Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Debbie had physical therapy yesterday afternoon, and she hit another couple of milestones: she took her first steps without a walker (but with a gait belt so she felt safe), and she got her flexion to 90°.  It sure was nice to see her walking, even if it was just a few halting steps.  We're going to start practicing that at home now.

We celebrated by having a nice dinner at the Black Pearl.  We had a fine meal, made all the better by our cheerful, talkative hostess.  Then we decided to go on a little four-wheeling trip.

A friend here had told us about a place called Bug Lake, about 30 miles from home – one of their favorite destinations.  So we piled Mako and Cabo into the FJ Cruiser, and we took off.  The map at right shows our route – be aware that the topo map altitudes are in meters.  The trip was pretty all the way.  There's a surprising (to me, anyway!) amount of fall color, mostly oaks and maples, as soon as we got over about 6,500'.  The first photo below will give you an idea what we were seeing.

The last part of the trip was through a pretty forest, mostly mixed aspen, fir, and spruce.  Smelled wonderful!

It was pretty good wildlife viewing, too.  We saw an osprey eating a large trout atop a utility pole, quite a few deer, a posing flicker, a gray squirrel, a skunk, and a teensy little chipmunk near the top.  Cabo was practically non-stop speed-sniffing through our open windows, terrifically excited.  Mako spent most of the time asleep, just like Mo'i used to do.  He did wake up, startled, and barked when we drove nearby some big beef cows.  Several times Cabo (especially) and Mako sighted some deer, and got all excited about it.  It was fun to have them along.

When we actually got to Bug Lake, it was a huge disappointment.  It's basically a large mud puddle, surrounded by tromped-down muddy shores where bazillions of cattle had come for water.  The surface of the lake was full of ripples, too small for fish we think – probably bugs, and probably how the place got its name.

The second photo below is one of the gates for the Johnson Ranch (a large cattle ranch in the area).  We were struck by the flag flying proudly in the breeze, way out there in the middle of nowhere...


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