Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do Your Ears Hang Low?


No need to comment!  Definitely not my best angle.   Not my prettiest side.   I have to ask, does my ass look big? Yeah, thought so!  Oh well, the size of my posterior is not the point of my post so we’ll just let that worry go. Besides I’m sure it is  just  my winter coat thickening because there is no way more exercise can be added to my daily routine.    If I have to eat a little more pumpkin to slim down my physique so be it.

One look at this photo and I had an  epiphany.  I DO LOOK LIKE  A BEAR CUB.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.  Sometimes people pick up their small dogs when they see me coming along a trail.  They chuckle and say…. ha  ha, just thought your little doggie there was a bear cub.  Yes, we walk our bears  in Telluride.  But really, amputate the  tail and they’re right--I’m a dead ringer for a baby bear.  Hiking just became a problem;  it’s hunting season. Just one glance at that  photo and  that old camp song started running though my head….do your ears hang low, can you swing them to and fro?

The equivalent for you would be humming that little ditty  when  suddenly  you see a mirror.  You scream, oh my God, my ears do hang low and Holy Cow I could tie them in a bow!  Well that is what happened when I saw that picture of myself.  I knew right then and there I need a vest, a bright orange (please don’t shoot me)  vest!  It could be a question of life or death. 

My good friend, Cowboy, wears one.  He lived in  Telluride  for years  and you would often  see him running along the River Trail  with a bright orange chest.  I thought he looked  interesting  (that would be kind talk for downright weird) but now it’s not seeming quite so silly.  His latest vest looks more reddish pink.  Guess he got tired of the road construction  look.

Since I’m a bit worried about this bear/hunting scenario, I dropped Cowboy a line to find out why he wears a vest every day of the year and how he felt about it.  He got back to me immediately and I thought it would be good  to share his note and photos with you. 


I am extremely clever with a specialty in camouflage. As you can see from the photos, especially the one on the beach, I can become practically invisible in nature. I have used this skill often to test my human companions. It gives me great pleasure to, say, stand under a bush quietly a few feet from them while they search frantically and call my name over and over and over and over again. It never gets old.

Thus the red vest. I am resigned to wearing it whenever I go outdoors. Some might call it embarrassing. I consider it a badge of honor; a recognition of my superior abilities in the field.

Cowboy in vest

Look  what I get for protection.  Don’t they even love me?  I feel betrayed.  Sending me out in this makes me look like a stump in the forest with a bear head poking out from behind.  What on earth good is this?  Sure, I won’t get rained on but I’ll get shot! Ending up as a “dog skin” rug is not something on my bucket list.


Worrying about hunters is taking a toll on me.  My neck is killing me tonight.  During our morning  hike up to the river crossing for Silver Lake  my head constantly bobbed up and down while  on the lookout for hunters. How do I know where they are hiding?  How do I know what they  are thinking when they see a gorgeous furry 50 pound critter taking a drink  from a stream.  They might be thinking  stew!

One thing I’m really good at though is being bear aware.   I may be mistaken for a bear but I won’t get eaten by a bear. Every single poster Telluride puts up  about those  omnivores….I read.  P1020062 Garbage pails are locked.  Foodstuffs are stowed.  No bird food hanging around my  patio.  I do my part.  What I don’t understand is why I’m responsible for scaring off bears with my teensy tiny little yellow bear bell.  I’ve heard that story  about  bear poop being  full of pepper spray and chewed up bear bells but I don’t think my owner has.  She doesn’t get out much.

Just one last thing?  Does my ass look big? 


See ya later.



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Never plan, never never plan.


Keeping a blog requires planning.  I publish one,  breathe a sigh of relief and suddenly it’s  back to the drawing  board…what to talk about next?  It has been so  rewarding to see your  comments that  it makes me want to come up with a humdinger of a hook to keep you reading….although let’s face it there is nothing more interesting than yours truly.    Knowing someone in Hong Kong, or Indonesia  or Libya is reading about me, (yes, I can see you on my map)  well it  makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, although I prefer staying sleek to fuzzy.   (ha, says my owner, more likely makes the damn dog feel self important!)

