Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ending a 6 K mile drive and back to OUR LIFE IN SEATTLE

Our last night in Montana was spent searching for some buffalo meat to try. We found a Mountain/Mexican restaurant and had bison enchiladas! It was surprisingly good for Mexican food no where near Mexico.

After Montana we made our way to Salem, OR for the first of three flyball tournaments in a row. It was great to race with our Seattle team again and catch up with everyone. After learning so much about dog training while on the east coast, I may take a bigger role in training for the flyball club, so I spent a lot of time observing our dogs and planning training ideas. All three tournaments were extremely hot, but somehow Indigo managed to break her time record a few times with a best time of 3.76. She also ran doubles with her sister, who is remarkably similar to her in flyball and mannerisms.

Riker our team rat terrier in Salem

Ben running Taz!

watching the "bobbing for apples competition"

Ezri showing off her Frisbee skills

someday I will get a decent photo of Indy on the box.

A cute little Staffy named Whip!

It is apparently a tradition to play Pirate 3D blacklight mini golf at this tournament. So Ben and joined in and I played horribly as usually at mini golf.

In between the Salem and Truckee tournaments we stopped in Ashland overnight and then Reno to spend some time with the Shryocks and take a break from non-stop driving!

In Ashland we stopped at a hidden little breakfast place called Morning Glory. It had great reviews and was packed. The food and atmosphere were both impressive and enjoyable.

Our three dogs meet all together for the first time! The border collies pretty much just treat Ari like he is king. He doesnt mind one bit.

Ben and I made a fully grilled dinner which consisted of marinated beef skewers, grilled bok choy, corn and grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream for dessert!

In the hot desert sun there wasnt much to do other than take the dogs and ourselves swimming in the truckee river.

Tournament in Truckee, CA

The Ignited girls running doubles

We couldnt pass through Portland again without visiting Brooke! I love her little house and her mini farm with beautiful gardens and an adorable chicken coop. The highlight of our visit was our attempt to go to a secret swimming spot. We followed our vague directions and eventually ended up at the ended up at the foot of what was previously a narrow walking bridge. Since the bridge wasnt there and we came all this way we decided to cross the rapidly moving river. Everytime the dogs crossed my heart stopped. When we finally got to the spot it was too cold to swim, but it was beautiful and rare to find such a deep swimming hole. However unless they build another bridge I wont be returning.

Brooke and Cleo crossing

Ben needed help across the river so I stepped up to the challege

where the bridge used to be

twin flower

First visit to the Northwest forest in a long time!

This is some kind of saprophytic orchid

This is what the Northwest weather does to benches

We finally made it to the swimming hole

Breakfast at the Tin Shed

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Dreams May Come

When I was writing my last blog post, our stop in Montana briefly slipped my mind. The area in and around Glacier National Park is certainly not forgettable. Of the places I have traveled it is one of the most beautiful. Its not surprising that parts of What Dreams May Come was filmed here because if there was a heaven, it would look like Montana.

On our drive here we left I-90 and were immediately in back country Montana where regular gas is 85 octane and there might as well be no speed limit. Along the roads are miles of cattle ranches and agricultural land intermixed with wild flower meadows and a back drop of steep cliffs and rolling green mountains. We were tempted to stop and let the dogs have a swim at all of the rivers and lakes alongside the road. We finally settled on Nevada Creek. It was unfortunately less than a foot deep, but the dogs had fun and we had a nice short hike. We also saw a snake and a grouse.

not sure what kind of snake this is

a grouse

what is this thing?

The next morning we went for a 4 mile hike on cross country trails called Round Meadow.

Scarlet Paintbrush

this is some kind of wild pea

wild currant?


Mountain Dandelion

We had a bit of a dilemma because we were only a 30 minute drive from Glacier National Park, but we couldnt go because dogs are not allowed. We decided that after the dogs had a full day of running, we could take them and drive on the scenic highway that crosses the park. It was totally worth it, eventhough we didnt do any hiking.

Blanket flower

not sure what this is..maybe penstemon

bear grass is the white flower, not sure about the other

Mountain Goats!

Alpine Glacier Lily

Before leaving the area we had to try some Bison meat, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant called Piscado Blanco (a mountain mexican kitchen) and had Bison Enchiladas. The meat was very strong flavored, but was prepared nicely. Today we drove to the lovely city of Kennewick, WA to yet another LaQuinta hotel.