Monday, July 20, 2009

Story # 203: I tried to be a cowgirl, out behind the barn

Warning: This entry is LONG!

Read the warning? Still want to proceed? You go, girl/boy!

Remember how I was saying my weekend started on Wednesday? We only spent 2 days on Lake Powell before we went home and slept like babies on Thursday night. On Friday morning we got up early and got ready to go to Arizona Strip, where Chantelle is working at the Bar 10 Ranch.

Love my shades? I got it on ebay for 5 bucks. Inspired by Glamor magazine and The CherryBlossom Girl.

We were on the dirt road for like 2 hours. I was really excited to see the Grand Canyon. Chantelle has been telling us all the fun stuff they do on the ranch. I couldn't wait.

The Ranch with all the cows

We got there in the afternoon before other guests arrived. Chantelle showed us around the place. It's a pretty awesome ranch. We got to stay there for free too! I was so excited because they have covered wagon as guests rooms. They also have some rooms in the lodge but we preferred to sleep in the covered wagon like the pioneers did (or did they?).

Inside the lodge

I was appalled to learn that the deer head above me was a real deer. How could anyone...*speechless*

Old school telephone. Lovely!

I borrowed this cowboy hat from Ben, one of Chantelle's boss.

According to Mr.L, in the old days, people pose like this for pictures without a smile on their face and instead of looking in the camera, they stare at the space in front of them blankly.

An American Indian tradition: Dream catcher. Want one for my home!

I think this is some kind of an animal's skin...not sure what though. Looks like a giant cat or something. Pretty soft.

Another view of the lodge.

The covered wagon we slept in :) Cool, eh?

This was just for show. A nice touch to the lodge, I would say.

Yummy lunch. I've missed tuna sandwich for 3 years!

I loved the uniforms they have to wear for work. The cowboys took us out to our activities. We went to the ranch and had a really nice orientation or recount of the history of the ranch and the family who started the Bar 10 Ranch. It was a lot of fun to hear about the life in the wild west. It made me want to be a cowgirl, minus the getting sweaty and bad hygiene.

I was just posing on this ATV, I didn't go on it to the desert. I wanna try it someday.

Before we headed to the ranch, we went and saw some animals at the Nature Center they have behind the lodge. There were some snakes, squirrels, and lizards there. Nothing too spectacular. But i was super excited to see rattle snakes. I don't think we have rattle snakes in Malaysia (I still think python is the most amazing snake, so go Malaysia!). Anyways, the guy took out the gopher snake and my mother-in-law, Angie, was so brave and she held it in her arms. I was like jumping up and down and shrieking the whole time. I wanted to touch it and see how its skin felt like but I couldn't do it. The thought of touching a snake was way too nauseating for me. Remember how I hate anything with no legs or too many legs? I stood 30 yards away from her because I was too scared to go closer even though I know the snake would not strike. I was still pretty agitated after the snake was out of sight.

My mother-in-law enjoyed holding the snake, it seemed like.

No hint of fright on his face? *faint*

Horse-y, horse-y, on your way...

I hate toads. Why do kids love/not afraid of them?

I took a leap of faith and courage towards the end of the orientation out at the ranch. The guy who gave a short lecture on the wild animals around the ranch took out the same gopher snake from his bag. I jolted. I decided since I was out having fun I might as well stretch my limit and try holding the snake like all the kids did. When it was my turn, I sort of chickened out but I managed to force myself to hold the snake. I was shaking the whole time. I saw my hands trembling when I received it from the guy. I inched my face away but it kept coming closer to me. I don't remember if I screamed for my mom or not, but I remember everyone was laughing when they saw how scared I was. The snake was slimy and long and I could feel its muscles. Did I overcome my fear of snakes? Not in a million years.

Scary, ain't it? Going straight for my neck! The farther I put it away from me, the closer it was reaching for me.

Totally disgusted.

The cowboy, Jordan, sang a song to entertain us and it was called "Out behind the barn." I didn't know what he was singing most of the time but it was a pretty sweet song. The chorus went like this, "I got my education, out behind the barn
I ain't a fool, no siree, Yee-haw
Passed teacher's examination, out behind the barn
And it almost made a wreck out of me."

Sounds like fun being a cowboy.

Another cowboy, Justin, taught me how to rope. This is what they do in the past to rope and animal. Seen that in Western cowboy movies?

I was pretty good :) A natural cowgirl. LOL

Beautiful site by the lodge.

