Saturday, July 31, 2010

Newfangled I’m not!

 

Tin Foil

Yup….that’s me!  Recognise me?  That’s me done up as tin foil!  Since when do I want to be freaking tin foil?  I’m a dog.  I’m black.  I have brown eyes.  Leaves are green.  Skies are blue…but NO some wizard somewhere declared I need to be able to look like tinfoil if I want to. My eyeball looks a little bit like Lisa’s laundry room tiles….now who on earth would consider that normal?

None of you have lived with owner but she is technically challenged. Suddenly we have a new camera with  all sorts of crazy functions of which she has no understanding.  Luckily some of her experience with her previous camera is carrying over to the new one but it is still a challenge.  Challenge for her? What about me….I don’t even have thumbs or fingers.  I’m not impressed.  Not impressed at all. It’s not like I can just go grab the old camera and snap a few pics…no, she locked that up in a ziplock bag in a drawer….as I mentioned no thumbs no fingers equals problems.

The only good news about a new apparatus in the house is that we spent about three hours on the Keystone Gorge trail on Sunday.  But, I must ask how many shots of flowing water can two people take?  It’s not like I don’t enjoy being outdoors but there were a lot of sniffs to sniff and territory to mark but WE sat by the river taking the same photo over and over.  OK, I say the same photo and that isn’t really true.  Water does flow.  However, I’m sure you get my drift! (no pun intended)

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Sure pretty right but so boring when you just sit there clicking, clicking, clicking. Who cares about  apertures, shutters, F stops, menus…it’s water, it runs downhill and so should we.  Did I mention I had to be leashed every time I went near the water?  The kids have said she never let them into water over their ankles and I’m beginning to sympathise with them.  Does she think I have no common sense. What…I’m going to launch myself downstream to barrel into boulders because I’m a dogbrain?  I mean, Owner…GET A FREAKING GRIP.

Curly QHere I am as a Curly Q.  Ridiculous.  If I was supposed to have a curly haired retriever coat the good Lord would have given me one. Everyone knows I don’t look like this although it is better than the tin foil illusion above, same photo by the way.  Actually my bear bell looks rather cool….oh heck, forget I said that.  I cannot be swayed to this new technology.

Owner was heading off to take a photography course tomorrow.  I was looking forward to a day off from her using me as her subject.  It gets tiring being a model.  I got paid with an egg yolk in my dinner bowl!  I’m worth so much more than that. After all I have the patience of Job.

  Anyway,  her course was cancelled due to weather considerations. It is true that we have had some rough weather lately with our main road  covered in dirt, water, 40’ trees and boulders, and need I say “cars” waiting to get into or out of Telluride.  Life is exciting isn’t it?

Instead owner will head to Chorale Sing.  She made brownies for everyone and used a new type of chocolate.  Even I have to admit that they smelled fabulous but looked like the tar used to patch holes in the aforementioned roads after rockslides.  She might want to take some blindfolds.  See ya later.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nothing for nothing

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Nothing fest came and went this year and we missed it. Why you ask?  Well, we were doing nothing and it kind of slipped on by. And let me just say nobody had a slip on either….they don’t call it Nothingfest for nothing. It doesn’t matter that we missed it this year because naked people pretty  much  look the same whether they took their clothes off to ride a bike  in 2009 or 2010. However, I cannot tell a lie so must let you know these photos are from last year.  As I said that night we were busy doing nothin! which if I understand the festival properly that’s what you are supposed to be doing!

Me…I’m shy.  I was so mortified when all my fur got shaved off back in May (to help me deal with the Texas heat) that I spent tons of time hiding out in the bushes. No one outright laughed at me shaved down to “nothingness” but I’m sure there were some inner giggles.  This was a difficult time in my life, heat notwithstanding.

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  As for displaying my nether regions….well this is as close as you get folks.  I may not  wear underpants but I possess a tail and know how to use it. 

My memories of my mother are relatively foggy but I’m quite certain she was a modest bitch. Never were her nipples displayed to all and sundry.  She lived her life with this motto….puppy latched on equals good, puppy not latched on hide nipple. I can still hear her imparting her thoughts on nakedness.   Nothingfest therefore is a time for me to try and have some good fur growth going on…modesty outranks comfort during our July heatwaves.

