Monday, September 3, 2018

Paddling on the Pitt

I really should do a post on things around here, but sometimes a post just presents itself and it's just easier to take the path of least resistance, lol!  

Meredith had some time off work, and no big plans for it, so we figured we could at least get one day of kayaking in there.  I wanted to go to to Pitt Lake, which is what we did.  The plan was to cross the lake and go into Widgeon slough and paddle up the creek from there.  We weren't exactly sure where the entrance was, so went across the lake and up the shore to the north a bit, for some sight seeing.

Below is where we set off from, although the picture was taken when we got back.  It was cloudy when we started out.

The entrance to the slough was just behind the boat to the right, we could tell that when we got out on the water, but still kept to the original plan of paddling to the right once we got across.  It was quite breezy there, and I had read that it often gets windy, but just a light bit of chop on the lake at that point.

The sky was looking promising, and the forecast was for some sunshine, so we were hopeful.  Meredith took most of these pictures, so that is me.

Heading back south down the lake.  Depending where you read, Pitt Lake is either the largest or second largest tidal fresh water lake in the world.  I couldn't find out which lake is considered larger, if there is one.
The water was very shallow along that grassy area, and at low tide is probably dry ground.  There is a 2-3' tide change.

Look at that sky.  The sky was amazing that day.

We found the slough and it was quite calm behind Siwash Island.   Some very shallow bits there too, Meredith and I both ran aground, gently enough that we were able to push ourselves off with our paddle.  Parts were a bit weedy in the slough.  The sky was a bit ominous, coming over the mountains on the west side of the lake.

We found the entrance to the creek.  

We were heading northwest and then north.  The sky was looking pretty ominous now, and Meredith was sure she felt a drop of rain.  

We had been paddling for an hour or more by this point, and shoulders and arms were aching.  A sandy bank presented itself and that seemed like a good place to stop and stretch our legs and put on a long sleeved layer.  It had gotten quite cool.  We had taken some muffins and dried apples, so we called that lunch.  

Those two mountains were interesting looking.  We weren't quite sure where we were, we had passed a side channel that may have been the way to the actual creek, and we couldn't get any phone reception so no help from google.   Since we were tired and knew we had quite a way to go to get to where we had started from, we called it good and headed back.  We were paddling into the wind now, but it wasn't as hard as we thought it might be.

The tide was going out, so the water level was dropping.  We kept to the deeper channel on the way out.  When we got to the open lake the wind had definitely picked up.  There were white caps and some big swells.  We made out okay going across, at an angle to the wind.  It was a bit exhilarating, not really scary, but you had to pay attention and there was no stopping paddling to take any pictures.

I think that dark double topped mountain over Larry and I is actually a sideways view of the two humps in the previous two photos.

The sun was shining on the east side of the lake, and we were happy to have made it back in one piece.  None of us felt anywhere close to tipping coming across the lake, but we were glad that the wind wasn't blowing any harder.

The longest paddle we have done this summer, and but it was probably the most interesting one too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Happy Birthday Jake!

First of all I want to thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last, long overdue postπŸ’–

Today is Jake's unofficial 14th birthday. 

I don't know if I have ever shared the story of us acquiring Jake. Over 13 years ago one of the members of my dog club posted about a border collie looking for a new home.  This woman's brother had found Jake on a popular dirt biking mountain, hiding under a bush.  I don't know what kind of attempts he made to find Jake's owner, but hopefully he did some.  Since the brother couldn't keep Jake because of the dogs he already had, he ended up giving him to a friend of his sister's, who had one big dog.  Turns out he didn't really work out for her either, she said she wanted him to be an inside dog, and he didn't want to be, and that he kept pooping behind the couch when she did bring him in.  

At this point we just had Calli the yellow Lab, and I was realizing that she really wasn't turning out to be the agility dog that I wanted, so I was on the lookout for another dog, and was considering a border collie or cross.  I had enquired about a border collie at a local rescue and had also brought a border collie cross home from a local shelter, on a trial basis, for a few days.  That one turned out to be a chicken killer, thank goodness wasn't successful, but he tried his darnedest.  So the decision was made to take him back, and I did shed a tear or three when I handed him over.

