First I was going to say 'back home', and then 'back in town', but neither seemed quite right. We are back at the place we live the most, after spending a week at our other home, which is actually in a town, whereas this place is out in the country. So we had a week away, a nice change, we hadn't been there since November. We have a cottage/second home in Oliver B.C.
We left a week ago Friday. We always aim to leave early and arrive before dark, but it rarely seems to work out that way. This time I thought we were mostly ready to go, had packed most things in the truck the night before, and theoretically we didn't have much left to do before we could pull out in the morning.
About mid morning, Larry went out to put a warmer blanket on Pride. He'd been wearing it through our cold spell, and somehow had managed to put quite a rip in the neck piece. It was something that I could fix with the sewing machine, but first the blanket needed washing, as there was no way I was going to try and sew it like it was. Quite frankly, it reeked. I tried to jam it in the washing machine, but there was just no way. A one layer horse blanket would have been fine, but this was a thick padded winter one. There is a laundromat in nearby Aldergrove that washes horse blankets. Larry had taken it there, and for $12, he was able to leave the blanket and come back a bit later to pick it up, nice and clean and folded up and tied in a bundle with a string. Now I'm a person that hates to pay someone to do something that I think I could do myself, but in this case even I thought it was a deal at $12. I had sewn up the rip, with Larry helping to maneuver the heavy blanket around while I operated the machine.
He went out to put it back on Pride, as there was maybe going to be some cooler weather while we were gone. I happened to look out at the time, and as Larry walked through the gate and over to the barn where Pride was, Jake and Luna ran out into the hayfield where there was a coyote, and there they were, chasing it in circles around the field. Larry was oblivious, so I opened the back door and yelled out to him. He came out of the barn, Pride hot on his heels. Pride had expected to get an apple and Larry hadn't given it to him, he was pissed, so he wasn't letting Larry escape without getting that apple. So Larry is trying to hustle out to the field, and Pride is right there next to him, showing no respect for his personal space. Larry lashes out at him, and Pride jumps away and lets his back legs fly. At that point I was worried about who was going to get hurt first, Larry or Pride or Jake and Luna. I started yelling at the dogs, and amazingly, managed to call them off the coyote. I don't know why it hadn't made a dash for the gate before Larry got there, but no, all three canines had continued to run in circles. The coyote bolted to the bottom of the field and went into the big pile of blackberries. Larry and his sidekick Pride headed down there. In the meantime the coyote worked it's way up behind the blackberries, along the fence line to the top of the field, and then decided to bolt for the gate and up the alleyway, Jake hot on his heels. By this point Luna had said to heck with the coyote, there was a horse to herd. I screamed for Jake, always fearing an ambush when they chase a coyote out towards the back of the property. He came back and then ran out again. To end an already long story, everyone one was unharmed, including the coyote, and also the chickens it had been eyeing up.
So there we were, just about to leave for a week, taking all three dogs with us, and we had a coyote, (it was not the same on that I talked about before, this one was bigger and healthier looking), coming into the hayfield right next to the chicken field. We had considered putting up a temporary fence to make it more difficult for them, but that would also restrict Pride's access to the back hay field, and we really wanted him to be able to move around as much as he could. This is an old horse that lives on mashes, can't eat hay, and nibbles on the grass, most of which end up as cigar like rolls that he drops out of his mouth because his teeth are in poor shape. So walking from one field to another nibbling on the grass gives him something to do during the day. My solution was a radio on a talk station, and on a timer, under the overhang of the chicken coop roof. We came back after the week, and we weren't missing any chickens. Maybe it helped that I had walked out to the back bush and dumped a partial bucket of tripe (cow stomach) that I had been cutting up for dog food. A nice stinky mess that I was sick of dealing with and needed to get out of the fridge. A peace offering of sorts to the coyotes I guess. Or at least something to feed a few of them for a day or two.
As you can imagine all this set out departure back, but we did finally get on our way about lunchtime, and got to Oliver at dusk. It is 4 hours of driving, over a couple of high mountain passes. The weather this time of year can make for an 'interesting' drive, so we do a lot of checking of weather reports and road cams before we decide when to leave. The roads were great except for about 40 minutes worth of a bit of snow and slush in the highest parts.
Our drive home yesterday was even better, with clear roads all the way. We lucked out and a break between weather systems coincided with the day and time we had wanted to head home. A few hours after we crossed Alison Pass at 1429 metres, the traffic cam there showed that the snow had returned and the road was white. Back here was wet wet wet and high winds to go with it, and today was the same. Yuk.
18 hours ago