I love how the board says "where the west stays wild."

Horseback riding was one of my favorite activities this whole trip. I am fond of horses though I am always worried they would kick me from behind. They are way tall too. Although this wasn't the first time I've been on a horse, I had a hard time swinging myself up the horse. I had no flexibility. The cowboy had to push me up the horse while I half climbed and half fell from the horse. Once I am on the horse, I was happy. Then my horse started acting a bit weird. It started going off and I had to pull it to stop. I have never galloped on a horse before, nor do I think I would ever be good enough to do that. We took a ride around the desert by the ranch.

Yay yea!!! My horse's name was Toby.

After that, we went skeet shooting. I have never fired a gun before. I am anti animal hunting and anti having gun in possession. But this was different. This was no animal killing. The cowboy loaded the gun, taught us how to hold the gun and where to aim. I was the first one to go because Mr.L volunteered me. I fired the gun, missed the skeet, and felt like something punched me on my shoulder. It hurts to shoot something! Why would anyone want to go hunting and hurt themselves in the process? Anyways, we each had 2 shots. I missed twice, not hard to predict. I have no hand-eye coordination. Mr. L was pretty good. He hit one target (he can't brag though cause this wasn't his first time skeet shooting). We stayed a bit longer to watch some kids firing their shots and hit their target. No fair how they did it so easily.

The gun was way too heavy for me. I kept slanting forward.

Mr.L used to shoot 9/10 or 10/10.

At night, we had a real good dinner and watched Chantelle and her friends dance for the guests. It was a lot of fun to watch cowboys dance.

Chantelle and Mr. old cowboy.

In the morning, after sleeping in the covered wagon the previous night and going to the bathroom at 2am with the light from our iphone, we woke up to the sunrise at about 5a.m. We got dressed and headed to wait for the chopper to get here. I was so excited I wanted to wait down by the spot the helicopter usually flies in. We waited for a while and saw everybody going in to have breakfast. So we went back in the lodge and had some breakfast before all the bacons were out.

The canyon on the far side. That's the north rim.

Our room :)

Welcome to the grand suite in the desert

When the helicopter got here, we were the first ones to go. I got to sit in the front too! I could feel my heart beating like crazy. I remember I used to be so jealous at my dad who went on a helicopter ride when I was small. Now I get to do it. YAY!

I was so stoked to see all the meters and sat next to the pilot.

We flew down the Grand Canyon and it was a roller coaster ride kind of feeling when we flew head down. We flew over the flat desert land and then, I saw it. The beautiful sight I was able to see only on pictures. The red gigantic rocks, the Canyon, and the Colorado river. Speechless. Marvelous. We landed on the sand and I started taking pictures frantically as I got off the chopper. We were on the north rim of the canyon and only a small part of it. Why does everything in the US have to be so gigantic?

Between the cliffs

As we dove down, I thought I heard myself squeak

Oh, serenity

This kinda reminds me of the river where Moses was placed in the basket when he was a baby.

These people came from the river upstream where they started the river rafting for 7 days.

It's amazing how this small river carved through the flat land and made this canyon. It must have taken hundreds and hundreds of years. Maybe it would eat through the land and create bigger canyon.

The panoramic view of the land before we reached the canyon on the other side. I love my iphone!

Finally landed. This would be the most amazing experience yet.

Some pictures taken when we had our free time:

I must say a few words about this buck antler. According to one the wildlife experts on the ranch, Ned, a deer sheds its antler every year and grows a bigger one. This was one of the shed antlers. Man, it was heavy. What if I had two such antlers on my head. I don't think my neck would be able to withstand the weight. Respect the deer!

The sun setting in the horizon.

I wish we could have seen the whole canyon. It would be a magical sight as the huge canyon unfolds itself before our eyes. That would have to wait til next time though.

Don't be shy to leave your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Hi..really enjoy reading your blog as i can see so many nice scenery from thr. Feel envious to your life too and hope i can have it one day. Oh ya..i like your bathroom decoration much... =D

Stories of Snow *-* said...'s really long enug to read honestly i skipped some of ur writing but enjoying the pics...the covered wagon so special, the deer head oh my god feel sympathy for it... and i love the cliff gosh wat a nice view........ bring me there if i go visit u next time lol:P
Hey u spoiled the sunset/ sunrise wan pics JK ^^
But it's really enjoyable to read ur blog...way to go sharon