Ride Reports

                       Glendale Equestrian Club

                       Desert riding

Watching cactus as I ride,  hoping that they won't poke my side.  Staying up with the group,  sometimes seeing horses poop.  This is all part of GEC trail riding with our trusty Lonnie leading, guarding,  making sure we all keep up.    

Over hill and gully we go,  swaying in the saddle to and fro.  Up the rise and down the wash,  trying not to get too lost.  We always get back in time for a snack.

Traveling into the vast domain where once the Indians truly reigned.  Alas the white men gave them the shaft,  but now they have the last laugh.  They take our money at the casino and we don't even have to drive to Reno.

Out in the desert we can truly be free.  Free from the hustle of city life,  the noise the traffic and the strife.  I'll take to the desert to save my sanity and revel in the beauty and reality of an era gone by.  There's beauty in the desert that only the rider can see because we trust our mounts to keep us safe.  We gaze all around enjoying the view.  Many rocks do we see and also snakes,  occaisionally.  Ocotillo,  palo Verde and even the wild burro.  There's turtles and rabbits and mule deer too,  for it is nature's zoo.

The last part of June will be GEC's foray into the wilds of Prescott National forest at Groom Creek horse camp.  Always a great time riding in the tall pines.  There's lookouts,  lakes and even apple orchards to explore.  Friday night we head to Whiskey row in Prescott for dinner and fun and Saturday evening's steak feed  will keep us well fed and entertained.    

Robert Piekow     GEC publicist


March rides 2019 

Masacre site      

On a blustery day in March, fourteen of the Glendale Equestrian Clubs hardy riders ventured out on a ride to the infamous Wickenburg  Masacre site which is located about eight miles west of Wickenburg.  The site is so named because of what happened at this place on November 5th, 1871.   Although the real truth may never be known it is generally believed that on that day the regular west bound stage was attacked by a band of indians. Five people lay dead in the aftermath, and there were two survivors who told the story of the ordeal.   Questions abound about whether or not indians were responsible, or maybe Mexicans?   What became of the money that they were supposedly carrying?  Much has been said about the incident which only adds to the mystery of what really happened. 

All in all we had a good ride getting to the site and it stayed mostly dry on the way in.  The rain started before we got to the site but it was a very light rain.   Even a light rain can soak you to the bone if you stay out in it long enough.  We didn't stay at the site long because of the rain and traveled back to the staging area, getting wetter with every step.   A decidely damp group of riders returned to their trailers with a new respect for the early travelers of the area and the hardships they faced.   A little rain is definitely better than getting riddled with bullets.

Jackass Flats

The following week found our club ride at a place called Jackass Flats.  The name is said to come from an early gold prospecter of that area who was fond of his mule and thus named it in honor of him.

We had fourteen riders on this trip and travelled over many types of terrain such as sandy washes single track, and plenty of cross-country action. The weather was absolutely perfect for riding with temperatures in the sixties and enough wind to keep it comfortable.   After about ten miles of riding and some amazing scenery we returned to the trailers where our club president had managed to set up a very nice picnic lunch for everyone.

We had fried chicken and two kinds of potatoes (potato salad and potato chips),  cheese and meat,  fruit and nuts, and even pie and cookies for dessert in the desert.   Many thanks to all that attended and special thanks to Karen for the picnic and to ride leader Lonnie for getting us back safe and sound. 

Respectively submitted ,

 Robert Piekow, Publicist


Cow Creek 

October 27, 2018
We will call this ride (Tres Vacas Muertos) as in three dead cows.    We all started out on a beautiful fall day from the Cow creek parking area for some desert riding and fellowship.  Great weather in abundance, and the desert is starting to green up due to the recent rains.  Riding mostly on game and livestock trails in a southwesterly direction brought us down to the wash known as Cow Creek.  Burros seemed to be in season as many were sighted along the way, as well as some small game and birds of prey.    

After reaching the wash we turned easterly towards Lake Pleasant and traveled for some distance in that direction.  Before we reached the lake, we again turned to the southwest and up one of the more sizable small tributary washes of Cow Creek.  About a mile up this wash we encountered the three dead cows.  These cows had been deceased perhaps two to three weeks and speculation is that they might have drowned in the recent high water events.  Since the cows were beyond saving, and one had some nice horns that were just there and waiting to become , well , someone’s souvenir, the cow decided to grace Deb with a pair of horns.  Congratulations Deb.    