Even if you discount the naked thing – I would look  absolutely ridiculous on a bike.  I don’t fit in the basket;I’m incapable of steering;  I can’t hang on from behind; and I refuse to ride in a baby carrier.  Luckily for me neither owner or curly-haired has ever expressed interest in us joining the festivities. (phewf!)

That being said it is fun living in a town where people can let their hair down.  Lady Godiva is the fashion statement of many of the womenfolk.

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The problem with the naked bike riders is you never know when they are going to show up. Last year it was close to dusk; this year it was just after 7 p.m.  (another reason we missed them sailing down Main Street.)   I guess this time the group wasn’t shy or they just got liquored up a little earlier than usual?

  People start to line the streets just like they do for the July 4th parade. Other dogs come to town to shake their head in complete confusion. None of us understand this desire to parade nakedly down the street, but we sure get a kick out of it.  There are always those people in attendance who are horrified or shocked that this event is taking place….hey folks, if you don’t like it, don’t line up and definitely don’t look. No one hogties you to a telephone pole and forces you to take part. That’s just my opinion but, come on, please don’t look AND complain.

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Anticipation gathers.  A few “clothed” riders circle around. I’m never completely sure but think perhaps their job is to  let the “unclothed” know if the gathered crowd is appropriately large and appreciative.  The “in the know” locals  come to town early and settle in at a Telluride bar or restaurant and  wait for the riders to appear.  The riders AND the crowd, in many instances, are well lubricated.

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P1010570   Suddenly  you hear, “here they come!” and “come they do.”  They race by. Some have backpacks on, others have decorated their heads with crowns, feather boas float lightly in the wind as the riders race by. Everyone waves and yells and cheers.  Suddenly it is over for another year. The sun begins to set and everyone heads home.  While chuP1010576ckling to themselves, many attendees ponder  how many shots does it take to get up the courage to participate in the yearly event.  Luckily I don’t drink!

 

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For me, it is a time to reflect on how ridiculous it is to be bent out of shape with my buzz cut hair do.  I can cope. And may I add, sometimes it is the  silly and fun little events like this that make me happy I’m a dog who gets out and about.  Because this sure as hell ain’t happening in  The Woodlands, TX!  See ya later.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

When the heck did they build this?

(just an f.y.i.  It’s Nothingfest in Telluride, CO  this weekend which means…I think I see naked people!  Will this mean a lot of photo cropping or just a teensy bit of photo cropping…always a dilemma!)

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Getting around has never been my problem.  I get around. In fact I spent some time with Ginny on the trail yesterday and for every hike she mentioned I could counter with another.  Blue Lakes – check, Silver Lake – check, Whipple Mountain – check,  the secret hike only locals get to go on – check, check! (even have photos to prove it!). Walking up to Ingram Basin, crawling slowly to Liberty Bell,  scaling the mountain from Ajax to the little spot  you write your name in the book to prove you were there, Nellie’s Mine…..been there, done that. In fact, hiking and walking and cross country skiing takes up a good portion of my life here so was pretty sure that nothing could surprise me.  WRONG.

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Now where on earth is this you might ask.  It’s relatively benign isn’t it? Obviously this is not a steep trail, level of difficulty Zero.  How is it possible I have been coming here for six years and living here for TWO, and I’ve never set foot on this path before?  Did it just get built?  Have people been living over on this side of town all along and no one told me? Did it used to be a dog free zone…like the place I’ve gone to frequently in the last few weeks? Can you only live out here if you live in a teepee? P1080888 None of these questions have been answered to my satisfaction and it is damned irritating.

The only reason my paws actually touched down on this lowly trail is because some guests came to town who had oxygen difficulties.  (or should I say deficits?)  Huffing and puffing had to be taken out of the equation for them, especially as they were already tired after spending five  hours a day tied up like pretzels at the yoga festival.  They wanted to see some countryside but see it slowly and gently. 

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  By the way, this photo lies, lies, lies.  I was loose for about five minutes on this darn walk. As soon as we got closer to the tent and the river, owner decided I would be too giddy with new scents to sniff and  roll in  so she snapped me

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on to the leash.(She bathed me later anyway, so what did she care?) My few minutes of freedom were super,however, and I’m hoping she’ll allow me to go back to this spot leashless. You never can tell.  Stranger things have happened.

