Thursday was the highlight of the trip to the Flying L Ranch in Bandera, Texas. Even though Sean and Savannah have many school mates that have horses and often participate in rodeo and horse events, Sean and Savannah have not had an opportunity to horseback ride. Grandmother and Grandpop treated all 5 of the kids and Mary Fran to this activity. It was her birthday. I had the opportunity to go along but I felt like the kids would have a much better time riding without me. The wranglers pick up the riders at the complex main building and took them on a hay ride down to the stables. Each rider was assigned and mounted on their horse. Then the wranglers led them on a 1 hour trail ride that included even a wade a cross the ranch’s creek. The kids are still talking about how much fun they had. Aunt Mary Fran joked that this was like having a themed birthday party with horse back riding as the activity. She splurged and got all the kids souvenirs of the event, horsehoes painted with the names of the riders and the horses. This was her “party favor” for the kids. Later that afternoon, the kids were able to go down to the water park and enjoy that facility one more time.
Friday the “campers” needed to head home. They had baseball on Saturday and wanted to get the drive out of the way on Friday. After stopping by the campgrounds to say goodbye, I went into town to pick out my souvenir of the trip. I found some western rodeo napkin rings, one set with barrel racers and another with bull riders. I thought that these would be perfect to have at home in Sonoita.
Saturday we headed back west on I-10. We tried to stop in Las Cruces but all the hotel rooms were filled with participants and families who come to White Sands Missile Test Range to honer the memory of those who died and acknowledge the courage of the survivors of the World War II Bataan death march. The event honor their sacrifice with participants running 26 miles through the desert while carrying a large back pack. They also have other events such a movies and a memorial service. We’ve seen soldiers in Sierra Vista training for this even by running in the evenings with pack on their backs. This is such a big even that it had nearly every room filled in Las Cruces, with no quad rooms that we could find. We decided to go 40 more minutes down the highway to Deming and spend the night there. We found a nice Comfort Inn. Steve was feeling a bit under the weather so I took the kids out to dinner at Campos Mexican American. The food was very good, and we even stayed after dinner for a little Karaoke.
We completed the journey with a 3 hour drive to Sonoita on Sunday morning. It was nice to see family and have such a good time, but it was also nice to be home.