Anyway, I had a big plan for this post.   It involved MEAT. That’s right MEAT.  However, that plan  has had to be scuttled for a few days until I can get out and do some interviewing.  Lying  on my soccer ball dog bed I came up with a fabulous idea.  Tales needed to be told  about the  hikes I’ve had up to Silver Lake where the fish swim along the shoreline.   It was a good idea but all my pictures of Silver Lake are gone. Cyberspace? Who knows.  The  blog was beginning to take shape  in my head and I was ready to let my creativity have free reign.  But with no pictures plans had to change.  So this week saw  two ideas and two plan changes.  From now on there will be no planning.  Once the computer is turned on it will be paws  full steam ahead….until I deliver.

Since we can’t go up to the top of Bridal Veil Falls and turn right to Silver Lake, I think we will go up and turn left and head to Ajax Peak.  I have actually hiked up Ajax several times  and even  walked  the ridge line at the top so the humans could scribble  their names in a  little booklet. This  proves they made it to the end.   My owner can get to the top but she can’t walk the ridgeline to get her name in the book – too bad.  I refuse to sign for her. Obviously everything is simpler for me, I simply mark my territory.

Just getting to Bridal Veil, where we like our hike to begin, is an adventure. The best mode of transport  is going by  truck because I get to ride in the back. Swamp Canyon 053 Benj stole our Subaru  and ran off to hang out with  College, as I told you in another posting.  Friends have to  take us up in their vehicles now and  that has its benefits. Hiking gear rolls  around, everything smells like camping, and  my pal  is often  there (not as often  now  as he’s getting  older.)  Everyone is happy  except my owner who is in the front seat gripping the door handle and praying extra hard that no one will back  off the cliff, or fall over the edge. She has not lost control of her bladder yet but I know  this is one bet easily won.  Patience is a virtue.    She gets  totally freaked out and usually her friend, Jeanne, says, “Kathryn, this is not my first rodeo.”  This always confuses me because I think we’re going hiking then to a rodeo then hiking.  By the way I’m pretty sure Zack stole my red bear bell on this hike because I had it on in the car and it disappeared. It matched my collar and my leash; now I have to wear a yellow one which isn’t the same thing at all.  I bet he buried it in his yard 

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You need to  know I do not fib…here I am  with my red bear bell which I absolutely loved.    Of course not every photo is from one hike…I’ve done Ajax a lot of times now and I like to show you the best photos, so allow me a little literary license, eh guys?  It is only fair.


  We are headed  to the top of the peak on the left hand side, Ajax Peak, almost 13,000’ up.  (3,960 metres) This photo makes me laugh because I took it during  Telluride’s Nothing Festival when lots of naked people rode their bikes up and down Main Street. That is a story for another time and place.  If you have really good  eyes  you will see a water fall in this photo  (1/3 of the way over directly in line with roofs on the right hand side of the photo)…that is Ingram Falls and  we walk up and over that and continue on to the Peak.  I told you this is hiking.  It is not for the faint of heart or the “I have to get back in an hour” hiker.  P1010453First you have to get up to the top of Bridal Veil Falls from the mine parking lot.  This  mile or two long  drive takes you  to the house ( upper left hand corner).  Right about now is when my owner is panicking and making God all sorts of crazy promises.   The first time we climbed Ajax Peak we parked at the mine and it took an extra  hour to get to the house at the top of Bridal Veil. We only did that once!  Most tourists only make it to the pretty view at the bottom of these  falls  as that is enough altitude for them for one day.  On a hot day this water and mist is appreciated.    On a cold day….not so much.  From the house the hike begins and it is  a long haul  but well worth it as the views of town down below  are great.   We always go early in the morning so as to be off the mountain by about 1:30 p.m. in case stormy weather arrives.   We spend a reasonable amount of time checking the sky.  I may only be a dog but I don’t like lightning up there either.  One trip  a mine dog joined us all the way up the mountain.  He was fun.  What a place to live... american castle i swear

Tomboy Road from a few thousand feet above.

I had to do this so you can get a sense of how high up we are as we look DOWN on Tomboy Road which leads to Tomboy Mine…on the OTHER side of the peak. So, to drive this point  home!  at the peak we can look over the other side….try that for vertigo!    Before we get  here though we need  to cross Ingram Falls and walk up and over Black Bear Pass – one of the most dangerous passes (to drive)  in all of Colorado.  Our family never  has and  never will come over this pass in a vehicle, although we have met many people, including friends, who enjoy this strange pass time.  We met an eight year old girl who drove a four wheeler over it this year.  This seemed a bit extreme.

