Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's A Boy! We Gotta Get Our Heads Into Puppies.

Kobi is our new Golden Retriever, he is 16 weeks old and has a very mellow personality, so far. We have been looking for another dog for about three months and Kobi comes to us via the breeder located at Loon Lake. As we explained previously, we visited the Loon Lake area about three weeks ago. There was a litter of pups that we looked at and from that litter, we had two picked out. Kobi was not one of them. In fact we did not even look at him when we were up there. The breeder raises and trains assist dogs and Kobi was set aside to become an assist dog. I am not real clear why the breeder decided not to train him, but when Linda talked to her last week, she said she had another pup available and that she would be in our area with the two pups. Our original choice had been sold so she brought us Kobi and the pup I had chose from the litter when we were up there. Now Kobi was 16 weeks old and the other one was 9 weeks old and we were able to make a comparison and hear what the breeder had observed about each dogs personality. From that we chose Kobi.

From what the breeder had observed, she said Kobi was not the alfa male between the two dogs. The pup was much more aggressive in its play and Kobi usually let the pup have its way. Now she also said the Kobi was not a sissy, but just had a bit mellower personality. We watched the two for quite some time and noticed that Kobi was a very smart and playful pup, but did not roam as much as the other. In fact Kobi would check back all the time. We like that trait.

Kobi had been home now for about 24 hours. Here is what has occurred. When we crated him up last night for bed, he yipped and barked for 10 minutes and the quieted down for the rest of the night. We fenced him into the kitchen when we went to the store today and he got into the rest of the house. Guess we need to figure out a better method for corralling him when we leave. When Kobi gets tired he will go into the crate and sleep. Did you know puppies sleep about 18 hours a day? We are so new at this puppy thing that we have book marked a web site that tells us about taking care of puppies. We worried about him sleeping all the time and the fact that he hadn't pooped since we got him. That worry is over. This afternoon he pooped, and he pooped big time! He must have been holding it for about 24 hours. Oh the worries of the new parents. I have been a bit surprised how much I had forgotten about being a parent to a puppie. My mind is still thinking big dog and this is certainly not a big dog!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday the flood gages in the Idaho panhandle hit their peak and it looks like the area streams and rivers are starting to recede little by little. The combination of a deep snow pack, warm weather last week and rain this week sent huge volumes of water down into the Coeur d’Alene River and St. Joe River drainages. Lake Cd’A is muddy and debris strewn, the color of the Mississippi. On Wednesday we packed the final items and drove down to Bell Bay via the Rose Lake route. Along this path the chain lakes have become one with the Coeur d’Alene River. The river has burst its banks and the areas that border the small lakes have filled with the cold muddy water. It is amazing to drive down and look at the vast expanse of water. The Trail of The Coeur d’Alene’s, our favorite bike path, is entirely covered and in some areas is acting to create small water falls between the river and low lands (check out the photos). Since our arrival, the cool weather has come in, of course, and thus the snowpack has stopped the rapid melting allowing the lake to expel its captured liquid.

Bell Bay is a beautiful as ever! We have settled in and met the new hosts. They are very nice; this is their first hosting gig. Linda found out that hosts get paid in accordance to the number of sites that they manage. Bell Bay has fewer sites then, let’s say, Kit Price on the Cd’A River. So the camp hosts at that site would make more money monthly then at Bell Bay. There is more work involved and some of the other campgrounds are used a lot more, but I would guess that this camp would be a good gig to have.

Camper set up was a breeze, we had to remember the sequence we established, and I had to remember some of the more technical aspects of the awning and other gear, but it went very smooth. We arrived and within about ten minutes Daren and Marcy pulled in. Everyone was set up within a half hour and we were sitting around a fire by 7:00 PM. Meals in both camps were soup and snacks, so we sat around the fire and exchanged notes on out two separate trips to the Escalante region of Utah.

I began getting cold out so we gave them a tour of the Snowriver, we sat and talked until about 10:00 PM and then each camp headed to bed cozy and warm, rain falling on the camper tops.
Thursday was uneventful. We hung around camp and took a walk up to the upper campground. When we returned I took a short nap and then Daren and I drove into Cd’A. While I napped Daren had gotten a hold of their neighbor and found out that a group of folks had gotten nervous and had sandbagged the area in front of their house. He felt he needed to go in and see what they had done and if they had damaged the lawn very much. Since I had to go into town for my VP gathering, it worked out well for both of us.

We drove in and as we did we stopped and took some pictures of the flooding along the Cd’A River. Over this camping trip we were able to see the river rise and peak, as well as start to go down. It is interesting how fast this all happens. In town I went to my get together and Daren when out to his house to inspect the damage. When we got back together, he said that the folks did a good job of not destroying the lawn, but he felt that they had been a bit premature with the sandbag action. He believes that there was at least 18 inches of safety margin before the river would breach and with the NOAH grafts the river would fall before it hit the flood level. We took our time going back to our camp and when we arrived we gathered in our camper and chatted.
We woke up to rain again. The weather broke a bit and we ate breakfast, got dressed and jumped in the Upchurche’s truck for a high water exploration. We drove to Harrison and looked at the flood damage there. Followed a road and inspected the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s where we talked to one of the Indian Reservation Parks people named Dean and found that the trail was good from Harrison to Plummer. We will probably ride that stretch if the rain stops this weekend. We then drove up the river and checked out all the areas we went past the day before. Just from our observations we concluded that the river had peaked late last night and it was quickly on its way down. There was a lot of damage however and we figured that the trail will probably be closed most of the summer while the powers that be assess the damage, control the pollution and possibly get crews in for repairs.

