Friday, February 18, 2011

Silverado. Friday-Sunday

Checked the water supply for all the critters. Four of the horses didn't have access to drinking water. Now they do. Were they ever happy when I put then in a corral with a water tub. They all ran to the tub and were drinking the water faster then the hose could fill the tub. I found a device that automatically fills a tub with water, then shuts off the flow at a certain level. Much like the float device used in a toilet tank. They should be just fine going forward.
We went into Douglas today. Found the free city dump station then went to Safeway & Wal-Mart.
When we got back to the campground, Toby had fed the horses. I went to order Carols meds on-line through WalMart but found all the prescriptions had expired so the local WM would not fill them. Called Dr. Hoods office. They are going to fax new prescriptions today to the WM in Benson, AZ. We'll pick them up there next week. I've learned to always order meds. two weeks before you really need them. That allows for things to get messed up and straightened out.
The clouds are starting to roll in. Tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be windy and rainy. Rain would be welcomed. Wet down the dust and water the plants. Everything is just so brown around here. The yucca provides about the only hint of green.


Carol & I used the Gator to feed the critters this morning. I think I now have a reliable water source for all the animals.
Called WalMart. Carols prescriptions are being processed. We'll pick them up next week when we get the mail in Benson.

It's a blustery day. Steady 25 knot winds with gusts in the 45-50 range. The red dust is blowing everywhere. We keep all the windows shut and the roof vents open for ventilation. Even so, there is a fine layer of dust on everything. That's our major objection to the desert areas of AZ & NM. The lack of vegetation allows the near constant winds to blow dirt everywhere, all the time. We do miss our green grass.

Awoke to a cold, cloudy, windy day. Never did improve as the day went on. Toby fed the horses and I repaired the automatic watering system serving two of the corrals. As of now, all corrals have functioning water systems. Belle didn't feed the dogs or chickens/geese, etc., yesterday or today. Sue said that on cold days, Belle doesn't feel very well so sometimes her daily chores, like feeding the animals, just don't get done. It's not always easy being a critter around here. I gave the dogs some of Gophers food & Toby fed the fowl. Once again, I reminded Gopher just how lucky she was to be part of our family. After all, I got her from an ad in the newspaper. Could have been someone else.
It's interesting. There is such a diverse population on the ranch, there are cats, dogs, chickens, pigeons,horses,mules, donkeys, etc., and they all seem to coexist just fine. Shame us humans can't do the same.
A friend of mine in the Escapees, Guy Gibson, is contacting his extensive network and telling them about Belle. Perhaps some will swing by to lend a hand. I posted a note on a Lazy Daze site about the Ranch. Two Lazy Daze friends said they would visit after the upcoming GTG in Benson.
Belle had hopes that a fellow from WA would move his trailer here in early March and take care of the place in return for a free place to live. He showed up yesterday, but needed to be paid in addition to getting free rent. She was disappointed as you might expect.
We've done about all we can do. Things are in better condition then when we showed up plus we are leaving a generous donation towards critter food.
Although we both feel a little guilty, tomorrow we move on. Toby & Sue are staying for one more day. We shared a cup of coffee and a slice of pie with Toby & Sue this afternoon.

Our stay here will, without doubt, be the most memorable experience of this trip.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silverado. Thursday

Harry & Shoko had to move on this morning. They had a commitment in Mesa. Two very nice people.
The big news was the arrival of 30 bales of hay about 10am. I used the John Deere Gator and fed all the critters. I'm no farmer and had no idea just how heavy a bale of hay is. Each bale is broken down into several sections called wafers. It's a chunk of hay about 2" thick. Each horse gets two wafers. When I approached a corral with the hay, I was swarmed by hungry animals.
There are two overweight burros that got our of their corral last week. We have tried to get them back in but there is no way. They're enjoying their freedom too much. Plus unlimited access to the hay wagon. :-) Smart burros.
Carol & I took a tour of the ranch on the Gator. There is room here for 20 to 30 RV's.
My other chore for today was picking up rocks. Belle got her scooter hung up on a rock a while back so I'm clearing the areas she commonly uses of large rocks.

My back's aching. I'm not used to playing rancher. We're going to hang around a little longer to help out.