Ingram Falls dropping into TellurideThe Black Bear Pass ..stairs.. deadly 4x4    

The picture of the pass just doesn’t make it look deadly. But as they drive down over this slippery stair case of rock, drivers  then  have to make a 90 degree turn around a corner on a cliff.   P1020354

I like to insinuate myself into  group situations.  I got a lot of petting  here.  Plus, this photo shows you I now wear a yellow bear bell!  The little girl on the right is EIGHT!  Obviously this was mentioned further up but EIGHT….what are they thinking?


You can see people, slowly picking their way up the switchbacks so  they can say they made it to the top of Ajax Peak.  The next photo will give you a sense of the vastness of the hillside we are climbing.  It feels like it goes on forever. Obviously we are above tree line now.


Once we get to the top we have a snack.  Peanut M & M’s seem to be very popular up here.  I always have a little bit of kibble brought along because my energy  lags.   We drink some water, we check the sky for clouds, we rest about ten minutes  and then we start down.  Yes, we find it fun.   CIMG0070

Here’s a nice view of town I took when the Perretti’s visited from Texas. This was a day we couldn’t go too high…tons and tons of snow to traverse and it was June. We still had fun though.  Gosh I  take good photos for a dog.  I just don’t’ get enough credit around here for my abilities.

Because it absolutely drives my owner crazy, I like  to sit on the edge of a cliff to give her heart a bit of a jumpstart!  Works every time. 


See ya later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My owner……and the Telluride Yoga Festival.

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This weekend was rough.  It was Blues and Brews and the weather was not the best… cool, drizzle, thunder, pouring rain, thunder, cold, colder, wet, wetter  and so on.  Not fun even for a dog.  Getting out for walks wasn’t easy so I wasn’t sure what posting there would be  today. I rested  so much all weekend  that last night sleep did not come easily. While my owner was snoring away  I got up and snooped around on her computer  to see what sorts of things she had filed away for her memoirs.  

She has gone to the yoga festival every single year.   OK, it’s only been around  two years but she has gone every single year.  She recommends it to everyone she knows since it is so much fun.  The young woman who organised the whole deal, Aubrey, is pretty impressive.  Anyway, Sue and Alice  flew  in from Texas to join her and our niece, Yael.  Several days  P1010455 are spent  saying OOOOMMMMM  a lot, laughing  a lot, drinking  wine a lot, and  acting  pretty twisted. (no pun intended! hey, if you believe that you’ll believe anything.)    So forgive me not posting my  own  thoughts today,  but my musings on the paint colour in the front hall  are not that interesting.  There wasn’t a lot to do so  I ate a hole in my sheepskin bed.  This made my other option a post about my intestinal issues  and that seemed distasteful. So for my sake please enjoy the following little goodie from my owner.  I remember her telling me this story.  Here goes……remember guys, this is no longer my voice. My writings are far superior to hers and it would not do for you to become confused, although how you could confuse our styles I do not know.


Gymns have been my passion for a long time.   Weights and  cardio are my friends.  Also there is nothing like going for a mountain hike to get my endorphins rushing.   One big bike ride a year in the mountains of Telluride  gives me bragging rights in Houston, where no one has ever seen me on a bicycle except in spin class. I prefer running with weights around my ankles in Houston P1000027 heat  to   sitting cross-legged…mainly because sitting cross-legged hurts! If you believe the website stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, however, I’m in the minority. Yoga is no. 15 on their list…apparently we like it because we feel bad about British Colonial rule and want to make it up to the Indian population. Well, I do yoga now so I should be on firm ground  with all my Indian friends….right Rupa?  Beena?

The last person anyone would imagine at a yoga festival is me. It’s a long story. A yoga apparel store which shall remain nameless...the name involves fruit and a girl named Lulu….agreed to hire me after I had spent ten years sitting around the house  pretending to cook and clean.  Suddenly there was a weekly monitoring of my class attendance; it is how Lulu advertises their clothing so going to classes all over Houston actually made sense. There are many types  of yoga and I sat through lots of different classes  but never felt inspired. I wasn't in trouble at work exactly but they weren't thrilled with my IMG_0563 performance. However, Bikram came to my rescue. It's the hot yoga--104 degrees, 43 % humidity; the style that sweats every last cosmo and bad-eating day out of you in a heartbeat. You leave the studio convinced you are cleansed forever. Loved it. My body was feeling better than it had in ages.  The kicker was that I was moving to Telluride for the summer and there  was no Bikram studio.  What to do?