So then Jake showed up.  We went to see him and it was love at first sight.  I did say though that I had to test him on the chickens.  The woman brought him over a few days later.  I put him on leash, we walked into the chicken field, he showed some interest, I made a negative sound in my throat, he sat by my side.  Winner!!  

And lo and behold, he didn't mind coming in the house at all.  I think he had two accidents in the house in the first few days, and never a one since.

I took him to the vet and asked what age he thought Jake was.  The vet guessed about 10 months, and  a friend I had who worked for animal control guessed 6 months, so I decided to split the difference and call him 8 months old the day he came to stay here, which makes his unofficial birthday August 21st.

He honestly is the best dog.  

His health is still pretty good.  He is fed a raw food diet.  His weight has remained the same over the years.  He has a bit of stiffness, and certainly doesn't have the endurance he used to have, but I'm feeding him Golden Paste, which has amazing anecdotal evidence of being very helpful with the inflammation of arthritis.  He hasn't had any vaccinations in years. No flea treatments, no heart worm (not an issue here anyway, but some vets used to push it), we don't use any chemicals here so his exposure to harmful 'stuff' would be minimal.  Of course genetics also has a huge role to play, and since we know none of that, it's just a crap shoot in that department.

He did have one scary incident a few weeks ago.  Larry got up in the early hours of the morning, and Jake was circling to the right.  To make a long story short, when we got him outside and moving in a straight line, we determined that he had no sight in his left eye.  I'm assuming that was causing the right circling.  We brought him back into the house, and went back to bed, as he seemed okay other than the eyesight.  A few hours later when I got up to feed him, I could tell right away that he was back to normal.  When I tested his eyesight, yes, he was seeing out of that left eye.  Very weird.  I did take him to the vet who tested his eyes and said everything seemed as it should be.  He had no explanation for what happened.  He said the sudden loss of sight could be explained by a detached retina, but they don't just reattach themselves, so that didn't explain why he could suddenly see again.  My first thought was a stroke, although the vet did say they are very rare in dogs.  Maybe it was a small TIA. Hopefully it won't happen again.

So here's some random photos, mostly from the last few years. 

Jake has been the only dog to have his own chair.  I love his eyes in this photo.

He has co-piloted a Land Rover

Posed on rocks by the Okanagan River.  This has been the screen saver on the desktop for a long time

Posed in the snow

 Brought us toys/balls to throw, billions of times


Climbed to the tops of mountains

Laid on the lawn

Stood in the water waiting for the ball/toy to be thrown

Won lots of ribbons in agility

And was in the first place position on the podium twice, at the BC/Yukon agility championships, plus several other times in lower placings 

Such a good boy!

Cuddled in a chair with a new toy

 For a short while his doggy family increased.

And he had to unwillingly share his toys with a pesky puppy.  He does not like puppies, but he does like to play with them when they grow up.  He is particularly fond of extra large dogs.

Don't you dare give those scraps to anyone but ME!

Been on an unplanned walkabout when we had to wait for the car to be repaired on a road trip.

Climbed more mountains

It was windy on this one.

Checked out the beaver tree, which fell down this past winter.

Will you please open this gate?

Loved water as a medium to fetch toys out of.

Posed under THE tree down over our driveway from last winter's ice storm.  

Checked for critters hiding in the hollow stump

And these days, he does an awful lot of this.

He has always been an 'enjoy the outside' kind of dog.  He will hang out under the rhododendron bush when it's raining and sometimes has to be convinced it's nicer inside. Once he is in, he seems happy to be there.

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• Happy Birthday dear red dog.  πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Thursday, August 16, 2018

It's All About the Journey...

 I started this post three weeks ago.....good grief..... so what I'm writing about here took place three weeks ago.

Last Sunday at the Farmer's Market, one of our customers mentioned to me that she missed my blog.  I know, I don't know what happened, the blogging break wasn't intentional, but it just seemed to become too much effort.  When I thought of it I didn't even know where to start.  I had lots of things I could blog about, but just thinking of what to blog about made me move on to something else.

