Thursday, September 29, 2011

And then there was this...

I'm running out of vacation photos to share, which means there are only a few good vacation stories left to tell.

I'll start with this one:

Have you ever noticed how my Jim doesn't ever want to be in any pictures on my blog? Well, I finally got a shot of him that I know he won't mind me posting. See that little black speck that's sort of on the left-hand side of the smaller mountain below? That's him:

Here he is through my telephoto lens:

Isn't he fun?

Then... we drove to the very end of a twenty-two mile gravel road to see an amazing view of Hell's Canyon and the Snake River.

A few miles into this gravel road, we came upon this beautiful herd of Bighorn sheep:

I was fascinated with Big Daddy and his youngster:

Jim, meanwhile, kept distracting me by telling me to "take a picture of my Mountain Dew!!":

He was obviously thinking about that Mountain Dew commercial from a few years back with the Bighorn Sheep. (If you haven't seen that commercial, it's worth your time. You can find it by clicking HERE.)

"Hat Point" was ultimately at the end of the twenty-two mile gravel road. There is a fire look-out station tower here:

This tower look-out is 93 feet tall:

We climbed to the top:

and could see the Snake River (among other things) far below:

We were overwhelmed by the beauty:

The last time I was here - some 17 years ago - we were fogged in. I had no idea at the time what I was missing:

And then there was this bench....

From this angle, it is very clear that you don't want to trip as you walk over to sit down. It's a long way down:

Fortunately, I did not trip:

You know, when you camp in a campground, you learn that it's pretty much luck-of-the-draw who you wind up with for a neighbor:

I tried not to be too rude, but I needed a close-up of this neighbor:

Handsome, isn't he? And apparently, very comfortable. Look at what a cozy set-up he's got:


A true treat for me, the day before we came home, is that I got to meet up with my blogging pal, Sarah, from Between the Fenceposts:

You might recall, I first met Sarah in person a couple months ago when she and her husband, Malcolm, were driving through Portland. The truck on the left is Sarah and Malcolm's truck - they are always on the go. I'm guessing they cover more miles in a week than I do in an entire year:

This was Roxy's first time meeting Sarah, Malcolm and "the girls". Judging from her body language, I think she was a little overwhelmed:

I only got a short bit of time with Sarah, but it was good for my heart to see her. For one thing, wide-open-mouthed laughter is the sign of true friendship, you know:

She brought me a treat that made me smile. Cute, right?:

The night before we came home, we did one final kayak paddle on the river. The sun was setting, the weather was mild, we were totally relaxed, and it just felt right that our trip was drawing to a close:

Tradition has it, on the day we leave, as Jim finishes packing the trailer up for the drive home, I take a few minutes to write in our trailer journal:

I've been writing in this journal for thirteen years now. Wow:

In fact, on the second page of this journal are two Polaroid photos - one of each of my boys - on the very first night we all slept in our (then) new trailer:

Those sleeping sweethearts are nineteen and twenty-three years old now. Sigh.

And so, in closing, Roxy would like to personally thank you for reading about her 2011 roadtrip:

We really had a wonderful time. Maybe next year you can go with us?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In my element

You can take me off the farm:

Drive me across the state:

Put me in a swinging box called a gondola that glides up a flimsy cable to the top of a mountain:

and if there are animals anywhere in the vicinity that want to hang with me ... :

I'm going to find them.

Being outside...

behind my camera...

with animals crawling all over me.... :


Sunday, September 25, 2011

What farm doggies do on vacation

Roxy Louise, my farm pup, was very excited about going on our trailer road trip this year:

Even though she had her own list of specific items she wanted to do on her vacation, it wasn't hard for us to work those in with what Jim and I wanted to do, also. She is really the easiest dog in the world to travel with - and a whole lot of fun, too:

Here is a short list of all the things Roxy has enjoyed doing on her vacation this year.

She has hiked:

She has had frequent naps:

She has cooled off when she's gotten too hot:

She has kayaked on lakes:

... and on (remarkably still) rivers:

Roxy has consistently helped me make sure all my gear was in my boat before we've gone out:

and she has been *such* a very good sport about wearing her new life vest:

An incredibly patient pup, she has learned that she sometimes has to wait quite a while for Jim and me to get finished with everything before we head out on our adventures:

Roxy decided it was ok for me to put her in a milk crate on the back of my bike:

...and go for frequent bike rides:

She has always been one to appreciate a breath-taking view:

And will quietly sit with me for as long as I want to enjoy the view, too:

She has ridden shotgun on my lap for most of the trip, which makes both of us happy:

She naps while I read:

...and assists with any corn-shucking:

...knowing that she'll get a kernel of corn as "thanks":

She retrieves sticks from the river:

and shakes off after every water exit:

Then it's time for another nap:

Fetching her new football-toy has been a fun thing:

..and for a few minutes she remembers how to be a four-legged dog again:

Until she loses interest and stops to enjoy another incredible view:

She watches the sunset before going to bed:

And every morning when we get up, she asks me: "What cool stuff are we doing today, Mom?!"

I always tell her: "Something *really* exciting!!":