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Posts Tagged ‘Horse Property’

El Pepe came to us as a ‘free’ gift. Giana’s husband, Brian and got everything he needed from this bike and had moved on (meaning he couldn’t find a buyer) and gave the bike to us. This old, blue Yamaha 200 shows up at our house looking as worn as a could bike can be. I took one look and he told me to call him Pepe.

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe takes some finesse but he is a hard worker. He was good for a few rides then he needed new tires, get a couple of rides then head gasket, etc.

The reason I tell you all of this is because he brought back a joy we didn’t know we missed. My husband Jim, and I, grew up riding dirt bikes. As a more ‘mature’ man, he’d leveled up to his Harley. But you never lose your first love and El Pepe reminded him of that.

But, as always, nothing is free. El Pepe takes TLC but he’s still a great ride. In the end, Brian didn’t give Jim a bike, he gave him an education in motorcylce maintenance!

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The summer has flown by fast. We’ve done our best to enjoy every moment of playing outside at all of our favorite places in Northern Nevada. This has also been the year of dry camping! We found a great spot in a BLM camp site on Walker River. We’re 20 yards from the river and our kids pitch their tent in the trees. Though the kids call these trips “ride, sweat, swim” the camp site stays cool since we are surrounded by willows and running water. But we are right on some of the best desert riding. Single track, climbs, sand, rock….every terrain is available to ride.

All of this riding started with a Yamaha 200 I call El Pepe. This bike was given to my husband by Giana’s husband. All I will say is that it is the toughest bike we’ve ever owned. It takes alot of abuse and requires little maintenance in comparison. Well this bike kind of lead to our oldest daughter getting a bike after she spend time tooling around on her friends little 50. She laid it down, then got up and picked up the bike before complaining about what hurts convinced my husband she needed her own ride. We found a screaming deal on a KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

that was ridden for 1 year on the KTM racing team. Of course, now she’s zipping all over the desert so we have to get Dad a new bike. He gets a Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

with enough power to zip through the sand but hopefully not enough to kill himself. THAT leads to our youngest daughter commandeering my Honda 650 quad.

The brat stole my ride!

The brat stole my ride!

And so I’m left with…..El Pepe.

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The Nevada Department of Forestry declared no campfires, anywhere, until further notice. We haul our old propane bbq with us in our toy hauler so we can still cook outside when we go camping. We miss evening fires but we’re ok with that. Who wants to be the jerk that burns down the state anyways?

We went from unseasonal rains to extremely dry and abnormally hot weather. Everyone I’ve talked to said they can’t remember ever having a statewide restriction like this. I know it has been common in other states to have such broad restrictions so I guess Nevada just has to follow suit now.

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After having dinner with a neighbor, we came home around 11pm, turned in our driveway and stopped to open the gate. I swear I saw a furry footstool running up my driveway in the headlights! My husband and I sat there, jaws dropped, trying to comprehend what we were seeing. It was hilarious because once he was out of sight, we realized we’d had an itty bitty bear in our yard!

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

He was just looking for a snack since he’s learned terrorizing trash cans all over the Virginia City Highlands is a great way to eat. But from the scuttlebut we’d heard, we had no idea he would be small. Probably about 350 lbs. He was heavy enough to jack our gate when he climbed it but luckily we didn’t see any damage to fences.

I still think he looked more like a footstool than a bear.

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The warm weather season is the time to get out and play every chance you get. But it has been especially hard to keep up with the blog because I had to find new homes for my horses this year. Everytime I would log on and see their pretty faces, I would get depressed and just log off again. Working too much, not being able to get out and give them the attention they needed, not knowing where the economy is heading (lets face it, they are probably one of the most expensive pets you could own without getting exotic) all made me decide now was not the time for me to have my horses. Last year when fuel was over $4 a gallon? Yeah, I was paying $20 a bale of hay when I ran out of my bulk shipment.

But time has helped. I miss my girls everyday but we’ve had so much fun this summer I think its time to get back to writing about it!

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I had a large vacant spot by the kids pirate ship that just seemed to be a waste of space. I also had a need for a protected area to plant tomatoes to protect them from the local critters that like to eat my plants to the ground, given the chance.

So I mention this dilemna to my husband and he built me a creative raised bed with scraps from our never ending wood pile.

 

Upright boards and 6" Round Posts

Upright boards and 6" Round Posts

Then he used some rope leftover from the pirate ship project to make a decorative perimeter. He was able to flow the look of existing wood retaining wall by using the same wood, but changed the direction of the boards and added  the rope to match the ship with a nautical touch.

 

Adds a Nautical Touch

Adds a Nautical Touch

It did take a yard of dirt to fill, but that was affordable and easy. We just filled the bed of his truck at Moana Nursery

 

Jeni Gave Me Heirloom Tomatos and I Use a Florida Weave for Support

Jeni Gave Me Heirloom Tomatos and I Use a Florida Weave for Support

Then Jeni brought me some tomato plants and VOILA! A new garden is born. My only wish is that I had a picture of the garden from this morning. We’ve had so much rain lately that the plants are thriving and blooming.

I use a Florida Weave to support the plants but instead of matal posts, I cut back some willow branches to use instead. They will root and I can transplant them in the fall. And I use standard twine for the weave. We keep a huge roll in the garage since it only has about 2 million uses!

This is also on the edge of our patio, so it provides a few other benefits as well. It is another addition to the defensible space around our home, I love to dine outside and actually watch food grow (for some reason, what I’m eating always tastes better!) and it is convenient to monitor water/bugs/etc when I don’t have to hike out to maintain another section of the property.

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A very strange thing has happened this week. We’ve had rain everyday. Hopefully it will continue through the week.

This really isn’t normal for this time of year. Come to think of it, I don’t think it is a normal weather pattern ever considering the length of time. Please don’t think I’m complaining. Definitely not!

The good? Recently the Division of Forestry came through and cleared 50 feet of brush and trees on either side of the road in our section of the neighborhood. The moisture brings out the fresh smell of the cut pine and they seemed to have spread lupine seeds far and wide. With this rain, they are blooming up and down the roads. I’m starting to feel like I’m in the hill country of Texas when the Bluebonnets are in bloom!

Lupine AKA Bluebonnets

Lupine AKA Bluebonnets

I appreciate the dust staying down since it is constantly damp. The rainbows in the evenings are beautiful over the mountains. The double rainbows are even more fabulous. The birds are in my garden singing their happiness and the garden itself is thriving. My house stays cool enough that I don’t want to crawl out of my cozy bed in the morning.

 

Cheatgrass

Cheatgrass

The downside? There really isn’t too much to consider. When I see the lightening striking in the distance, I hope the rain continues as protection against fires. Unfortunately, the weeds are thriving too. The cheat grass is going to seed faster than I can kill and bag it. So as soon as I think I’ve removed all of it around my house, it grows back. This in itself is becoming a full time job! If you aren’t aware of the dangers of cheatgrass, please read this.

 

Northern Nevada is wet and the good definitely outweighs the bad. I just hope it continues through the week like the forecasters predict!

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