First day on horseback

It was only 5 miles, an easy beginning while we got used to our horses and they got used to us. We rode through some high desert chapparal (see Carey Granger’s comment on the last post for a definition) and then through the  set for Tombstone and several other movies.

My horse is named after Ned Pepper, whom I believe was the guy in True Grit who says, “I call them bold words from a one-eyed fat man!” Pepper behaved himself well for me, but felt free to kick anyone else who came near us. He was so smooth, I didn’t even know when it was happening but the folks behind us learned to keep their distance. Another big thank you to Kari and Dave Burkey at the KD Guest Ranch. They taught me well. No penning cattle out here, but I ride competently and confidently.

On the other hand, I am going to need new shocks and springs when this is over. I’m not tired, but my legs sure as hell are. I needed a little help dismounting because I wasn’t  100% sure that I could control the drop off the saddle!

Wonderful tour of Tombstone with Don Taylor this morning before the ride, and a beautiful surprise when we went into the O.K. Corral store — the owner LOVED Doc and had two cases available. When Marcie Shaw introduced me, he raved about it and then in a booming voice told everyone in the store, “Doc is GREAT. This is the best book about the West I’ve read in years.”

I signed a bunch of books and have been invited back for an impromptu book event on Saturday for 3 hours that will have the biggest crowds of Helldorado Days. Thousands of  folks come for the festival and all the first timers will pass through the bookstore on their way to the O.K. Corral. Just a thrill!

The Vendetta riders are a very nice bunch of folks. We’ve got about 38 in the group, four of whom are women. Tomorrow we are going out for a full day. I haven’t been able to post photos but I think they’re already up on the Great American Adventures website.

3 thoughts on “First day on horseback”

  1. Mary,
    Thank you for taking us with you! I wish I was there, but I’m afraid I’d be too emotional…thanks to you making us love Doc. Was it a ‘moment’ playing that piano? I hope your getting some sleep and feeling better from your cold. Too much excitement to be sick. I’ll have to ask Jon about the ice….that’s something he would notice and remember. You take care.

    Warmly, Kathleen

  2. Hi Mary:

    I’m really enjoying your trip. It’s making Doc come alive in more new and fun (and sad too) ways, that I find are making me want to read the book again!

    Oh, and the owner of the O.K. Corral bookstore has the right of it. Doc is one of the best books about the west I’ve ever read.

    Keep the dispatches coming 🙂

  3. I guess you’ve been drafted into the Pony Express, what with riding fence and delivering reports.

    Arizona has a wonderful diversity of climate and ecosystems. I don’t know if you’ve ever been, but the Desert Museum outside of Tucson is a great place to explore all that.

    I used to live in Tucson and I still miss the desert. I had the opportunity to explore most of the state but somehow never made it to Tombstone, unfortunately, though I did visit Benson (we wanted to see a movie to pass the time that day but when we asked where the theater was we were told “it burned down”. That was that).

    Thanks for your updates!

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