A new man entered my life and I fell in love, not with him but with his yoga style. Gary was  his name.  He’s a big brute of a guy, two big earrings, flexible as all get out and the best teacher I have ever had! I breathed a sigh of relief because this was going to do the trick.   Ashtanga was his game.   It has  a Darth Vader type breathing which I haven’t perfected but all that will come in good time. Heavy-duty personal stress had been  part of my life for a while  and Ashtanga cleared that up quickly.  I would put Gary and his yoga  right up there with Xanax, another friend of mine on occasion.

His class was  so amazing  that my son and I had him come over  to  give us a private lesson.  IMG_0566 Twisted into weirdly configured pretzels we actually looked through our windows at Ajax Peak from an upside down and backwards perspective. It  looked better than ever. (note to self…..point this out to any  future buyers!)

To make a long story short, my love of Gary...oh wait, Abe, I mean Ashtanga… encouraged me to  tell my husband that I needed  to sign up for the yoga festival. It would be a good way to expand my practice AND meet some locals.  Abe’s  such a great guy that he simply pulled out his cheque book, wrote the cheque, and off we trotted to the post office. My husband knows me so well that he knew we had to get that money in fast. He is acutely aware that I say one thing Monday, have  second thoughts  on Tuesday, and end up doing nothing by Wednesday. He took no chances. From the amount of the cheque, I knew I had no loophole through which to back out and god knows I had the clothes.

(These are not Ashtanga photos, you don’t have to do this)

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July 11 dawned crisp and lovely. At 7 a.m. I marched bravely to the gondola with my mat, water bottle and good spirits. Another yogi was there. Good God, if she wasn’t from Houston, if she wasn’t familiar with our store, and if she wasn’t teaching one of my fellow employees Sanskrit. I took this to be a fortuitous omen.

The Conference Centre was easy to find. My pass was checked at the door. I was directed to Salon B.  Hmmmm, everyone was wrenching themselves into all kinds of contortions. I slowly stretched my legs out in front of me and took a  casual glance around the room, as if checking out the view. In reality I was trying to figure out what the heck everyone  was doing. They were upside down, twisted, rolled over, and some were even praying in frog squats.  Oh oh,  I thought, and quickly did another little stretch and prayed that class would start soon. Suddenly it seemed that everyone was running to greet the newest attendees coming through the door.  Kisses were being exchanged, excited squeals  were heard when yet another human entered, more hugs; it was all a bit much. I turned to the woman next to me and whispered “gee, I feel like I’m at a family reunion but I don’t recognise  the relatives.” Her response was not comforting. “Yes,” she replied. “They are the Ashtanga community from town”. What? my brain screamed, every single person in this room is a devotee…..couldn’t they have mentioned that in the brochure…this class for Telluride Ashtanga fanatics only! Instead the brochure had said all levels, only led class taught in traditional Mysore Ashtanga format…well, maybe I should have checked out what that meant. I faked a couple more stretches and remembered the Lulu credo, Do One Thing a Day that Scares You! It doesn’t say do one thing that freaks you out and makes you want to jump out the window and run away. However, by now I was blocked in.

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The only way this could go was downhill. .

A very famous Ashtanga honcho entered the room, followed by two  acolytes. He asked if anyone was unfamiliar with the Mysore tradition. My hand went up along with three others. At least I had heard of Ashtanga. My God I had had five classes with Gary  who studied in India for Pete’s sake; I’m practically a pro. He asked us to move….not where you think!..but to the  back corner of the room where we wouldn’t interrupt anyone else’s practice. Back I went dragging my mat and looking sheepish.

All of a sudden the entire room was saying OOOOOMMMMMMM, which  is  moving to experience. My thoughts drifted as my spirit was carried away by the voices. Next we were all parroting  words that seemed to be in a language that I hadn’t  picked up yet. It was a beautiful thing until I heard myself ending a phrase very loudly with the word POO when everyone around me seemed to be saying KOO. The hopeful thought that we were going to chant for an hour and forty five minutes crossed my mind as that would only leave fifteen for actual yoga.

