Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Trails to You: Ponderosa Stables, Phoenix, Arizona

After leaving Tombstone, we drove into Phoenix for the night.  The next morning, we visited Ponderosa Stables for an hour-long trail ride.  The stables are located on the south side of the city in South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the world.  The park is part of the Sonoran Desert.  I had never been to the desert before (other than my trip to Las Vegas last spring), and I was in awe of the landscape.  I had no idea that I would find the desert to be so beautiful.

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Shawn, our trail guide, did a wonderful job teaching us about the area and the desert habitat.  Jarrod, the kids, and I were the only ones on the ride, so we were able to ask a lot of questions.  Trenton and I were on the horse directly behind Shawn, and Trenton was actually listening to a lot of what was being said and asking questions of his own.

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Charlotte rode with Jarrod.  She was very mad in the beginning that she wasn’t on the same horse as Mommy. She calmed down after a little bit, got mad again, calmed down again, got mad again, and so on.  I think she did have an overall good time though.

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One of the first questions we had for our guide was about what types of wildlife we would be able to see on the ride.  He told us that a lot of the wildlife hadn’t come out yet for the spring, and that we would be lucky to see anything.  Well, it was our lucky day.  We saw 3 coyotes (Jarrod thinks that hearing a crying little person brought them out), a bull snake (out of view of the picture above, but it was right next to Jarrod’s horse), some rabbits, and a squirrel.

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I was hoping to see some birds, but they, must have all still been asleep in their snazzy cactus birdhouses.  Woodpeckers make the holes in the cactus, but all types of different birds use the cactus as their home.

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The saguaro cactus is a very slow grower. The saguaro can take 75-100 years to grow its first arm.  Trenton was always on the lookout for ones that hadn’t grown any arms yet.

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We had a wonderful time on our trail ride.  If we are ever driving through Phoenix again, we will definitely be making another stop at Ponderosa Stables.  We may even try one of their cookout rides!  I highly recommend this stable to anyone visiting the Phoenix area.  You won’t be disappointed!

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