We left on Tuesday the 26th about 6 pm. Approximately 13 hours later, we pulled into Phoenix. Several of us drove it all the way. Some were smarter and changed drivers.
The first thing I noticed about the ANLS, it has changed. There was a staging area to check-in and then check papers and then get in line to unload. LOTS more animals–especially gilts. The sheep and goat barn was full. The laid back attitude is still there. It is a very shower friendly show.
Did we go to try to win the show? Yes–but not the goat show. The ANLS opened up the Ag Mechanics contest to students outside AZ. Duke wanted to win it. He took several projects that were more than good enough. But, it wasn’t meant to be. The grand project was a deal from Arizona. It was good but not near as good as several other projects. Some used the word “homered”. Oh well, another learning lesson for the favorite son. He sold his projects in the silent auction and they sold well. I am proud of the work that he does.
Now, for the goat show. We took a Blood Pressure/Joe Dirt wether that I thought was good enough to win a class. I didn’t get him down into the weight class that he needed to be in. But he was still in the hunt in his class. When it got down to the top 5, I thought, “He will either be 1st or 3rd.” Guess what? He was 3rd. And the judge talked him right–elevated in his chest floor, tracks wide on both ends, huge top and rib but he needs to be longer bodied and leveler hipped. Duke showed him right. No complaints. Basically, Duke’s dad needed to send him with a better goat.
The heavyweight goats were good–really good. This grand of Shroyer’s won pretty easy in my opinion. This goat was also the champion middle weight at Kansas City. They chose to scratch him to try to win this show. Good choice. This beast looked like a show goat. We stalled next to the Shroyer family. I would say that the goat industry better get used to these girls winning–a lot. The girls are workers–mom included. And these girls can show. There is no doubt that there is a large amount of effort being done at home. Oh and for those that want to whine about people spending huge amounts of money for their goats, this one was cheap. Real cheap. He was a cripple as a baby. I would say that he grew out of it.
I thought the res. heavy needed to be reserve grand. Fault free–good goat that was well presented. I didn’t know it at the time but this wether was sired by Dirty Rain. I saw several J&J goats being shown but I never saw the Burns family while in Phoenix. Congrats to them.
All in all, it has become evident that there are good goats all across this country. Feeding, fitting and showmanship are found throughout the barn. No matter where you go, you better have a good one and a good showman and a good feeding and fitting program. The competition is tough.
Now, for the rest of the trip. We got unloaded and headed to Denny’s–Duke and I tradition. The food was outstanding the whole week. Although, the chuck wagon’s were not at the ANLS this year. Duke was pissed. So, I had to take him to Dunkin Donuts every morning for coffee.
La Piñata–AWESOME mexican food.
My Mothers–Turkey pot pie–best in the world. KC Ferguson had a prime rib sandwich that looked amazing. He said it was better than it looked. Great bread and everybody was full. The waitress was fun. I told her that I burnt my tongue on the pot pie. She brought me a roll of scotch tape and told me to “tape it up, crybaby.”
Mariscos El Tiburon–great salsa, huge language barrier which made for big fun. Although food was excellent, we wouldn’t recommend the queso. The XXX tostado that KC ate was huge–stacked with shrimp, cerviche, octopus and some other stuff. The Fergusons, Kellns and Dunkins laughed a lot while we were at this place.
Pappadeaux’s–one of my favorite restaurants and it did not disappoint.
The show day breakfast at the ANLS is a cool tradition.
On Thursday afternoon, we went to OdySea. Wicked awesome type of aquarium. Great for all ages. No they wouldn’t let me touch the penguins and they didn’t find much humor in my desire to eat one. So, I bought a bag of penguin poop (chocolate covered peanuts). All the kids and I ate these. Kela, Tammy and Duke went to an oxygen bar. They sat there snorting in pure oxygen. I got hooked up to one of those tensor machines and cranked it until my shoulder was twitching.
On Friday night, we went to The Duce. This was recommended by a buddy of mine that lives in Phoenix. It is an old farmer’s market that has been converted to a family friendly night spot. Cornhole, foosball, ping pong, hula hoop contests, DJ playing a wide variety of good music and a laid back atmosphere. Brisket sliders and burgers were good. We had a large time there. Korbyn Ferguson beat Duke in foosball. KC found him an antique PBR bucket. It’s a dandy.
On Sunday morning, we dropped Kela at the airport to head home to LA. Tammy, Duke and I hooked on to the trailer and headed home. I’m glad to be back but I am missing the climate of Phoenix. Now, there is nothing but memories and an upcoming credit card bill.
I am glad 2017 is over and look forward to 2018. Have a good year.