After a bit more riding up that wash we reversed direction and headed once again toward the lake. Crossing under the viaduct of Cow Creek road we turned back in the direction from whence we started out from and returned to the staging area . 

Always hungry after riding for almost four hours the riders were treated to grilled brats and assorted goodies generously provided by club members. Thanks to all that attended and thanks to our illustrious ride leader Lonnie.  

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Piekow, Publicist

                Adventures at Boyd Ranch

October 12, 13, 14, 2018

A visit to Boyd Ranch outside of Wickenburg is always an adventure, but this last trip even more so due to climate issues as in rain and more rain.  The weekend event started on Friday with a great ride down into the Hassayampa river bed up to box canyon. The weather was mild and the horses and riders enjoyed wading down the river through one or two inches of cool water and sand.  Who could guess that twenty-four hours later the same one or two inches would turn into one or two feet of raging river. 

Back at camp after the river ride, there was another ride for some of the more adventurous members while the rest of us stayed and made preparations for dinner.  As darkness fell  around the campfire we all enjoyed a nice potluck with contributions from the club members,  a couple hours around the fire swapping stories and enjoying each other's friendship.   Then we retired to bed in anticipation of the big ride on Saturday.

          The next morning dawned cool and cloudy with the threat of rain but not to be deterred, we all saddled up and headed out with the powder room as our destination.  We had been  riding up the dry river bed for a couple of miles when the sky began spitting a few drops of rain.  The rain slowly began growing in intensity until the horses as if given a command,  turned their tails to the wind and rain and as much as said "this is enough".  Not much to do then except turn back to camp as it was pretty obvious that the rain was not going to let up.  Ten sopping wet riders had the rest of the day to try and dry out.  The rain finally eased off late in the afternoon.  The grounds were pretty muddy, but with the efforts of Bill and his brother Carlo along with help fron all the club members we managed to put together a veritable feast of stuffed pork chops and fixins to go with,  so we ate like royalty as usual.

Sunday morning things were looking pretty good as far as the weather so another ride was in the works.  As it turned out we couldn't have left Boyd Ranch anyway because the road had washed out and would not be passable for several hours.

We had a very enjoyable ride,  first checking on the river which was still flowing pretty good but not raging as it was on Friday afternoon.  We then went northward for a ways through some newly washed desert, and everything was clean and fresh smelling.  An enjoyable weekend in spite of the rain and obstacles  encountered.  That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Respectively submitted,
Robert Piekow, Publicist


                    Glendale Eqestrian Club

Groom Creek Horse Camp was the destination for the Club's much anticipated campout and ride for June.  Arrivals began on Thursday as members descended on this ever popular venue for riding in the Prescott National Forest. The camp's 6500' elevation usually means cool temperatures and a nice change from desert riding.  There are lots of trails exiting the camp, so we can ride up to Spruce Mountain Lookout, down to Goldwater Lake, or a multitude of other places.    

By Friday most of the members had arrived, so a group went on a ride to Goldwater Lake which is a small but popular recreation spot maintained by the city of Prescott.  Tall pines and a soft forest floor make for a very scenic ride from the horse camp to the lake with good water for the horses at the lake.

Friday evening found most club members in downtown Prescott for dinner and maybe some adult beverages on historic Whiskey Row after which we returned to camp to await the dawn for Saturday's ride up to Spruce Mountain Lookout.    

Mother nature had different plans, as much needed rain greeted the campers.  The rain was fairly steady throughout the morning so we aborted the Lookout ride and went on a shortened ride to "the cabin" in the early afternoon.  The ride was a little damp but it didn't dampen our spirits.  By the time we got back to camp the rain had ceased for the weekend.

Saturday evening was once again a feast of many sides and munchies from club members.  This was all highlighted by some delicious steaks grilled to profection by our very own master grill brothers Bill and Carlo.  Thanks to everyone for a fabulous meal and a great time.   Following the meal the club had a rousing game of horse bingo.  You had to be there to understand it.

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny so the group saddled up for a great ride down to Wolf creek canyon and falls.  No falls this day but when the falls are falling, it is said to be a spectacular sixty foot drop. From the falls area we traversed past the Hassayampa Creek and on up to the old abandoned apple orchard. Details are sketchy about the origin of the orchard, but rumor has it that George Aplet, distant cousin of Johnny Appleseed, started the orchard around 1900.  After a few years he grew discouraged and moved on up to Wenatche Washington and married Connie Cotlet and founded the Aplets and Cotlets company.