So here I am, giving it another go.
We've still been continuing on with the Sunday Farmer's market.  To retire, scale back, continue on as we are; all the options are going through my mind.  I love the market, and at times I want to be done with it it, badly.  I have pretty strong anti-market feelings sometimes, but that's usually on a Saturday evening when it's getting dark and I'm running out of time to get all done that needs to be done......  Then Sunday morning comes around and we are setting up our booth and it is all good.
  We have been going to the White Rock Farmer's Market for 20 years now.  We are the only vendor remaining from that first year.  I bet we have only missed about a dozen markets in all those years, if that.  I have decided this year that if I don't get done what I think I should have got done, it's all good, the world won't end, a few customers might be a bit disgruntled, but oh well....we'll all survive.

We went to Oliver this week.  As usual just a two night stay.  Since we leave on Tuesday morning, at a half decent hour (although in this hot spell there was an awful lot of plants to water and look after before we left), we feel like it isn't quite as much as a rush to get there, so let's enjoy the journey.

  This time we decided to take a trip to the alpine meadows at Manning Park.  We tried on the last trip, but the gate was closed part way up because the snow hadn't melted yet.  The last time we were there was when the kids were little, in the early '90s.

I had been told that the end of July was the best time, and in my mind's eye was seeing meadows of flowers, maybe Julie Andrews running across it, or Heidi off in the distanceπŸ˜€
It was a bit disappointing in the flower department, but the hairy Western Anenome was pretty cool to look at.

A few patches of Indian Paintbrush

It was warm, almost hot up there, but lovely skies and vistas, and the bugs were bearable.

Luna spotted something on the trail.  I don't think she could figure out what it was, as usually she doesn't pay too much attention to birds.

I think it was considering having a dust bath, but as we got closer, it headed for cover.

I tiptoed off the trail (we weren't supposed to leave it) and got this shot.  Grouse or Ptarmigan, Google didn't really help me decide which.

Then Luna got the border collie crouch going, and the stare, and notice her right foot, she's got the pointer stance going too.

What to do, what to do, which one to go for, now there's four, do you see them.  No worries, she wasn't allowed to do anything more than you see here.

On the drive up, there were some incredible views of snowy peaks all around.  Oh, and washboardy roads, bad, very bad, and even worse going back down. It took us 15 minutes to travel 4.5 miles coming down.  Thankfully after that, by the viewpoint, we were back on pavement.

A patch of Heather

A bit of an uphill slog back to the parking lot.  It was hot and we had had enough, and it was time to continue on with the journey.

The next stop was about 10 minutes down the road close to the halfway mark of our drive.  We pulled off where there are some rough campsites along the Similkameen River and stopped to let the dogs have a swim and play in the water.  This really means that we throw sticks out into the water and they bring them back, over and over and over again.

On to Keremeos where we stopped to pick up some fruit.  80 lbs of peaches and apricots.  Seconds, which are perfect for jam, for $.35 lb!  We parked the car in the shade and sat next to it on a picnic table and the fruit stand owner brought us some samosas.  A mid afternoon lunch. 

We took the northern route from  Keremeos and stopped at Yellow Lake.  It is a popular fishing lake.  Oxygen is pumped into the lake to help the fish, as they would otherwise die off.  As to why it is called Yellow Lake....well your guess is as good as mine.  

I just about went for a dip, as those concrete squares were all slippery with algae in the lake, so I had to make sure I kept my feet on the gravelly bits in-between. 

A funny story on this trip at this lake.  Luna ran out on the dock and leapt into the water on the left side of the wide part at the end.  The water was all thickly covered in that scummy algae you can see to the right.  Underneath the algae was a bunch of rotting logs and crappy stuff.  A bit of a dead water area between the dock and the shoreline which curved out there. Luna has never been on a dock before, that I can remember.  Did she think she was jumping onto land?  The algae did look pretty solid....Anyway she disappeared right under the algae, thankfully popped back up and then swam and scrambled to get to the shore.  Well then lo and behold she ran out to the wide part of the dock again, and went off the other side into the clear water.  She caught her foot a bit on a mooring cleat, so she ended up diving in like a human, head first straight down into the water.  I've got to admit we sure had some laughs at her two dock diving attempts!  I guess it put her off a bit because after that she ran just onto the first part of the dock and jumped off into the shallow water where she could touch the bottom.

This time our trip to Oliver took us twice as long as usual, but we enjoyed ourselves getting there.