Springerville 04/01/11

 April 1, 2011. Weather conditions were great for the very pleasant, smooth morning ride to Springerville’s airport. Those participating on this trip were Sandy and Dewey Harnagel, Margaret and Keith Monet, Gert and Jim Little plus invited guest, Bill Burch. On this trip, we planned to have Margaret’s sister Susan Erhart join us at the airport, have lunch, get ourselves checked into our motel then take in some of the sites of the Springerville/Eagar area before going to the home of retired Doctor Herbert Erhart and his wife Lucy. Lucy, a retired schoolteacher, and Herb had made a number of wildlife hunting trips to various parts of the world collecting a large number of trophies, which were on display in a special room of their home. We had been provided an opportunity to visit with Lucy and Herb and to see this collection.


After a filling lunch at the Trailriders Restaurant in Eagar, we checked into our rooms at the Sunrise Inn located next door. With a roof over our heads for the night confirmed, we headed out. Our first stop was the Western Drug and General Store, a large facility filled with fishing, hunting, and camping supplies, groceries, auto supplies and other assorted items. Upon getting a few things needed, we were off to the Round Valley Dome.



On the way to the dome, we detoured past the 26 Bar Ranch. As the 26 Bar Ranch, it was owned by John Wayne in partnership with several others. We simply viewed the ranch from the highway. Here is a bit of information from the internet describing the early history of the ranch.


The 26 Bar Ranch, located in Eagar on State Route 260, is steeped in the history of the Hereford industry. Back in the 1940's it was part of the famous Milky Way Ranch. The big white show barn, under the hill outside of town, has become one of the local landmarks. This ranch and show barn have been the home for many top Hereford cattle that have made their mark in the Hereford industry.


In more recent times the ranch has become noted as the 26 Bar Ranch or John Wayne's Ranch. The 26 Bar Ranch was started in 1964 by three forward-thinking businessmen. Along with Mr. Wayne, was Ken Reafsnyder (associated with Knott's Berry Farm in Los Angeles), and Louis Johnson (cotton farmer and businessmen from Stanfield, Arizona). After the death of John Wayne, the ranch was sold to Karl Eller with John Johnson staying on as general manager.



You can't miss the giant dome of the Round Valley Ensphere in Eagar; this multipurpose building on the campus of the Round Valley High School has a total floor area of 189,000 square feet, unusually large for such a small community. When flying into the area, the domed building is a great visual beacon; in the daylight, it can be seen from many miles away.



Inside the dome, at 104 feet in height, and 440 feet in diameter, it has been said this is the only domed high school football field in the country. In this picture you can see that it is configured for basketball, volleyball and track events. In addition to sporting events, they host car/truck shows and a variety of other activities in this dome.



Entrance to Lucy and Herb Erhart’s trophy room……..or “zoo” as they might call it.



Lucy and Herb with a lion. This lion came from the brush countryside of Botswana, South Africa. Lions from the open plains have thicker manes. Moving through the brush thins much of the hair from the lion’s otherwise thick mane.   



This large moose came from Alaska. The measurement taken at the antler tips was 82 inches.



Open wide, say ahhaaaa please. This skull is from an adult hippopotamus.



Our “zoo” host, Herb Erhart, wrote and had published the book seen here. We were all quite surprised when it was opened and we learned of it’s steamy content!



A look inside at Herb’s book. Seinfeld fans heard all about a show about nothing; well, here is a book…. all about nothing.



Dewey providing musical entertainment for Lucy, Herb as well as the rest of our group seated around the table. Sitting here at 9 o’clock then clockwise is Susan Erhart (Margaret’s sister) Gert, Lucy, Keith, Dewey, Margaret and Sandy. Herb and Bill had stepped away to look at and discuss displays in another part of the room while listening to Dewey sing and play.



Note the Denali shoes! Here, Keith is resting on an elephant’s foot (stool).



Big guy, a Water Buffalo.



This big kitty, a Puma, aka a Mountain Lion, came from Utah.



Preparing to return home; Dewey’s Mooney and Keith’s Skylane parked on the not-so-crowded Springerville ramp. A few "lumps" on the climb out and the descent into DVT but otherwise a clear smooth ride home.



The end of the trip and reminiscing about our adventure while seated at table 59 at Culver’s on Deer Valley Road. This “ending”, a trip to the ice cream store, seems to be turning into a tradition upon our return from such adventurous trips. Seated left to right: Bill Burch, Keith and Margaret Monet, Sandy and Dewey Harnagel, Gert Little with Jim behind the camera taking the picture. 


More Pictures below:

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