Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's So Busy Nobody Goes There Anymore

I haven't been to Lake Isabelle in 2 years because the hordes of people, oh the hordes of people.  Last time I went I took Strummy and looking back on the pictures I can't believe how old he looked.  When we lost him it was such a shock because he didn't seem old at all and while he certainly didn't act old it appears that he had aged a lot physically and I was so close to it that I didn't even realize it.  Kind of shocking how that works.

Anyway, school is back in session so the crowds have died down a bit and apparently Wednesday is the new day of the week that you have to hit the trails if you want some peace so Jonny took the day off and we headed for the hills.  We even got a parking space in the lot at the trailhead, something that hasn't happened in maybe 10-15 years.  Usually we have a 12-15 minute hike from a lower parking lot.  Doesn't seem like a lot until you have to do it on the way back after an already long hike and it's thundering.  We ended up giving a ride back down to the parking lot to a fellow Boulderite who had 2 visitors from Boston with him.  They were struggling with the altitude and were thankful not to have to hike that extra bit.

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

It was like the good old days out there, quiet and peaceful, some people but not too many.  I didn't realize this was even possible anymore.

The hike to the lake is fairly short and easy (took us 50 minutes).  We continued on a trail that goes above the lake because there are amazing wildflowers up there and I've seen a moose up there.

Still a lot of wildflowers.  Normally the aspens start to turn yellow by now but I barely saw any.  Fall is taking it's time this year.

There's an alpine bench and some nice tundra at just under 12,000' but we didn't go all the way up to it.  The trail is getting eroded and it's steep and rocky.  The view up there is o.k. and if you really want a workout you can go another 45 minutes or so on the moon rocks and go up to Pawnee Pass.  We got close to the bench and decided we'd had enough of the steep loose rock.  We've both been up there zillions of times.

It's hard to take a bad picture up there.  I accidentally left my camera behind so these were taken with Jonny's cell phone which is older and not super fancy.

It's perhaps my favorite trail on a quiet day.  It's weird to think that that could be my last time on that trail.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Last Boulder Birthday?

Not sure if I'll be in Boulder next year for my birthday so I did ALL the Boulder Things for this birthday.  My Boulder Things anyway.

Started off hauling my ass around the Boulder Reservoir for my Boulder Bare Bones Birthday Bash race.  I only did the mile so I could go fast.  Fast for me anyway.  I had a great race, a wee bit faster time-wise than last month but the exact same pace of 1:48/100 yards.  Distance was 1.05 miles per Garmin, can't get much closer than that. The lovely finish line ladies serenaded me with a birthday song when I exited the water but I was too dizzy and winded and embarrassed to fully appreciate it.  My friend Marcie braved the Pearl St. Whole Foods in Boulder to get me this nummy cupcake and she managed to do it without ending up on the 5:00 news.  It is that sort of a Whole Foods.  Or maybe all Whole Foods are that way.

I was tired enough after all that but Jonny insisted on hauling my ass up a mountain.  Sort of a mountain.  Goshawk Ridge again, third time this summer after never having been there since the trail was created I don't know how many years ago.  Turns out it's a super quiet trail close to town.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone.

It was hot.  Ms. Deer had it made in the shade.

Wait, there's more.  We had dinner at a super snooty Boulder restaurant called Arugula (says it all right there) because I had a gift certificate from my office landlord.  We went at 4:45 to avoid the worst of the Boulder Scene.  And also because we were tired and hungry.  I have to admit that the food was really good, like really good, though I'm hardly an expert in Fine Dining.  They were playing Bob Marley live on the loudspeaker, something I was not expecting at such a snooty place.  Only in Boulder.

All in all a great day doing all the Boulder things.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Adventures in Crazy Dog Lady House Hunting

At around 5:30 Wednesday night a week ago a perfect sounding house came on the market so I called the realtor and next thing I knew, Jonny and I were packing to leave first thing in the morning for a 7 1/2 hour drive to Mancos.  Coincidentally he already had the day off and I didn't have clients scheduled since we were going to go for a hike.  It seemed like a sign that we were meant to go and that this would finally be the place.  The land looked a bit too sloping from the pictures but the realtor was familiar with the house and thought there was some flat land somewhere.

It was 42 degrees and raining on Wolf Creek Pass.  Summer monsoon season is in full swing.

