Final leg of our trip home from ‘Little Canada’ (Maricopa, Arizona)…
We were up at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning (second day of our trip home) to do a little computer catch-up before driving out to the Kanab Rodeo grounds to load up. The horses were excited to see the trailer pull in; I’m not sure if this was because they thought we were bringing some new equine friends to visit or because they knew we were setting out on the next leg of our homeward journey. We generally feed extra every evening so we can just load up and head out in the morning. The horses had drank well overnight (other than my three year old filly who drank only one small bucket). If we have horses that don’t drink at all (or not much), we generally give paste electrolytes.
We grabbed a coffee and were back on the road in reasonable time heading down Secondary Highway 89. The road was winding but clear and took us through scenic mountains and foothills which gave way to wide valleys with grass just greening up, cottonwoods budding out and herds of cattle. We passed through several small communities including Orderville, Utah (which my husband says reminds him of our marriage), Circleville (the home of infamous outlaw, Butch Cassidy), and Salina (where Mom’s Café is a popular spot… and a locale where the waitresses still wear traditional 50’s style uniforms). Though this route is a little slower than taking an Interstate highway, it’s both more interesting and more scenic. Watch for the local Sheriffs in almost every town… they are diligent in making sure people observe the speed limit… which ranges from 40 mph in town and 55-65 mph on the highway.
We rejoined the Interstate NW of Salina about half an hour. Traffic through Salt Lake City was decent – for Salt Lake City… maybe due to the fact it was Sunday. You can count on construction and significant traffic volumn everytime you go through this city!! Worse during rush hour. When we arrived in Blackfoot, Idaho (just before dark), we decided to check out the Blackfoot Fairgrounds (east side of town) on the off chance they were open. A neighbour from home had recommended this venue as a good place to stay. After driving around most of the perimeter of the grounds, we found one open passage gate (intended for people, not trucks/trailers). We led the horses though and put them up in covered stalls. No water available… but we had water with us, so other than having to pack it into the stall area, we were able to get the horses put away for the night. We felt a little uncomfortable using a facility that rather ‘inaccessible’ but could find no signs saying we weren’t welcome. We cleaned our stalls early the next morning – hitting the road by 7 a.m.
The decision to stop early Sunday night (our original intention had been to drive to Dillon or Whitehall, Montana) made for a long day on Monday… but driving conditions were awesome! Sunny all the way home. We crossed the border about 5:15 pm (we generally cross at Del Bonita north of Cutbank as it’s quicker than Sweetgrass/Coutts due to lower traffic volumn). The border staff were great… we were fortunate to be through in about 15 minutes. We arrived home (17 miles west of Claresholm) before dark. I honestly don’t know who was happier to be home… the dogs, the horses or Dave and I!! All in all… a pretty good trip.