Upon returning to camp it was time to return to the heat of the valley.  Fond memories of a good time had by all and anticipation for our return trip in September.  

Respectively submitted,

Robert Piekow,  Publicist


    Glendale Equestrian Club 

April 2018

The first weekend of April found the club at Bumble Bee Ranch assisting in giving horseback rides to the Hope kids.  This is a very rewarding experience for the club, as well as the giving back to the community to help the brave kids with serious health issues.   A big thanks to Kelly at the ranch for providing the venue and thanks to all that participated.  

The following weekend featured a non official ride from the Gates road area.  A good four-hour plus ride accross the Hassayampa river and up into the desert featuring great scenery, as well as some venison on the hoof.

Continuing on in April to the next weekend consisted of a campout at Bumble Bee Ranch.  Three days of riding gave everybody a chance to get plenty of saddle time.  The big ride on Saturday was to Antelope falls.  Due to the scarcity of rain the falls were not falling.  It was a good ride anyway and included a stop at the old line shack with a colorful history.

After returning to camp and a little cleanup, some members opted for a trip to the Cleator Yacht Club, Cleater AZ.   Saturday afternoon at the Cleator Yacht Club is always an experience.   Its a special kind of place that reminds me of the song that has the lyrics Honky-Tonk Bar -- Association.

No trip to the Ranch would be complete without a ride into Black canyon, up to what we call miner Bob's place, which is an ongoing gold mining operation about four miles up the canyon.   Due to the water shortage the mining has been put on hold til we get more rain.  Even without a visit with Bob (who wasn't home)the ride up the canyon is always spectacular with amazing rock formations and scenery.

With all the riding we did we still found the time to have a great potluck dinner on Friday night, thanks to the generosity of Bill our chef and all the member contributions.  Saturday evening's dinner was sponsored by the club and catered by the good folks at Bumble Bee Ranch.  Also on Saturday evening we raised a little money for the club by having a poker run and a raffle which added to the fun.  Congrats to all the winners and participants. 

Respectively submitted, 

Robert Piekow, Publicist


The first weekend of March found GEC on Boyd Ranch just north of Wickenburg for a weekend campout and three days of rides.  The club had fifteen riders on horseback for some enjoyable trail rides, which included a ride to box canyon on the Hassayampa as well as a long ride on Saturday upstream to include the haunted canyon and the powder room where the miners stored their blasting powder.

Weekend activities included a great potluck dinner on Saturday evening along with a dual campfire to swap stories around.   Thanks to Bill for the cooking as well as all the side dishes furnished by the members.

All in all there were some thirty miles of trail riding and some ATV riding as well.

Moving along to the second weekend in March features a ride at Apache wash just west of Cave Creek.  Ten riders left the staging area north of Joy ranch Road for a nice trip up Apache wash and around the summit.  Part of the time we on the Maricopa trail which runs through that area. Although we did not see any of our noble ancestors taking a bath we did get to water our horses at Apache springs.

Additional activities scheduled for March include a trip to Bumblebee Ranch to help with the blind kids and also the next ride at Burro flats.  Check the web site for more details. 

Respectively submitted,

Robert Piekow, Publicis

                              Glendale Equestrian Club

 Although this Club is devoted to group horseback riding, there are some  other fun things that we as a group.  Such was the case on January 20 when twelve of us, on four side by side ATV 's, went on a fifty mile adventure traveling east from the Wickenburg rodeo grounds.  The day was quite chilly with some dust-dampening rain as we rode toward the Bradshaw mountains.  We checked out some great scenery on the way to a nice warm fire where we had some sandwiches and other goodies brought by the members.                                     The next weekend promised better weather, so we rode well-rested horses in an area known as Twin Peaks for an enjoyable ten-mile ride through the hills and valleys west of Vulture Mine road.  Twelve riders enjoyed good scenery as we traveled roads and washes and cross country, led by our ever vigilant ride leader Lonnie.  Following the ride, we all enjoyed the snacks provided by various participants of the ride.  Thanks to all for the food and friendship.                                                   Jim Stewart trail became the starting point for our next weekend ride.  For this ride, we started out at the trailhead and went completely around Vulture Peak, traversing roads and trails southward, then west and stopping at the "sink" for a short rest.  Then we circled the mountain and headed back to the staging area. Again,  there were twelve of us to eat some tasty treats brought by members.  In checking the stats, we had riden nearly twelve miles with around a eleven-hundred foot elevation change.  Following our snacks, the Club proceeded to re-erect the Jim Stewart stone obelisk trail marker because some idiots had vandalized the marker at the head of the trailhead.  After some considerable effort, we were able to set the marker back up.   ( A side note to those who choose to destroy that which others enjoy,  quit being idiots and the next time you want to wreck something,  take a ball peen hammer to your car. )   

Respectively submitted,

Robert Piekow, GEC Publicist


GEC rides and other news.