Suddenly we were all doing sun salutations. OK. Got those down pat. Two forms were available to me, courtesy of my trusty teacher.  Panic surged through me, however, and my breathing got all mixed up. Suddenly I was ahead of everyone in the room. I did my five salutations and then did five more in a slightly different fashion.  My arms looked really hot stretched way up over my head. It is easy to pretend you are into your yoga when actually you are  staring at your triceps and saying, “wow for my age  those triceps are looking pretty damn good.” By now every move I knew had been used several times.  The  Darth Vader breathing started me thinking how phone sex must sound.   I started to chuckle and prayed  not to begin laughing hysterically.   Now what was I supposed to do?  Two hours stretched ahead of me interminably. I heard  Gary’s  voice in my ear, “so, Kathryn, do you remember the next position.” “Nope!” I had responded blithely. I had been so blasé, why on earth  hadn’t I written everything down?Yoga Photos Telluride 046

The  male assistant,  who reminded me of Ghandi, glasses and all, came over to help. He could see I was in need of advice.  Well, I had to be frank, “hey look buddy, I’m in serious trouble here. I’m going to have to do sun salutations for two hours and it’s already getting a bit old.” He had no sense of humour. He told me that it was not supposed to be like that and I responded, “well, with me that’s all I’ve got. I only have five classes under my belt and I’m pretty much screwed right now.” He sighed and wandered away.

I looked around the room. Everyone was off in their own little world doing their thing. But, our group had grown. Our tiny batch of four “know nothings,” had grown to eight. We all did a few more sun salutations and then suddenly out of the mist our saviour appeared. I don’t know her name but  was  certainly  glad to see her. She glowed with knowledge. I nearly shouted out Alleluia when she said she was going to lead us through the series. There were  sighs of relief behind me.  Right then and there  it became obvious  there is a godIMG_0567. I don’t know which religion we  used to summon her, maybe Hindu since we had used some sort of Sanskrit-sounding prayer. I think my prayer had been, “dear God, come and save my ass, I’m in deep crap! (Remember I had substituted poo for koo).  Suddenly we had this great teacher  who instructed us, moved us  into correct positions, and  helped us get to the end of the series.    (big bonus from attending festival….I can now drop famous honcho’s name and say, “oh yes, I’ve taken class with him.”)

But what to my ever wandering and inquisitive eye should appear…but TWENTY FIVE people were now in our group. I guess they didn’t know what Mysore was either. HA! at least I had moved my mat over at the beginning. Putting your hand up in class does help, who knew?

I recommend everyone join me next year. You get to wear great clothes. You run around town with your mat and look extremely knowledgeable even if you don’t know a downward from an upward dog. You do not even have to answer questions about yoga, just nod quietly and let them know they are invading your meditative space.

I should let you in on another part of my adventure. It involved nature, weeds, and trying to be at one with the flies. I failed that class ….but you know what, the instructor was cool and it was  definitely interesting and got me out of my box.  Gotta run, I’m off to sign up for next year.  Namaste.

Casey here…So you see,  you  can also  come to town and find something new and interesting to enjoy.    Not only dogs like Telluride , people do too. 

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So you can tell me now,  did you have a good chuckle?  I sure hope so because everyone else  did that heard that story.    However nobody laughed as hard as this guy.  He practically laughed his face off.     


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Autumn is here!


At the risk of being teased,  it is time to tell you that Autumn is my favourite season.   Don’t start in with that old dog joke, ooh a car ride, my favourite! ooh biscuits, my favourite! ooh my mum is home, my favourite!  Telling this joke to a dog is the equivalent of singing, “and here’s to you Mrs. Robinson to Mrs. Robinson.” I have heard it before folks!

Fall is marvellous  because every day is different. We are more likely to have rain in the evening,  puddles litter the ground, the trees are turning gold, frost can be found, and  the clouds are hanging P1020573 in the valley.  Dawn is often magnificent. Of course Michaelmas is approaching on September 29 (one of our boy’s birthdays so it holds a special place in our hearts.)  When the kids used to  go to WaldoP1020575rf School  they always made  a big deal  about the clouds lowering in the sky, bringing darkness to the earth  as it  prepared to sleep through  Winter.  Those Waldorf  people sure know how to make a bunch of dark clouds in the sky P1020594glorious.  Look at our clouds yesterday  morning. These pictures were taken three minutes apart and even I, with my cataract-obscured eyes, could see the changes.

