Travel Serendipity–The Copper Penny Ranch, Tularosa, NM

ser-en-dip-i-ty n The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. 

Perfect travel would always be serendipitous, don’t you think? A happy journey of sweet and memorable events?  Alas, travel is hardly ever perfect. Even the best laid plans fall victim to traffic jams, mechanical failures, operator error.  In April we took our new motor-coach on a cross country journey–Florida to California and back in two weeks. Fourteen days of new scenery rolling beyond our windows. Fourteen days worth of serendipity. As many fortunate discoveries as our wee little minds could recognize.

Jonas gives Teresa tips on handling Storm

Jonas gives T tips on handling Storm

One of my trip wishes was to ride a horse while I was out West. I’m an inexperienced rider, but love the idea of riding. As we left the White Sands National Park,  we happened upon the Copper Penny Ranch and RV Park in Tularosa, New Mexico. This is a working ranch with about eight RV spots out front. When we arrived a young cowboy was practicing roping a bail of hay while a father and his very young son rode horses in the training ring. How lucky could we be?
After checking in the with the owner of the ranch and discovering he couldn’t give horseback rides because there was a clinic going on that weekend, I thought my chances of riding were gone.  Hiding my disappointment and soaking in the sights and sounds, I watched as the father and son rode over to the  young roper. I realized that HE had horses. Wish revives and I saunter over to introduce myself. No, I didn’t say, “Howdy, pardner.”
I just did a little  sweet talking to convince the  roper to let me have a turn around the ring on his horse. Jonas, the young roper, obviously loved his lifestyle. He lives with his parents on a ranch that runs about 500 head of cattle in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He was in the area to compete in a high school level rodeo, with hopes to earn a college scholarship in rodeo. He introduced me to Storm, one of the horses, as I explained just how inexperienced I am. “Riding is one of those things I think everyone should experience,” Jonas told me.  While I made friends with Storm, Curtis and his dad said hello.
4 year old Curtis teaches T how to rope

4 year old Curtis teaches T how to rope

Jonas and I took a few turns around the ring as the sun was setting. He said he didn’t think anything was quite a pretty as a New Mexico sunset. I think I’d have to agree. When the sun slipped below the pink and purple mountains on the horizon, we reined in the horses and took them back to the trailer for their dinner.

Then Curtis, a four year old with his heart set on being a calf roper, gave me a lesson in roping. Believe it or not, I lassoed that that bale of hay on my second try! Yee-haw! So trip wish number one granted! I celebrated by making Jonas and Curtis brownies, and wishing Jonas success in his calf roping rodeo competition the next day. 

1 comment

  1. What a cool story – and an adorable picture! I enjoyed the harsh beauty of New Mexico. Glad you finally got to ride.

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