Sunday, July 5, 2015

Alas, packing up.

Well, dearies, its time to turn Mz. Mac to the East.

I've been packing up and loading up with groceries and diesel to start the trek, slowly, back home.  But before I start, I want to post this photo of Theo.  He was getting his "moment of Zen" in Lake Crescent a couple days ago, and in this photo it was almost like he was melding with the water…such a beautiful lake (and dog).

Robin and company went to Seattle for a 4th of July event, and Theo and I stayed here to watch the house and critters… I haven't felt so much responsibility since babysitting when I was 14 years old!  Here's the email I sent my mom this morning:

Well,  so far so good.  The horses, chickens, cats, dog and I have survived thus far, and Robin will be back this afternoon.  Actually, one little chicken took sick yesterday (I told Robin I was sooooo relieved it happened while she was here!) and she put it in a big box in the shade with some straw, food and water to quarantine it.  I was dreading finding more half-dead babies this morning, but all were fine... then I walked up and tentatively looked in the box... it was EMPTY!  Oh no!  Had the weasel gotten him?  I went back down to the coop and looked around more closely.  There the little guy was, outside of the coop, looking quite perky!  phew!  I made sure he got some food, and then left the door of the coop open as directed.   
Everyone eventually reunited and they are busy pecking away around the yard.  I'm not a big bird person, chickens give me the heebie jeebies, but I was glad no one died on my watch.  And the fresh eggs sure are yummy.  Bright bright orange-yellow yokes.  I gave one to Theo this morning.
The horses, Grace and Skip, are fine.  They are beautiful Palaminos.  Grace tries to stay in Skip's stall to grab his food, so I have to show her her food in her stall first and wait for her to come on over, and once she starts munching on her own grain and hay, then I give Skip his.  Those poor geldings, everyone picks on them.
Speaking of loading up, Theo and I headed out to the Safeway at 8 this morning.  I bought $285 worth of provisions!  I was worried I wouldn't be able to find the stuff I want once I leave this area, so I stocked up on everything - even a big bag of dog food and wine.  I had gotten one of those Safeway Bonus cards to get the discounts, and when the cashier rang it up she told me I would save 40 cents per gallon at the Safeway gas pump because of my purchase.  So by buying a bunch of food, I can fill Mac up with diesel at $2.75 per gallon.  Sounds like a deal to me!
Then we went through the car wash - I rinsed the salt spray off of Mac.  Theo survived inside - luckily he'd been there once before with Robin in there with him, so he knew the drill.  Then we went down to the little pebble beach near Robin's to take a walk/wade in the river, as our reward. Nice.
So here's a shot of Mac at Port Williams, where T and I walked this morning, just so you  can see how nice and clean she looks:

Once we got back, Theo left the van and this imprint from his wet body was on his bed.  Kind of a neat abstraction.  Is it art or is it wet?

So, as to the return trip...  I've decided to keep the pace slow going back and spend a little more time at Glacier and forget about going to Yellowstone & Grand Tetons.  Glacier sounds incredible and Yellowstone, though also incredible, sounds crowded!

So my thought is to explore the Glacier National Park (which does not allow dogs on their trails) for a few days, and then drop down just south of the National Park into the Flathead National FOREST, (which DOES allow dogs on the trails) - the reviews I've been reading say the scenery is just as spectacular and less popular, so less crowds.  From there I'm going to meander across beautiful Montana and when I find a spot I like stay there a day or three...working my way over to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota.  Might stay there a few days if I like it.  From there I meet my friend Barb in Fargo in early August.  From there we take about a week or so to drive through northern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, then down through Michigan.  She'll catch the train back to Chicago and I will head SOUTH towards home.  Sounds like a plan!

By the way, here's another postcard - this of the Columbian Blacktail deer of the Olympic Peninsula.  I love the attitude of this guy.

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