We start off the month of December doing a group ride with our friends from the Cave Creek club.  Riding at Table Mesa, we had a great turnout with more than 24 riders participating.  We rode north to the river and then down the river towards Lake Pleasant and thence returning to the staging area for a nice lunch of roasted brats provided by our very own Bill.  Many additional items provided by both clubs assured that no one would leave hungry.  Thanks to all that attended and thanks to Lonnie for the leadership of the ride.  It's not easy keeping track of that many people.

The Monday following the group ride turns out to be Jane's birthday so a small group helped her celebrate by riding with her from Sophie's flat.  We rode out on trail "A" got on trail "C" then rode to trail "D" up and down to get to Dinosaur wash so we could take pictures of the "fornicating bear " rock. I am not making these names up.  Returning back to the trail head we all sang Happy birthday to Jane and wished everyone a Merry Christmas while munching on cookies provided by Deb.    

Checking up on a rumor about little Nicky Claus having a boyhood friend named Emory Hendrson  four of us decided to ride at that trailhead on December 23  to search for reindeer tracks.  While we had an enjoyable ride out to the windmill we did not find any reindeer tracks.  That might be a good thing because grandma Sheila might have gotten run over by the reindeer.  As it was she did get bushwhacked by a palo- verde tree and darn near lost an ear.

   On new years eve day,

to finish out the year and to toast in the new year, the club along with members of the Cave creek riders went on a nice ride up to China dam.  We all started from the Jackass Flats area some thirteen strong and rode roads and then some cross-country trails to get to the dam site.  Nearly ten miles of riding brought us all back to the staging area where club president Karen had a big pot of hearty chili waiting.  Everyone enjoyed the chili along with corn muffins and various side provided by the attendees.  Mimosa toasted the end of the year and the beginning of the new.  Many thanks to all the riders , members and guests and everyone who helped make 2017 a great year and we look forward to 2018 being even better.  Stay safe and have a great year.                       Respectively submitted

                                           Robert Piekow… publicist


Well here it is already December, two months since the club rides at Granite mountain  and Groom Creek.  These were both great rides in the high country around Prescott, AZ.  The rides in September included a White Tanks ride  and a  Gates road ride.  Officially the club generally rides about every other week but very often someone is riding every week at one place or another.  Two official rides in November were at Wickenburg rodeo grounds to Sophie flats and also a ride at Jackass flats followed, by a brat feed. 

 Also happening in November was giving assistance in the form of saddling and leading horses for Bumblebee ranch as they hosted physically handicapped and blind kids.  Just a little something that our club does to give back a little to the community.  The real thanks goes to Kelly and the crew at Bumble Bee ranch for providing the venue for these events.     

December 2 is the day that we enjoyed our annual Christmas party, thanks to our host Bill C. and his wife Sharon. The day included an election of officers for the coming year and also our ever-popular white elephant gift exchange. A lot of fun was had by all, and don't worry if you didn't get the gift you wanted because next year you can re-gift  it to someone else.                      

The Saturday following the Christmas party found the club enjoying a great ride at the Estrella mountain park.  Great weather and a great ride led by Lonnie who is recovering nicely from knee surgery. 

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Piekow, GEC Publicis

       GEC rides again !

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

11:05 AM

Following a long hot summer,  it was time that our riding club remounted and put some trails behind us.  That is not to say we didn't ride all summer.  It's just that summer is the off season and there are no official GEC rides.  Table Mesa, Jackass Flats, Emory Henderson, Salt River, Box Canyon are some of the many places we visited.

Kicking off the fall season found club members at Granite Mountain trailhead for an enjoyable ride through the amazing landscape that surrounds Granite mountain.  This area was devastated by fire several years ago but has recovered quite nicely and is again well covered in grasses and other types of flora.  The main crop observed in these parts are boulders--- big ones, huge ones and gigantic ones.  Temperatures were very mild and the horses were well mannered on the nicely groomed trails.  At the end of the ride we regrouped at Groom Creek campground for an afternoon ride and an evening dinner provided by one of our resident chefs with club members contributing potluck dishes.  Thanks to all and thanks to chef Bill.