If you haven’t guessed, we began our walk, I just can’t call this a hike,  on the far side of town….well that would be far from our house anyway.  In fact given the condition of owner’s damn foot we drove over to  Town Park to cut out some distance. Is she a weeny or what?  Actually, does she milk that foot issue  would be more like it! This little vehicular diversion suited our guests just fine. Who wouldn’t like driving 15  m.p.h. through town with the windows open wide so that taco wagon odours stream inside.   After our last hike on Keystone Lookout it was obvious our friends didn’t  trust owner when she said this would be easy. They had found Keystone a tad scary with its narrow ledges and sliding dirt. I guess they know she lies. (see above for confirmation!)

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Yes, walking out of town had its advantages.  Usually we are looking into Ingram Basin from afar. We miss all the side bits.  It was nice to take our time and amble on out towards Idardo Mine and breathe in some lovely fresh air and see the mountains from a new perspective. 

What I don’t understand is this.  I’ve been out to that mine a million times by car.  I’ve hiked up from the parking area.  I’ve hiked up that road when we’ve parked just below Bridal Veil Falls, and I’ve been in the car when we drove a shrieking owner to the top of thP1080461e Falls….but where was this nice trail then?  Did I just miss it in my excitement  heading out on a hike that involved real “boots and a Camelbak.” Am I so shallow that all I think about is ME while sitting in the back of the truck and not about the incredible scenery visible through each window.   In fact, if you showed me a photo from Silver Lake would I recognise it as somewhere I have been?  (ok the fish swimming along the shoreline would give that one away but still…..) Is nature’s grandeur starting to become blase?

As nice as this gentle walk with Rosena, Sue and owner was, it sure seems to have stirred up some  unease? Maybe they just built that part of town yesterday and I never noticed all the houses out there and that nice trail.  Yup, I think that’s what it was.

P1080899Another perplexing question is this:  how come after a really nice walk in the fresh air with friends I don’t get to go to The Argentine Grill in Rico for lunch? It’s not like I don’t get in my fair share of downward dogs in a day, and God knows I’d love to sink my teeth into a good burger! See ya later.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Life in my lane

 

Yup, that’s me.  Drinking from Cornet Creek at the end of a hike is such a fabulous thing to do.  You can even lie down and cool your belly and paws. Heaven on earth in this lowly dog’s opinion.  Owner and curly-haired never partake. I’ve heard them mumble about metallic remnants from old mines but I haven’t seen any.  Water looks clear to me.  Humans are so damn persnickety.  If I worried about half the things owner worried about I’d have no fur left.  Note to self…..why IS my fur falling out and not growing back? 

P1080791A new hike opened up in town and owner has gone twice.  I’m forbidden. Big signs block the way to the bridge….No Dogs.  Not planning to go into any detail about whether I’ve been or not. Zero interest in having the dog catcher come pay me a visit; you know how that goes.  At any rate this place is really beautiful and bears a resemblance to Northern Ontario.

Is this picture incriminating evidence against me? What do they do with dogs dragged places “against their will” by their owners?

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One of our guests grew up in New York.  She really THINKS she wants to see a bear.  What she doesn’t get is that this means you have to actually MEET the bear. In most encounters of the “ursine” kind you do not  get to pick the distance from which the rotund brown furry guy says hello.  It could be she’s changing her mind about this whole bear business as last night I heard her ask in a tiny voice, “ ummmm. do you think we should take a flashlight with us when we take Casey for a walk.”  I guess she thinks berry munchers are frightened by flashlights?  I don’t think they are afraid of much if you ask me! Besides a flashlight isn’t going to scare them away from our old chicken carcass and our leftover watermelon rinds now is it?

Town has gotten really smart about how our garbage pails lock up, but I see one of our pails is cracked around the middle as if some old black bear sat on it trying to crack it like a nut.  Those guys are smart you know!

Owner was really frustrated.  She had the people, the perfect hike, the camera and a dead battery.  Recharging her battery and then leaving it behind in its case P1080817on her bureau was not helping    her have a perfect day.  She consoled herself with the thought that if you’ve seen one whirling eddy you’ve seen them all. 

 

 

She and Sue reflected on childhood picnics, some P1080831in Northern Ontario and some in Wales.  Both had parents who kept the picnics cool in ice cold waters along rivers’ edges.  They had lived parallel lives while children but never known each other. Every child thinks their family invented these cool traditions and then finds out nothing is ever truly original. 