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Have to say though that my favourite view was watching the little gondola spaceships ply their way up and down the mountainside.  I’m sure those cars were full of happy people heading down to listen to the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, and good ol’ Joe Cocker!  Long johns better pull on and off easily because it is cold now and will be hot by  noon  and  freezing in the evening….but if you dance enough,  hula hoop enough and down enough brew….you’ll be fine.  I may not drink but trust me I can slobber with the best of them!P1020583

As I mentioned, now  is a great time  for puddles.     They are so much fun to slop through, water splashing   up against my body, mud sticking to my coat and paws.  It doesn’t take  much dirt to get my owner in a real uproar …but she loves me so she continues to take me out to trot around and check out the scenery.  Of course, I’m currently more acquainted with the inside of our shower than I would like but everything in life has a price.  By the way, guys, can you turn off your sprinklers.    They are a great place to cool off in July but these early mornings they turn me  into a popsicle.   

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I think this  puddle is the best one I’ve seen in town in a long time. It was a bit scary running through it because I had no idea if it was deep.  The Black Diamond condos reflected so beautifully that it warranted a picture.   We wandered over by Carhenge to see how many cars are parked for Blues and Brews.  There was a big sign saying no  camping  overnight and no animals.  Again that no animals prejudice! (except I think they  mean don’t leave your animal in the  car overnight which is only reasonable.  We like beds too.) Pretty sure I saw a couple car campers!


My early morning walk  was special  because we just skedaddled around taking photos and enjoying the cold weather.  This is the first day we thought about snow and being out on the hills skiing.  We had to stop by Lift Number 7 and see what was going on.  Not much.  There must be about 60 days left until the ski lifts open again and then life will get crazy. My walks will be shorter and not as much fun.  Everyone will be rushing around getting ready to take off outside and I’ll be left back on my mat waiting for them to come home covered in the smells of the hills. I’ve got to figure out how you get on those chair lifts.  I saw it in a video so I  know it can be done.  I’ll share that video with you when it gets closer to ski season.  It will make you drool with envy and you will book tickets to our town, Telluride, as soon as you can.


One or two more images and then I will say goodbye to you for today.  It tickles me no end that this town is set up so well for dogs.  All around town there are bags set up for our servants….we poop…..they stoop and scoop (ah, there is a God!)  And lastly, when will I scoop…..not until this pig breaks free and really flies.  Isn’t life beautiful.  See you around.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Something’s going on around here….


Something is always going on around here.  There are more events taking place than you can shake a stick at.   Being a “real” local has its advantages.  The word hits  the street and you have time to get prepared so as to not  miss out on the AIDS Fashion Show, Chocolate Lover’s Fling,  or the Lip Sync contest.  Someone somewhere always has tickets.  However, if you are not a local, tickets can be tough to come by and you end up as a no-show at the latest and greatest event in town.     Luckily for me, since I will never fit in as a human local,  events occur which demand nothing more than being in town at the right time.  The Imogene Pass Run is one of these. It just took place  on Saturday;  no tickets necessary.

My tail nearly fell off when I heard how many people had applied to enter the Imogene Run.  What would you guess?  Three hundred?  After all we are talking about a run that is 17 miles long and goes up and over the second highest pass in Colorado.  If I get any of my facts wrong, please forgive me…..I am only a dog and numbers and facts are not my forte.    This run takes place in all kinds of weather. Three Girls on HIKE in SnowIt  can be freezing rain at the top, snow, or  what everyone prays for,  pleasant weather. This year weather was good although a few runners did say it was cold up top since they were pretty sweaty at that point.   Only once have the organisers had to change plans….in 2007 the snow was deep at the top of the pass and for five miles the trail was nearly impassable. That year the race went from Ouray to the top of Imogene Pass (I guess where the snow started) and then runners returned to  Ouray.  Approximately  30 contestants signed waivers  releasing the Imogene Run organisers from all responsibility for their welfare and then  muddled on through the snow to actually finish in  Telluride.  They were heard to say it had been pretty brutal up top. ( my photo is from 2003 when we took three girls up to Imogene Pass ….the two girls on the right were born in India  ( the other is a Welsh Norwegian, imagine that!)  and it was their first experience with snow – it was our first experience with snow in July!)