The house turned out to be near perfect - a remodeled farmhouse, 1800 s.f. which is a bit big but reasonable for us.  4 1/2 acres of land with great water rights and a big ass barn.

That came complete with a big ass barn owl.

And some big ass cliffs.

And a big ass view.

We were all set to make an offer on it when we found out that the land in the photo above would not be ours.  The owner was splitting the lot in half and building their new house on this part of the land which also happened to be the only piece of flat land big enough for an agility field.  Our piece of land would be mostly cliffs, a big ass orchard and a big ass barn with some slope-y bits of land between.  Plus a pond that the owners would retain rights to access even though it was on our piece of land so their dogs could swim across the pond and get on our land.  Plus we'd have to live next to construction noise for a year or two or who knows how long, who knows what they would build?  And they have kids and dogs and we already live next door to kids and dogs and we're so looking forward to getting away from other people's kids and dogs.

So disappointing.

We looked at a couple of other places that didn't seem promising but thought we should look as long as we were down there.  They weren't promising.  We did look at a perfect piece of land - great location and water rights and in great condition - but we'd have to build something on it and find somewhere to live while we were building.  Buy a used RV and travel the country until it's built?  And what to build?  Conventional, straw bale, rammed earth, something else?  There are many alternative building methods and materials out there.  It's all very overwhelming and not an attractive option.  Plus it's too late to buiy something and build before the snow start flying so a potential land purchase will have to wait until spring.  Ah well, the right place will come along.  I wish that drive wasn't 7 1/2 hours long.

We took the dogs and stayed with some friends outside of Durango.

Travel Buddies

Sunset over the La Platas

 Most places give you a mint on your pillow.  We got this.

Since we didn't have that many houses to look at, we had a lot of time on Friday to explore.  We decided to go up to Boggy Draw for a hike and when we drove through Dolores we came upon this.

I knew there was a trial over the weekend but didn't realize it was 3 days.  We stopped to take advantage of a socialization opportunity for Tess.  I saw a few people I knew, including a woman who just sold her place in the country outside of Durango and is moving to Moab in the city.  She helped a lot with Tess, fed her treats and brought her own friendly BC out to say hi.  Sadly Tess wasn't interested but at least she wasn't terrified.  Tess did freeze when a Cattle Dog started barking and lunging at someone else walking by from an x-pen that was pretty far away.  I turned her around and walked the other way, no point subjecting either one of them to each other.  And there was no way she was moving one more step closer anyway.  I was so sure we were past the freezing thing.  But otherwise she did o.k. walking through the hub bub of the shade canopies and people.  I may have shoved some kibble into a complete strangers hand and asked her to feed my dog when she showed the slightest bit of interest in us.  I wish I had had better treats but they were sitting back at the house, I wasn't planning on a socialization opportunity.  Must be better prepared.  And yeah, if you so much as make eye contact with me when I have Tess I'll probably shove kibble or chicken or hot dogs in your hand and ask you to feed my dog.  It's funny, guys want to make her sit or do something and I'm all, 'Just give it to her for being brave enough to go up to you'.  And they won't.  They end up handing me back my treats.  But the women get it, they give all the treats if Tess will go up and take them.  I've not been working a lot with 'Sit' or any other inhibitive behaviors because I want Tess being brave and offering behaviors, not inhibiting them which is her default.  Though at this point I think I need to start working with Sit, Down, and Stay in different locations with both dogs.  But not with strangers asking for them at a busy agility trial.  Sheesh.

We did go up to Boggy Draw for a short hike.  Tess still shouldn't go too far and she'd already been walking around the trial for a bit.  We were out around 45 minutes and the terrain was fairly flat and easy.

When we got back to our friends' house that night, Jonny realized we had a flat tire (slow leak so it was low, not all the way flat).  So we had a delayed departure in the morning since our friend had to take Jonny and the tire to Durango for a repair.  It's a new tire and under warranty so at least the repair was free and Discount Tire took care of it quickly.  We didn't get too late of a start and were home for dinner.

Ruby sez, 'Are we there yet?'

Kind of a fun trip but also emotionally draining.  We were so sure this house would be the one.  I'm a bit burnt out on Crazy Dog Lady House Hunting.  Something really perfect will have to come up to drag me down there again, I've had enough driving to last me until spring.