Sunday  morning's ride through the tall pines was very enjoyable as well as beautiful with mother nature's paint strokes of yellows and orange on the leaves of the trees backlit by the sun filtering down from the treetops. We rode the trails all the way to the old apple orchard, had a brief rest, and then headed back to camp in time to meet the noon departure deadline.  All in all it was a great ride with numerous sightings of deer and small game.  A special thanks to all  that attended and especially to ride leader Lonnie, without whom we might still be wandering in the forest searching for camp.                                                                                             

Respectively submitted,

Robert Piekow,     publicist for GEC

This month’s ride finds the Club back in Prescott for our annual pilgrimage to Groom Creek Horse Camp…..always a fun event for our riding club.   This year’s ride and campout was well attended in spite of the record heat in the valley.  It's always a little cooler in the mountains above Prescott.

Good riding conditions made for some great rides starting on Thursday for some of the early arrivals.  Riding on Friday through the pines was very enjoyable.  We rode to the creek, and some decided to do a little barefootin’ to cool off the toes.   Later on that same cowboy ( Bill) must have gotten hotter because he then decided to do a full body immersion in the Hassayampa creek.  All in good fun.

Saturday morning's gathering of equestrians set off for Spruce Mountain Lookout as their goal. Off and upward they went with our trusty trail boss in the lead.  Some four hours later we saw these riders returning to camp having accomplished their goal of conquering the mountain.

Due to the extreme heat in the valley the club decide to forego riding on Sunday in lieu of a second ride on Saturday.  This allowed for plenty of riding and gave us the opportunity to return home with our horses early Sunday before the temperatures became too uncomfortable for our animals.

Saturday afternoon and evening were filled with pre-dinner socializing and a fundraising poker ride card game.  The highlight of the evening was dinner featuring our amazing chef Bill on the grill with great steaks cooked to order, all supplemented with tasty side dishes provided by our club members.  Hats off to all that participated.  We couldn't do this without you, and a special thanks to ride leader Lonnie and chef Bill.  Happy Trails.

Respectfully, Robert Piekow


April 2017 proved to be a busy month for our riding club.  Starting out, the month the club participated in some charitable activity in conjunction with Bumblebee Ranch as they hosted the "HOPE KIDS".  The HOPE KIDS foundation is dedicated to providing activities for kids with cancer or other life threatening conditions.  Many activities were available to these kids on  April 1, and our club was instrumental in providing horseback rides.  Judging from the four-hour non-stop lineup horses were very popular that day.

The second weekend in April found the club on a ATV trek up to historic ghost town of Humbug Az.  Horses could have made that trip, but the distance from the trailhead to Humbug would have been too much for one day.  Humbug is, or was, a gold mining town first established in the early 1880's brought on by the discovery of gold by Charlie Campion, one of the early settlers to the Wickenburg area.  Many of his descendants can still be found in Maricopa and Yavapai county. The club spent an enjoyable tour of Humbug compliments of Frank the caretaker. Humbug and the surrounding area are  on private land . Tours can be arranged through the proper channels.

The third weekend in April was a weekend off for the club, however some members participated in a ride in the Gates road area. This was a great ride with beautiful scenery highlighted by a desert turtle sighting. Although not an official club ride someone usually rides every weekend and all members are welcome to join in.

The final weekend of April found the club once again at Bumblebee ranch for a full three days of riding and other activities. Friday started off with a fine four-hour ride and ended with a nice bratwurst dinner at Bill’s campsite. Thank you, chef Bill. 

Activity for Saturday included a morning ride and an afternoon ride. Also included was a trip to historic Cleator, Az. An old not quite ghost with mining roots dating back to 1860’s. Not much left but they do have the “Cleator Yacht Club” a fine establishment with live music and cold adult beverages.

Saturday evening included a steak, salmon or chicken dinner provided by the club and hosted by the able staff of Bumblebee ranch. A great raffle of donated items and a poker run provided more things to do and also raised some money for the club. Many thanks to those who donated items and congratulations to the winners. Last, but not least, happy birthday Bill.

Sunday arrived with the usual great Arizona weather and although some of us had to leave, another ride was led by our capable ride leader Lonnie who deserves a big thank you for all the great rides he leads. 

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Piekow, Publicist