Yep, after months of careful considering, strong arguments and groveling...LF2TS decided to learn to travel slower as we adopted from BLM Ridgecrest. Wanna read a good it is.

Good morning.  Normally on Sunday I post stories about Quincy the Sailing Great Dane or our newest Great Dane puppy…but this morning I’m going waaaay beyond that to introduce our newest family members….two female donkeys (jennies) named Micki and Buttercup.  Read on….

At some point since February I got the idea in my head that I wanted to rescue a pair of donkey’s from BLM and learn to race them.  Nope, that’s not the punchline in a joke…donkey racing is a real endurance sport, just not really a mainstream one…yet.  So after we bought the Adventure Base (aka our house) and we had enough land to see that it could function as a smallish ranch, I really got excited about this project and started reading and researching as much as I could.  However…the HelmsMistress wasn’t really onboard with the project, so it took some time for her to come around from a solid “no” to the fact that I would not be on the couch if we ever really did get a pair of donkey’s.  After several months of planning, I took off to Ridgecrest, California to meet the California Breakfast Burritos team of Karin and John.  These guys promote the sport of pack burro racing..which means that you and a donkey running together to finish a known distance trail run.  Believe me…it’s harder than it sounds.  I met with Karin and John the first time with my girls after a very long drive to get there…which allowed us the opportunity to meet their donkey’s and get a personalized tour of BLM Ridgecrest.  The BLM Pens in Ridgecrest are really unique because the public can drive their own vehicles around the perimeter road, check out the wild mustangs and donkeys and evaluate them the best way possible.  Being able to see these living symbols of the American West up close was awesome.  

Donkeys at the California Breakfast Burrito (CBB) Ranch.
The outer perimeter road around the BLM Ridgecrest Pens.
Wild mustangs.
Wild donkeys.
Driving back to the main highway from BLM Ridgecrest.

The second time I made the long trip to Ridgecrest, we had to have our stuff together.  First, we had to apply to BLM to adopt a donkey (and wait to be approved).  And you must give BLM a drawn map of exactly where the property is and you must draw a map of your stable and corral area.  I also had to coordinate to rent a horse trailer (thank you!) and with CBB because we were adopting one of their donkey’s as well.  (Donkeys do better as a pair or more…remember that).  But this second trip was easier because I had been there before and I left early enough to get there towing a trailer, without pushing the speed.  

Micki, the CBB baby donkey was loaded first at their ranch and then we took off to BLM Ridgecrest.  I spent about 20 minutes in the office doing some quick signatures, then it was off to the chutes where a pair of veteran wrangler cowboys ran our BLM adoptee (Buttercup) out the chute and into the trailer.  It was all over in a matter of 5 minutes and I was suddenly the owner of two female (jennie) donkeys.  That’s right….we own donkeys now.  Since they live for 30-40 years, it’s a commitment not for the faint of heart. 

Here’s the pics:

BLM Ridgecrest Field Office.
Buttercup coming out of the chutes with wranglers making it happen.
Micki (background) and Buttercup in the trailer just minutes before we took off for the long drive home. The arm is in there to untie Micki for the drive home. 

Once back to the Adventure Base, life changed for these two creatures.  Micki (the CBB baby donkey) has been taken from her herd and Buttercup has traveled from the Panamint Range in Death Valley to BLM Ridgecrest to us at the Adventure Base.   Once here, they each have their own stalls and we’re working daily to bond with them.  Micki has been raised on a ranch but Buttercup is a wild born donkey, so time and patience are needed with both animals for every step of the journey.  And, the dogs love these large animals, but I’m not sure the donkey’s love them.  We’ll see as we go along.

Micki (black donkey) and Buttercup (grey donkey) in their pens.
First time I could get Buttercup to come near the treat bucket.
Buttercup and Maxine go nose to nose as I muck the stalls. Both donkeys tolerate the puppy…for awhile.

So we’re a website dedicated to slow travel with kids….why did we get donkeys?  Well, why not.   And, we’re going to train them and us as a team so we can race our ASSES off!

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