Visiting The Goats, Horses

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The Elite and bikes

I recently dropped by the Rimside Grill for a meeting of the Strawberry Elite. The Fire on the Mountain Bike Race was the topic of discussion. It was quite a brain barnstorming evening. The race will be the first weekend in August.

Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of activities. The purpose of this event is to fund fire fuel reduction around our communities. We all know that fires need fuel to burn. When we remove the fuel, we are much safer fire-wise. While we have a grant in place at the moment to help with fuel reduction, it doesn’t last forever. The Fire on the Mountain Bike Race is intended to become an annual event to supplant the grant monies.

Let’s all work together to keep our communities safe. This will be a fun event and will bring the funds we will need.

Did you know mountain bikers want their race trail to be no wider than 12 inches? At my age, I couldn’t keep a bike within a 12-inch path on dry pavement! Ah, the challenges of the youth are but mere memories.

Matt and winter

I took a motorcycle ride west out on Fossil Creek Road the other day. I keep hearing about goat milk fudge. Now any day with chocolate in it is a great day on my calendar, so I decided to check out the Fossil Creek Creamery.

When I arrived, I found Matt Nestich on his knees pruning a large rose bush that came out second best in winter’s last slam on us two weeks ago. I got some pruning lessons. We talked about the reluctance of Old Man Winter to leave this spring. My vote was to let Mother Nature give him the boot for this year. Matt smiled and reminded me that we have had frosts as late as the first week in June. Bite your tongue, my friend!

John and the goats

John Bittner has a flock of goats, and there were babies everywhere. Cute little guys and gals. I got the chance to bottle feed a couple of them. While lunch was being served, John and I talked about the amazing business he and his wife Joyce have built up over the years.

This is a great place for kids to visit. They can learn milk doesn’t just come from Circle K! Nor does it just come from cows. The goat milk is used to make cheese that is offered in many of the finest restaurants in Phoenix. In fact, our visit was cut short because John was headed to the Valley to deliver cheese.

If you’ve not been to the creamery before, you are missing a wonderful experience and a million-dollar view. Try some cheese and fudge while you are there. It may follow you home as it did me.

Rich and the horses

The next driveway west belongs to Rich Slighthan’s Gentle Hands Equine Training and Ferrier Service. He was waving me in as I drew closer. Now that’s right neighborly!

The little signs you see along Fossil Creek Road that say “Trail Rides” are Rich’s. I met a number of horses he was gentling. It’s not called “breaking” any more. I got a thorough sniff test by the horses and a pair of beautiful dogs. The million-dollar view about three miles west of Highway 87 ought not be missed.

Rich pointed out the little mountain separating Pine and Strawberry as a great riding experience. He says it takes about two hours to ride up and view Pine from a bird’s-eye view. The ride continues down into Pine where lunch can be found. It made me wish I could ride a horse, but a car wreck a number of years ago left me with permanent back injuries that make that wish but a dream. Perhaps not you! It looked to be an experience of a lifetime.

Finally ...

Again, I ask you to keep me abreast of noteworthy things. Thus far, this has been a fun adventure, getting out meeting my neighbors and seeing what they are up to. E-mail spcolumnist@yahoo.com. What a wonderful pair of communities we live in!

School calendar

April 21 is when progress reports go home. Hmmmm ... shows my age. We used to call them report cards!

Spring recess days on Friday, April 22 and Monday, April 25, though that day is listed as a snow make-up day.

Friday, April 29, school is dismissed at 1:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a drama play in the gym.

Library calendar

Pre-school Story Time and Activities on Wednesdays, from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Wii Gaming for Kids on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Community calendar

Second Annual May Day Gardening Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1.

15th Annual Strawberry Patchers Quilt Show on June 10, 11, and 12 in the Cultural Hall at the Community Center in Pine.

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