"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Non-Traveling Kind of Adventure

Some adventures are made in traveling miles and others are created by leaps of faith which can't aways be measured except with the heart.

(The following comes from chief "puppy sitter" and new friend Remington.  He observed and interviewed Lark exclusively for this post!

Meet "Lark" she came to live with us this weekend.

She is an eight week old Golden Retriever.  How easily I forget how small they start out.  I rode over with the GHL (Gray Haired Lady) to pick her up and got to meet her first.  I figured that I had the most puppy raising experience and could keep her company on the ride home without her siblings.   I just positioned myself next to her crate and stayed there the whole 20 minutes.  She appeared very brave.  

She comes from long lines of performance dogs on both sides of her family with a few conformation Champions mixed in. Some are/were pretty highly decorated when I read the small print. It looked like alphabet soup at both ends of their names to me.  Stuart said he had heard about dogs like that. They are known for having brains and looking good.  I don't know about much of those things because I seldom get to leave the area where the RV is parked at the shows to check it out.

Lark got to come to our house because when the GHL completed all the paperwork from the Golden Retriever rescue group that saved my dear sweet Herschel, after they had completed the reference checks, and after they made a home visit......they sent a letter saying that they didn't think our home would be a good placement for one of their dogs because we travel too much in the RV with the GHL.  

I think Herschel may have howled up in doggy heaven when he heard that. As a result of that disappointment Stuart and I told the GHL to just go for it and she did. We promised her we would help with the puppy training as best we could.  We knew better than trust Josef to the task. So back to Miss Lark.

First I had to show Lark the big yard that will someday be hers. She just needs to grow  up a bit more so she can keep her legs going in the same directions.   Now she can only come out with supervision but the GHL put up a double x-pen on the back deck and I get to hang out in there with her with sunshine and shade as long as we want.   (I don't do rain though...)

I showed Lark where her kennel in the office was.  Hers in the small blue one but it is under the desk and there will be more room for the other larger kennels if and when  she might need them.

I demonstrated our favorite sitting chair because we can watch for squirrel invasions coming into the yard.

I introduced her to Stuart who wasn't all that interested as soon as she agreed to a verbal agreement to leave all squirrel chasing to him.  

Later she spent a little more time getting familiar with her digs. She also figured out quickly that Josef moves a lot faster than the rest of us find necessary sometimes and when in doubt she can find her kennel.

"But please Mr. Josef, the GHL gave me that white squeaky in the car on my ride home. Why can't I have it?" questions Lark.

"You can't have it because....because, well you just can't. It is mine now."  explains Josef.   "Remington explained to me later that it would only remain Josef's until Audrey decided it should be hers.  I think I am figuring out who is in charge of what."

"Remington said that it won't be too long till I can climb up here in the squirrel viewing chair by myself!" said Lark.  "The GHL helped me for now so that I would know why the big dogs like it so much. Though I sort of suspect that part of the reason they like it is because I can't climb up here by myself, yet."

"Sigh....squirrels.... Do I even know what squirrels look like? I will need to ask my friend Remi."

"I already when through it from end to end. Stuart, what happens when I jump on the middle?"

'Remington told me not to bother trying to get anything from Audrey when she climbs to her perch with her "find".  Someday the office couch will be all mine too, but Remi warned me that I might  not fit on the back ledge when "someday" comes!  Luckily there are so many interesting sniffs around here."

 "And I got to go visit at the neighbor's house.  They are currently puppy less, which I said I could help with. The GHL sat in the grass and talked and I got to wander and chew on grass and sticks."

"I didn't want to go too far away. I didn't have any siblings or my new friend Remi to protect me."

"I played as long as I could but my eyes started getting heavier."

"And heavier...."

Remington here. 

I will keep you posted on Lark but for now she has some growing to do.   It won't be long before she will be able to run with us all in the back yard but for now I will have to have some patience.   

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Last Paddles of the FL Season...sigh

Okay, I know that spring and summer will come even in Ohio but for the winter season this is it.  I am heading north tomorrow and these last paddles will have to hold me over for a few weeks or more likely months.

On Thursday Liz and I drove the cars over to Rainbow Springs and dropped one off at the pick up point to wait for us while we drove farther up river to an easy launch.   We paddled up river for about a mile or so to the head waters of the springs and then turned around and began the float/paddle down to Dunnellon.

Traveling down the river I realized how special Ocala's Silver River was in its lack of development.  Rainbow Springs appears as a wild river on one side of the water but most of the river is lined on at least one side by beautiful homes and large cottages.

In the warmer seasons several "Tubbing" vendors rent tubes for floats.  I can imagine the river filled with multicolored giant tubes and loud children and teens.   

Canoes and kayaks are available even through the winter but not all the vendors offer a shuttle service in the off season.

A couple in their fairly new Sea Eagle Explorer and their little dog, too!   They were busy taking pictures of the two scuba divers cruising down the river

Liz leads the way down a side creek/spring.

Sometimes there is fire and smoke but today the dragon just sings to the sky.

And the big boats just motored right past us.

About the time I was about to say, "Hey, we haven't seen any alligators...." 

There are a few people that might think this banner is important.  Not all Buckeyes are in Ohio.

A once grand river swing rests in peace.

And this afternoon I took the Hornbeck out on Orange Lake by myself to say good bye.

Bye Mr. Eagle....

Till we paddle back this way again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Southern horse-pitality

What do you do when it might be too windy to go kayaking down the river......Find the horses.

They weren't too far away either.   The horseback riding and Canyon Zipline Adventures are both just down the road from McIntosh.

The groups are no larger than ten (we had six in ours) and the small barn was just large enough to house enough horses for tourists, 2 guides and a couple of extras.  The pastures and turn out areas were very nice for hard working school horses.

The pensive cowgirl, Liz.

I told her "butt" shots don't count when you are riding horses, kayaking on lakes and rivers or hiking with dogs. (They only count when you are dumping tanks, or leaning over trying to get into a kayak gracefully.)

Notice the excellent posture. Her hours of mule riding in the Grand Canyon are showing.

As you ride through the quarry trails you catch glimpses of some of the Zipline course.

More platforms up in the trees.

Notice the camera angle facing backwards?   She does this so smoothly.

Mia the guide taking pictures for us to look at and purchase later, maybe......  After we were finished and returned to the front office I told Liz that I really didn't need to hang around to look at the pictures because I was hearing "voices" calling to me from the ice cream display and should probably leave the area immediately.  We made it out safely this time. I don't always.....

Zipline over the quarry anyone?

Back in their standing stalls, the horses got some shade, water and rest before the third tour ride comes in about an hour.

It was this guy's day off.  "Y'all come back!"   ....besides he wanted more neck rubs.....