Saturday, May 26, 2007
  Camp Verde

We came out of the mountains on Wednesday morning. The horses were really tired and we were worn out. We met Bill Dean, a local cowboy and the owner of Little Bit Ranch, at the Grief Hill Trail Head as we came out of the mountains. He was a font of local information. He was our guide who would lead us in the back way to Spirit Wind Arabians and Pack Llamas, where we were going to rest for a few days. He led us to the Verde River where we made our first river crossing. The river was twenty feet wide where we crossed. It was slightly above our horses knees and the current was very strong. Both our horses crossed the swiftly moving water without hesitation, once again reaffirming to us that we have two exceptional trail horses. Bill kept us moving as we negotiated some rather rugged trails. Edie and I were both amazed to find out that this agile comboy is 81 years young! Gail and Milton Pate graciously extended their hospitality to us. They had set up a steak fry for us as a fund raiser to help us get some much needed contributions. We met many interesting people. Gail is a retired federal Veterinarian and her husband is a retired Range Land Conservationist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. At the time of his retirement he had been working on the Navajo reservatation longer than the average age of Navajo's on the reservation! Gail floated the teeth on both horses and helped to make sure that they were in good shape and would get everything they needed during our rest here. She has a side business called "Llead a Llama to Llunch". We met her llama's... Tiger Lily, Pride, Llama Llips, and Elito. They are so sweet and adorable. I fell in love with Pride. Gail prepares a gourmet lunch for her clients and they pack their lunch up to a beautiful spot in the Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona area on the llamas. There they hike and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and have a picnic lunch in the red rocks. We made our own lunches and Gail took us on a once in a lifetime hike. My companion for the day was Pride, a red llama. He was so sweet. Marla shared her hike with Elito. We had a fabulous time. Edie had too much work to do... she didn't get to go, but we took lots of pictures to share with her. The top right picture was taken as we were leaving our picnic site. We hated to go, but we had to get home. Gail was such a fun person and we loved our time spent with our new buddies, Elito and Pride. This has been such a great break from our normal routine but it will be "back in the saddle again" for us, on Monday morning... we have one more very difficult section of mountains to go through and then we will be out of the worst terrain of the entire trip. I miss everyone so much. I look forward to the time we will be home with family and friends once again. Love to all... Andi

Wow, ladies, sounds like you once again are having the time of your lives....we are so thankful that God keeps placing these wonderful god sent angel in your the way....we finally have twin baby kids....they were born today...dan got to witness the whole thing....they are all doing great...hope you are going to get some good rest up there and keep safe....andi, your book is truly touching my heart...thank, Delci

I do not think you needed to duck in the Pic with the Llamas, looks like they could see over your Head

Safe Travel
Abbeville SC
gee, this sounds so awesome---i'm really excited about your trip--i would love to "cross" your path--i live outside phx az and this is may 29th and i'm leaving for a cross country trip myself (by car) on may31st---your to the north of me but i might be able to met up some place anyway---what an honor for me---if you can e-mail me, i'll have my computer with me- i would be so grateful---anyway whether it works or not i sure wish you all the best and i will send donation soon---thanks sharon---p.s. ingore the first e-mail i hadn't discovered your blog yet---best to all
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