Riders enjoyed being urban cowboys at Hacienda Del Sol

Left to right: Toni McDole, Shelly Franke, Dave Normandie, Lee Rinke, Debbie Shelton, Guy Shelton, Don Williams and Bob Authur

Left to right: Toni McDole, Shelly Franke, Dave Normandie, Lee Rinke, Debbie Shelton, Guy Shelton, Don Williams and Bob Authur

Don and Rebecca Williams

Fifteen riders enjoyed a beautiful, sunny morning ride at the Hacienda Del Sol Resort. Nestled in the Catalina foothills, this urban gem offers a trail ride that descends into a wide tree-filled arroyo that is both quiet and peaceful despite the urban setting above. The trail wound through an array of saguaros, golden barrels, mesquite trees and creosote bushes. Part way down the trail the group split into two with one group continuing down the arroyo while others scaled the steep bluff to see a beautiful view of Tucson to the south and the Catalina mountain range to the north. The trail back also showcased our beautiful Catalina Mountains.

After the ride many riders assembled together for lunch at the Hacienda del Sol Resort. This resort was built in 1929 and originally served as an elite girl’s school for daughters of such famous families as Vanderbilt, Pillsbury and Westinghouse. In 1944 Hacienda Del Sol was converted into a guest ranch that immediately attracted the Silver Screen’s most popular stars. Legend has it that the Hacienda’s Casita Grande was a favorite romantic hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Leading men John Wayne and Clark Gable both signed their names to the hotel’s illustrious guestbook. Forgotten for a time, in 1995 the Hacienda was renovated by a group of investors with a goal of returning it to its original glory. It is now a luxury resort with magnificent views of the area. It is included in the National Registry of Historic Places. Riders were informed that horses have also been on the property since its opening.

The group’s next ride will be on Saturday, February 4, at Donnelly’s D-Spur Ranch in Gold Canyon, which is a working cattle ranch. The location is on the eastern edge of Apache Junction, a little over one hour from SaddleBrooke Ranch. The trail winds through the foothills of the Superstition Mountains and offers a beautiful view of Phoenix. It is also just a little warmer there than Tucson, making this a good time to go.

The group’s rides are open to any SaddleBrooke resident. You can ask to be added to their email list so that you get all the information on upcoming rides and can let the secretary know if you would like to make a reservation. Join as many or as few rides as you like. For more information see the SBR Club website or send an email to the secretary, Don and Rebecca Williams, at [email protected]