Grey storm clouds started to fill the sky, distant thunder started to rumble and we weren’t even halfway through the hike.  Owner was urging everyone forward but it is a tricky hike for footholds and neither Sue or Rosena was interested in a sprained ankle prior to yogafest.  I thought  wrenched ankles would be super  since then one of the three women would always be home with me.  It gets so tiresome sitting home on my mat waiting for my people to return.

The green moss we encountered was such a treat I wanted to hang out there, approaching storm or not.   The sun broke through for a few moments and enticed me to sit and rest a while. Feigning thirst is always a good delay tactic.

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We made it down to the next bridge, crossed the river and started our uphill trek.  Rosena and Sue had only arrived a day earlier so the altitude really kicked their (well actually more Rosena’s) butts.


Our timing was perfect.  With a few rests on the uphill and then a quick  pace on the flat we managed to make it to our car before all hell broke loose in terms of rain and stormy weather.  The best part was we managed to complete what we had set out to do and this sat well with Sue’s prior hopes for a great hike. The only thing left to do was grab some lunch and return home to rest up. Oh wait,  I mean set Rosena up with Gary for a two hour Ashtanga yoga class.  Sue, owner and I rested.  See ya later.

(here is a little video clip from atop our regular hike, The Wiebe, so you can get a good view around the area and down into town. Enjoy)

 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This Gets Easier Right?

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It’s great being back in my hometown.  I had a little swim this morning before breakfast.  Wasn’t so thrilled when I got caught up in a big eddy and did a few ballerina twirls but after I got my feet on terra firma my thoughts ran to…may be old but this is one dog who stills has has what it takes.

Hill climbing is tough.  Hill climbing where the oxygen pressure is low enough that you can’t suck oxygen down into your kidneys makes hill climbing extra tough.  The problem with Telluride is if you leave for more than two weeks you are back to square one in terms of altitude acclimation when you return.  Sure dogs feel it too but no one feels it like owner.  Her huffing and puffing nearly drowns out the sound of my tinkling bear bell as we wind our way up The Wiebe.  Before we spent time back in Texas we could get up that trail in under 40 minutes.  Now we are back to the hour mark and it is an “ass drag” if I do say so myself.

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 Moss definitely grows on the North side of a tree. You’ll just have to trust me on this.  This is old moss.  New moss looks a lot like you’d imagine the hair on a newborn gnome. In fact it is so light that it falls off the trees and lies on the ground so you have no idea what you are looking at. 

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If for some strange reason you couldn’t remember what month it was (say you were son number two, P1020987for example, who never seemed to figure out which month came before which month or why it mattered?) you might get confused and think that this was frost because it bears a similar appearance to a frost photo (the white one IS frost!).  Oh, and by the way moss grows on rocks wherever it damn well pleases so don’t use that as a compass guide.

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It is difficult to figure out why grass can grow in the most miserable of conditions on a forest trail but refuse to grow in our yard where we have addedP1080371 peat moss and  a sprinkler system.  No matter what we do we always have the ugliest looking yard in all of Telluride.   Suddenly at the beginning of  Fall our grass will take off and start to look nice, then snow falls and back we go to looking like a run down derelict building. Have my people no dignity?  We have a yard that it is not even worthy of a good pee; how bad is that?

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Personally, I think the summer is looking good.  Town looks great.  The aspens are looking lovely as usual.  Owner has foot problems so she can’t hike for five and six hours at a time which is perfect for me with my arthritic joints.  Yes, she forgot to bring water along on our first hike of the season but graciously gave up her own so I wouldn’t be thirsty.   I had to learn how to drink out of a lid but aside from that all was well.  Every once in a while she proves how much she loves me.

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ForP1080472 now I sit in my window sill and dream of the next hike.  My dreams also include getting those darn windows cleaned so I can see out.  Think that is happening later this week, FINALLY! Anyway, back to hiking.  Those hikes simply have to get easier. Had to endure one of those “bath” things today but it felt kind of nice to get  a good scrubbing.  You probably didn’t know this but I am currently the poster girl for dandelion repopulation.  It is a job I enjoy and I do it well. See ya later.

 

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P.S. The windows are clean.