The Wild West lives on!

Hubby and I have always enjoyed a wide range of diverse activities.  We’re the kind of people who enjoy dressing up and attending a Ballet, Play, or Fine Art Museum in a major city and the next day we’ll equally enjoy hitting the road for a back country trip.wild westYears ago, you could find us visiting Chicago’s Art Institute one day and the next we’d be packing up the truck, tent, and canoe and heading toward northern Minnesota for some remote woods roughing it.  Those trips were always an adventure filled with campfires, fishing, and wild blueberry picking.  We’d need to keep an eye out for any black bears while stealing their blueberries as an actual bear encounter was not usually part of the plan.  Fun times, bear encounters included!

blooming saguaroArizona’s Phoenix valley, offers the diversity that Al and I enjoy.  In my last post, I attended a Fine Arts Festival in the upscale community of Carefree.  The terms refined and polished can easily be used to describe the northeast part of the Valley of the Sun aka Phoenix.

Old Town Scottsdale, the Musical Instrument Museum, and the Desert Botanical Gardens could also fall into the class of polished and refined.  All well worth visiting.

But let’s not forget, Arizona is located in the WEST and there’s still plenty of WILD left to entertain us all.

Time to leave the polish behind and inhale some dust and gun smoke.  Folks around these here parts like their guns, horses, and four-wheelers.cowboy mounted shooting

Arizona Game & Fish EXPOWith our friends Mike and Linda in tow, we attended the Outdoor EXPO at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility located on the far north side of Phoenix.  This family friendly EXPO was hosted by the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

Upon arriving, our attention was quickly drawn to the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition taking place.  The four of us could have spent the entire morning watching this event.

cowboy mounted shootingThe horses seem to be having as much fun as the shooters.   Talk about the relationship between a horse and rider….  Wow!  If you’re not sure what cowboy mounted shooting is, I encourage you to watch this 3 minute clip.

kayakingOnce we tore ourselves away from the horse activity, it was time to check out the guns.

Actually Mike and Al checked out the guns while Linda and I sat at a shaded picnic table watching folks test out kayaks in the pool.  We also needed to discuss our plans for a Desert Botanical Garden visit. Spring in the desert is not to be missed.

shooting EXPO
Al checking out a Glock

Gosh, who thought there could be so many different types of shooting and guns.  Here’s a list of the different station areas for the various types of shooting;

  • steel target shootinghandguns
  • practical pistol shooting
  • cowboy action shooting
  • air gun shooting
  • benchrest shooting
  • black powder shooting
  • .22 rifle steel target shooting
  • BB gun shooting
  • Intro to shooting

target shootingAnd then there were the event areas for Archery and Fishing along with special tents for exhibitors.

Phoenix gun EXPO
I am not a birder!

A third area was geared toward four-wheeling and shotguns.  Want an exhilarating ride in a OHV? (off highway vehicle)  Hop in one of these while an experienced driver whips you around the arena kicking up mud.  Another area was set up for Rock Crawlers.OHVIn the above photo, the rock crawling boulder track and Jeeps are seen on the left in the distance.shootingshooting expoAnd no event would be complete without plenty of vendors to supply food and drink.  BBQ and hamburgers took center stage with a choice of meet for the burger….. Angus, Bison, or Elk.  Al went with the Elk while I prefer Angus.

With the exception of a few of the shooting stations and food, this whole event including parking was FREE of charge.

RVing
the original RV

It was a fun family event……  and this coming from a non-shooter.  Refined?  Polished?  I think not.  Rough and tumble at it’s best.  I needed a shower afterwards to wash off the layer of desert dirt coating my skin. Ben Avery shooting range

The wild west is alive and well.  Time to go strap on my six-shooter 😉Valley of the Sun

FurReal Friends Butterscotch, My Walkin’ Pony Pet

UFREE Large Mechanical Rocking Horse Toy, Ride on Bounce up and Down and Move, 44” for Children 4 to 15 Years Old (Black Mane&Tail)

Being Neighborly

Friends who live just a few streets over from us are planning to head out of town for the weekend.  Problem….who will feed their horses?  Al grew up in a small farm town in northwestern Illinois with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends living on farms.

Agriculture and caring for farm animals are second nature for Al.

Al is the perfect candidate to care for these beautiful animals and he does so with great pleasure.  What a great neighbor!