Photography Club commences its fall photo-shoot season

Robert Thoresen

Quail Creek Photography Club members kicked off their fall season photo shoot season on October 4 with a two in a day shoot at the Hacienda de la Canoa and Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary; first stop, Hacienda de la Canoe. It did not become an active ranch until 1875. The land grant dates back to Colonial Mexico but it really had no active ownership until the 17,000 acre plot was purchased by Tomas and Ignacio Ortiz in 1820 for $250. The brothers and their descendants went through legal hurdles for the next 50 years and then ultimately sold the plat in 1875 to two Americans, Frederick Maish and Thomas Driscoll. It was then that cattle started to run on the property. By 1910 the ranch had been incorporated and President Levi Manning and his son Howell Manning Sr. enlarged the holdings and built many of the structures that are now being preserved. At the time, Canoa Ranch was probably the largest cattle ranch in Arizona. After the tragic death of a son, Howell Manning Jr. in 1951, much of the property commenced in being sold off and the infrastructure went into decline.

Raul M. Grijalva was born in the U.S. in 1948 and spent his first five years at the ranch. His father was a hired hand at the ranch. Most Republicans probably wish the ranch had stayed prosperous and Raul might have become a cowpoke. In 1953 the Grijalva family moved to Tucson and Raul is now serving his sixth term as Democratic Congressman for Arizona’s Congressional District No. 3.

A guided tour lasted about 90 minutes. Members were given free rein to traverse the ground and most of the buildings for about one hour.

A short trip over Elephant Head Road took the group to the equine rescue center. The center is located at The Jumping Jack Ranch and got its start approximately 10 years ago. Its initial mission was saving Premarin mares and the foals from neglect but its founders have taken on an expanded role for providing recovery, care and homes for a wide diversity of neglected horses. The day of the visit found about 40 horses and foals, 12 mustangs and two donkeys. The tour provides the story of the extremely poor and inhumane conditions that most of the mares had to endure to provide the pharmaceutical industry with the hormone replacement therapy drug Premarin (PMU) and related products. About a dozen mares are Premarin mares. After their production has declined, they and their foals are usually auctioned off and then commonly slaughtered. Other remaining recovery horses have other stories of neglect. One favorite mare, Sundance, was brought in by the U.S. Border Patrol when found wandering in the desert packed with 500 pounds of marijuana. Since Equine Voices is a working ranch, visits are by appointment only. It is a 501(c)3 non.-profit organization.

PCQC endeavors to make lunch a significant component of most photo shoots. The trip concluded with a late lunch at Wyndham’s Grill on the Green at Canoa Ranch. indicates a general improvement over the past year, ranking it at No. 18 of 47 in restaurants Green Valley (I’m astounded by that many choices in Green Valley). Menu indicates a Contemporary American Cuisine. The salads and wraps were excellent and moderately priced. Service was a tad slow. One waitress for a group of 12 was a bit overwhelmed.