Lunch time came quickly and we found ourselves at the Cataldo, Old Mission Inn. This little place serves up some good food for a very reasonable price. Daren and I had the fish special, Linda had a salad and Marcy ordered a bowl of clam chowder. It was fun to eat and talk while watching and listening to the local folks come and go. Everyone was checking in on each other to see if they were ok after the flood and if the water had gone down enough to get back into their place. We ate lunch and returned to camp. We cooked the Costco enchiladas we had brought and ate dinner by the fire. We were in bed by about 9:30 PM.

I hate to tell you what we did today. Nothing, nada, absolutely did not move, we sat in chairs and read, followed by sleep, followed by eating and gathering wood, followed by sleep; that was our whole day. It threatened rain a couple time so we had to move our stuff under the awning, or under a tree, but with all the rest we had gotten we were able to accomplish that task.
The Upchurches are fixing dinner tonight so Linda and I can sit in our chairs and recoup. Man these weekends are rough, another day like today and I don’t know what I’ll do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Anniversary Fun

The Nine Mile Falls duathlon will be starting in about five minutes. I have found a nook in the shade where I can entertain myself while Linda runs, bikes, and runs. The race is a bit longer today then the first duathlon we attended here this year. It will be fun for Linda and I am getting to be one of the spectators that everyone knows. Last time we were out here, I met several people and as soon as we arrived they all came over and reestablished a connection.

One of these people is Rick. Rick lives in the Browns Addition in Spokane and he has gotten involved in the local arts scene. He knows one of our Student Events guys, Jared, and this has been my connection to Rick. He is very nice and I am sure we’ll meet up more in the future. By the way I had a mocha from the coffee truck and he created a beautiful froth on the top. I took a picture because I was so impressed.

Today Linda and I celebrate 23 years of marriage together. It’s been a wonderful time and I can say I have never once thought “what the heck did I get into”. I love her more than anything in the world and truly believe we were made for each other. I don’t know if I could survive without her. She makes everyday exciting and new.

Here is a bit of a tid bit for you all. The Bennett’s have been looking for another dog! For the past few months we have been connected with the Golden Retriever Rescue out of Spokane. This is the organization that connected us to Baka. Since we lost Baka our family has had a huge hole in it. He was our baby and we have missed him beyond imagination. As part of our quest for a dog, I got the idea to go out and look at some of the golden puppies that have been in the paper. What a mistake! We have had to be strong and do a lot of heart to heart talk about whether we are in a position to raise a pup. Our first adventure led us way out through north Spokane to Loon Lake. A breeder has 12 pups available and they are just the cutest things. Just imagine walking into a room and having 12 heads pop up, look at you, and then total puppy mayhem break out. We picked out one, a male, and we are thinking about it very hard. Just to let you see how hard it has been, here are a few pictures of possible pups available.

Its 9:32 and the first runners have entered the exchange area; I better get into my support position. Linda did very well on the first run portion of the event. The ride is a bit longer so I will have some time to continue explaining about the puppy situation. The reason we are hesitating about getting a pup at this time it that we need to be available to take care of it and train it. The Loon Lake pups will be about 13 weeks old when we pick it up, if we let the breeder keep it until Linda is out of school, and that has us a bit concerned. A lot of training could be taking place during those six weeks and we are a bit leery about not being there during that training period.
Let me make it perfectly clear that if I had my way, we would have brought home both male pups from the Loon Lake crew. Linda was the voice of reason on that one.

We’re home and I’m resting in my chair. Man being a support crew is exhausting! Linda won her age group and place somewhere in the top 30. I’ll update the race info as soon as they post it on the web. We drove home and stopped in Spokane at one of the best Mexican grocery store and delis around, DeLeon Foods. Man that was good! Linda did a great job of talking Spanish to the lady behind the counter.

Results for Linda in the Spring Thaw:

33 to cross the finish line out of 111.
First in her age group 45-49, sixth female to finish overall.
Combining the two Spring Thaw events she finished second in the masters group which included all females 45 and up.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunshine, Sprinklers and Cycling

You can tell we have had a couple warm days; everyone has a smile on their face and a little red in their cheeks. Saturday Linda and I went into Spokane and did a bit of shopping followed by a long walk with the Hashers. The Hash held its annual pre Bloomsday event at the traditional watering hole Fast Eddies. They call it the Bloomin Hash and it is usually a short run/walk around the downtown area. It's very low key and they try not to get everyone worked over before the big Bloomsday run. We didn't stay the entire time and came home where we ate dinner and called it a day.

We got up late, about 7:00 AM, and spent the morning putting our bike gear together. With the big bike rack on the trailer stinger, we loaded the recumbent for me and Linda's race bike. It was a busy morning and we had to dig everything I use for biking out of storage. Our plan was to load up, drive out to within 3.5 miles of the state line, and let Linda out where she would start her run. I would drive to the state line and unload the bikes and she would arrive and everything would be ready to do a 22 mile ride.

This all sounds good, but being the first ride of the season, I forgot a few things that I noticed after I had parked, unloaded, and set up the bikes. Let’s see, I forgot little things like water bottles, shoes, etc. I could deal with everything, but the shoes were the hardest. You are thinking “just ride in your tennis shoes.” I was wearing maroon Crocks. I could not leave the stuff to drive home and get the cleated shoes. I didn’t have time to load up and drive back either. So when Linda showed up I road in maroon Crocks.

The ride was wonderful in spite of the shoe debacle. I could only push on my peddles, which made the hills a bit hard and slow. I think my biggest problem was riding along and coming upon a group of riders and having ride by in big maroon Crocks. As a recumbent rider your feet stick out in front of you and all I could see were these two puffy purple, ok maroon, feet sticking out there. I was a bit embarrassed to say the least. The ride went smooth and I was real tired when we got home.