail seamlessly, even down to the perfect weather and bright full moon on our last night. I met some members I didn't know and the ones I did know became dearer to me. There is nothing like being in the beautiful outdoors with your horse and others with similar passions. We started with a gift of original artwork from Mary Karrels and Bonnie Slaten in the form of a leather name tag in the form of a horse whose mane echoed the contour of the scenic Santa Rita mountains in our surroundings. To my delight (the art teacher in me was cheering), we were encouraged to decorate and put our own unique stamp on it with a variety of beads, markers, feathers and bling. All were beautiful!
The rides were spectacular. They were varying lengths and difficulties and I saw wildlife on every one. There were deer on two rides and the largest red tailed hawk I'd ever seen on all. There were also some beautiful cattle who were not too impressed with us. Happy cows. The food was delicious with quite a variety of breakfast fare, packable lunches and brisket, baked potatoes, fajitas and New York steak and more for dinners. The campfires were some of the best I've ever witnessed thanks to Steve Pferdeort and Don Finlayson. The entertainment was awesome with guest speakers, a father and son duo who sang our western requests accompanied with guitar and mandolin and my favorite, our very own Bonnie Slaten who recited cowboy poetry in such a manner that you could hear only the fire crackling as we hung on every word!
Not sure how this one could be topped but I'm already mentally preparing for next year's adventure. Thank you Dan and Letha Simmons, Cheryl Dean and Fox Johnson, Bonnie Slaten and Mary Karrels, Diane Balanoff and Jeanne Matthews and Don and Coleen Finlayson.
Ride Report by Steve Pferdeort
Dan and Letha Simmons
Don and Colleen Finlayson
Fox Johnson and Cheryl Dean
Mary Karrels and Bonnie Slaten
Diane Balanoff and Jeanne Matthews