Friday, February 6, 2009


After one last hike at Catalina State Park, we had an easy drive yesterday to Paws and Hooves Ranch, Sunizona, Arizona.

If you live here and know the community and your neighbors, I'm sure you don't think of your home as "remote" - after all, it is only an hour's drive to a supermarket. :) But for those of us who were city dwellers at one time, or have just spent 3 months in the L.A. region, or anybody who is used to nodding hello to a neighbor once or twice a day, "remote" is the descriptor that comes to mind.

Once you exit I-10, the landscape looks like the definition of "wide-open spaces". We took Hwy 191 off of the interstate (top photo in collage), then turned east on Hwy 181. It is difficult to see in the collage photo (double click on the collage to enlarge it), but the sign reads "No Services" - a warning to the unprepared that they would be smart to return to the small Mustang Mall at the intersection to fill up on fuel and snacks.

Our last turn is from Hwy 181 onto Cottonwood Road, where the sign reads "Primitive Road. Caution: Use at your own risk. This surface is not regularly maintained." 'Nuf said?

Rosanna's ranch is the first driveway off of Cottonwood (thankfully). The big dogs know us well - rather than raise the alarm when we pull up in front of the gate in Scoopy, they greet us with tails wagging and tongues lolling, begging for greetings. A big blast on the air horn alerts the household.

As soon as we pulled in, Luna recognized the ranch - to her, it means freedom to roam and she expresses her intention to go outside loudly and non-stop. For her personal safety, she is never allowed outside until we are in position, blow the air suspension and level the rig. All the while, she balanced on the top of the driver's seat, behind my head, meowing constantly and loudly that SHE WANTED OUT. Sheesh.

This was our view this morning, as the sky lightened: the little house at peace, with Pal (looking in the window) and Rosie relaxing on the porch awaiting breakfast and the end to their nightime guard duties. Soon Rosanna came out with their food bowls and the day was underway. Ta-ta!

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