Toby & Sue are taking a drive to Sierra Vista today.

Belle gave Carol one of the star pins she wears in her hat. It's now on Carols hat.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Silverado. Wednesday

Both Belle & Carol use mobility scooters or wheelchairs to get around. The fire pit is built into a large concrete patio which is elevated about 4" above the surrounding dirt. Last night when it came time to burn the old chairs, they both had a hard time getting onto the patio which is clearly not built to A.D.A. standards. An ADA compliant ramp was added to the work list.
In the morning, Harry & I kicked around ideas for a ramp. Harry came up with the great idea of building a ramp using bricks from an unused patio. The result was excellent. The brick patio blends well with the area.
There is a building with a "porch" of sorts, on front. Chickens roost on one end, but the other end is just a huge mess from the pigeons. Belle wanted the porch screened to keep the pigeons out, but still allow the chickens to roost at their end. We found some odds & ends of old gates, fencing and such and did a respectable job all things considered.
We all wish there was hay to feed the horses. Hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Silverado Continued

We sat around a campfire last night. At dusk, the chickens and peacocks all roosted in a nearby tree. They know that coyotes can't climb trees.

This morning Toby and I went to the hardware store in Douglas to get more PVC fittings. Stopped by Wal-Mart where I bought two large bags of food for Belle's dogs.
There won't be any hay for the horses, donkeys or burros until the Hay Lady shows up on Thursday. We raked up hay that had been spilled here & there and gave all the critters a little to tide them over. Another couple pulled in today. Harry & Shoko Nishimura from British Columbia. Like us, they belong to the Escapees. Today's projects were to complete the repairs to the water system, fix a door to one of the sheds so Belle could open & close the door from her scooter, and a continued general cleanup. Harry is a good carpenter. He came up with a fix for the door.

Today was very enjoyable. Tonight the fire will be fueled by a collection of junk furniture. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Belle Starr's Silverado Ranch. A most unusual place.

Gopher & I took our morning walk through downtown Bisbee. Looked at the outdoor museum exhibits. It was quite early so it was mostly us, the guys in bright orange jumpsuits (the local jailbirds)cleaning the streets, a few panhandlers (they don't like dogs), and some people on their way to work. About 9:00 we headed east to Belle Starr's Silverado Ranch. Look at this Blog; it tells the story.

We've been to a lot of unusual places over the years, but this just might top them all. What an incredible woman. Belle has MS plus broke a hip a year or so ago, so she doesn't get around as well as she did. Mostly she relies on campers and some local friends for help. However, if there is no one to help, she feeds all the animals herself. She was telling us that she got her scooter hung up on a rock the other day and couldn't free it. She finally got out onto the ground and scooted along on her butt until she could get inside to her wheelchair!!
There is one other couple here. Toby & Sue from Minnesota. There were here before and always stop by to help when they're in the area. Today Toby & I fixed some PVC pipes that had been damaged by the recent freeze, fed the horses, donkeys & burros and cleaned out one of the buildings.
Gopher was doing very well with the horses, other dogs, chickens, peacock & ducks, and the burros at first. Then one of the burros started moving away as she got closer. Then gopher got closer and the burro took off. Burros are really fast. Gopher never did catch her. After that, Gopher stayed on her leash. No harassing the natives.

If you're ever in the area, do yourself a huge favor and stop by. You will always remember your visit with Belle.
On AZ 80 between Bisbee & Douglas near MM 353. GPS N 31.39264 W 109.76768

We're going to hang around for a while to help out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Headed out this morning with Sierra Vista as our goal. The City campground we were going to stay in no longer is available. Went to Fry's to stock up on good salads then continued to Bisbee, about 30 minutes east.

Bisbee is an old copper mining town. Lots of historical buildings from the mining days. The town is built into the hillside. Some "streets" are really staircases. Each year in October, there is the Great Stair Climb Race up & down 1,000 steps.
We stayed in the Queen Mine RV Park; about the only show in town. It's a gravel lot with hookups but does afford a wonderful view. The photos of the City and Queen Mine were both taken from the campground. Plus there is cable TV. A little luxury is nice now & then.