  OK.  I know you still want to know how many people applied to run in the  event this year – 1,606.  Thirteen hundred actually showed up on race day and most people made it down into Telluride.   Timmy Parr and Keri Nelson were this year’s ultimate winners and Keri broke a record for women that had been held for 25  years.

P1020560 A highlight this year was having Jim Looney again  complete the race.  Last year just two weeks prior to the big event he was in a horrific bike  accident that broke a lot of important and big bones in his  body and  could not compete.  He is the most popular person at the post office and let’s face it…..they all rate really high on the niceness scale! In fact if you need  to go to a post office I would suggest you…..oh forget it, I can’t just let my thoughts wander like that.  Everyone was happy that  Jim finally got well and could return to work and then slowly but surely built himself up physically, and I’m sure  mentally,  so  he could compete in this year’s run.   I saw my owner give a big smile and snap a picture for me when Jim came through the finish line.  Proud of you Jim!  You are a reminder that when faced with adversity we need to rise up and meet it head on and  give it our all….maybe we won’t always enter the Imogene but we  have a better chance of getting on with life. (He’s number 57 if you don’t recognise him.)

Volunteers….they worked hard. For their efforts  they received breakfast  doughnuts (always yum for Canadians such as ourselves!), a free t-shirt to prove their worth, and a free lunch.  It never gets better than a free lunch in my opinion – no dog biscuits but they didn’t realise I was going to be there so they are forgivenP1020543. Volunteers unloaded buses, set up tables with gatorade,  provided snacks  for the hungry runners, manned a soup table, and waitressed back and forth with water and gatorade  as   runners crossed the finish line, and recorded finishing times.  One of the most appreciated jobs  in my eyes was the job of removing the electronic tag around each runner’s ankle.  Most runners were incapable of leaning over to remove this tag at the end of the 17 miles.  They were extremely grateful to have a couple of volunteers lean over 1,300 times  to do the deed.  My good pal, Yael,visiting town from Ranana,Israel did this for more than four hours and let me say she slept well that night!

  Runners  in general  are an extremely polite group.  I can’t count how many people of the 1,300 said thank you for being here, thank you for the drink, could I please have…….it was impressive.  If I had just dragged my sorry body over that pass I would have snapped and snarled until someone brought me what I damn well deserved.  OK….one woman was a bit snarky but only one and that is pretty amazing;  I forgive her, she was exhausted.  I’m sure she’s lovely normally. 

I saw people who could hardly stand as they came through the finish line. Some runners  could hardly control their shaking hands to pick up a glass of water.  I saw people spit (a lot!!!) …why? I saw people lie on the ground just grateful to be finished; in  fact a lot of entrants mumbled, “Thank God, I’m done, it is over.” One finisher  let loose with uncontrollable tears once she had had a drink and a snack……running something like this is emotionally draining.  They should feel pride.  P1020547 If not then, when?   In fact even people who didn’t manage to complete the race need to be extremely proud of themselves for undertaking the run in the first place.  Anyone who signed up for this torture  has a different mind set than most of us.  I am proud of all of them. 

Later that night one of the competitors, and 2nd place finisher in her age group visited our place.  (let’s call her Lisa.)  She came by for dinner and a large group of women saluted her, congratulated her, and toasted her  on the completion of her 23rd Imogene Pass Run  (again my facility with numbers is low so I hope I have this correct).   We checked her feet for blisters…and not a one.  What a woman!  Here’s to your 24th run Lisa. We love you.

Two incredible beauties waited patiently near the finish line.   Never had time to find out if they were waiting for  a competitor.  I bet they were.  Poodles were never my cup of tea but these two lovelies have changed my mind….regal is what comes to mind.  Hope they bring their owners back for a visit some day. Having friends from out of town is fun for me too…you humans think you have the handle on everything, but you don’t.


Remember how I told you about our crazy weather….just when the run was pretty much finished and tidying up was taking place, Telluride came through for us.  We had a hail storm!  Gotta love a place that can keep you on your toes.  See ya later.