Monday, September 29, 2008

Another non-rainy weekend, another hike

Buck and I went to herding Saturday morning, and he did spectacular! We had a mean sheep on our first run that kept charging him and finally head butted him- he was not pleased and neither was our herding instructor. I kind of failed at my job of backing Buck up and helping him, but I wasn't sure how much to get involved. After he got butted, I whacked the sheep with the stock stick a bit, but it was just being a punk- still kept charging him and did the same to another much more bitey dog. That sheep got put up (and will hopefully be lamp chops soon) and Buck had no trouble with his second run. He had a good 'stay' and got the sheep through the Y and Z gates with no trouble. Good stuff.

I was going to go hiking after herding, but I had a splitting headache. I think my eyes were unaccustomed to this sunlight business, so I took a nap and then made a bunch of food for the week.

We then met up with some of Buck's dog buddies on Sunday morning and then went hiking for a few hours with his best Chessie friend, Brownie. Didn't get tons of pictures this time, but McKinley was looking very cool with the super clear skies.

It's been pretty chilly- getting down past 30 each night for the last few days. I was going to break out the wool coat this morning, but went with the fleece for fear of looking like a wimp. When I realized it was 27 degrees out, I decided to go with the wool tomorrow. Especially when paired with a shortsleeved shirt. Heh! I need to buy a couple more long-sleeve t-shirts to replace a couple that are worn out. They are handy for layering.

Foraker, maybe Hunter, and McKinley. (click for larger size)

Anchorage Bowl and Susitna- I love how tiny the 20+ story buildings look next to the mountain.

This is why if you *think* you've seen McKinley (at Denali National Park), you haven't. This is 200 miles away and look how huge it is. It's like twice the size of the mountains around it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hatcher's Pass

Buck and I went on a hike/berry picking expedition today up in Hatcher Pass (is it Hatcher's Pass, hence the possessive? I don't know). Hatcher Pass is about 13 miles north of Palmer and a bit further south of Willow. There's an old mine there that you can pan gold at, but it's closed this time of the year. We went up a different direction toward a gravel road that leads over a pass to Willow. There was a decent about of snow up high and just enough down low to make me slip and fall about five times or so. I had a couple quart baggies in my Camelbak from a previous hike where I thought there might be berries, so when I saw there were still some blueberries, I pulled those out and started filling them up while Buck played. He got bored playing on his own, though, so I only filled up one quart bag and then a little extra. I picked some as we hiked around.

We went up toward the top of the pass and got into some deeper snow. I wanted to see the view from the top, but it was acting like it was about to start raining (or maybe snowing-it was pretty chilly), so I called it quits. The pictures with the deeper snow are from when we were higher up. Buck enjoyed playing in the snow again, so he'll be happy when winter comes. Well, until I make him wear his booties to keep his feet from getting torn up. LOL! He was splashing through the many little creeks and he still wasn't whining about being cold or acting like it bothered him, so maybe he's toughened up to the cold already.

Anyway, you can click here to open a slide show of the pictures from our hike up to Hatcher's Pass, but here are seven of my favorites (click to make big):

This is Buck's 'hero' pose. LOL!
Hatcher's Pass

I like how this one yellow tree really stood out.
Hatcher's Pass

Quite a bit of snow.
Hatcher's Pass

Blueberries! I got about 8 cups.
Hatcher's Pass

Lotsa blueberries.
Hatcher's Pass

Purty Fall colors.
Hatcher's Pass

Decent valley shot. Lower elevation than the Pass, hence no snow.
Hatcher's Pass

Saturday, September 13, 2008


That's what I am- very boring. Haven't been up to much. Last weekend was two days of convincing sheep to go where I wanted them *without* a dog which seemed a bit counter-intuitive since we (the humans) were getting them prepped for dogs to move them around. Oh, sorry, I should mention that I was volunteering as a stock handler for a herding trial. I didn't enter Buck in this one because I wanted the break from getting all tied up in knots worrying about getting everything right. It worked out, though, because Buck ended up pulling a muscle in his left front 'wrist' on Thursday night, so it would have been money wasted. He's fine now.

When I was walking Buck before leaving Saturday morning, it was raining in Anchorage still, but the sun was coming up over the Chugach range and made for a really pretty double rainbow over the Cook Inlet. The two pictures I got are below- you can click on them for a larger size.

We're already into our Fall weather and the trees have started changing. It's right around 50 all day, but not getting much below 47 at night. Very comfortable weather other than the constant rain. I'm still hoping it dries up a bit and the sun makes an appearance for a couple weekends before the snow gets started. It was supposed to rain all day today (80% chance), but then it barely sprinkled, so I'm planning on going out hiking with Buck tomorrow. They're still calling for rain, but the percentage was less than it was supposed to be for today, so I'm holding out hope.

ONe of the (many) nice things about this cooler weather is that it's good soup weather. It's also pretty conducive weather for baking a pork roast for four or five hours in order to make some pulled pork, so that's what I'm doing right now. It smells great and the aroma has been taunting me all evening, especially since all I got for supper was a sandwich since the over was occupied.

Anyway, just thought I'd check in. With any luck, I'll have some nice pictures of my hike to put up tomorrow night to make this space a little more interesting.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Busy August

Only one post in August? Man, am I a slacker! Didn't do a whole lot other than hanging out at the dog park, and normal chores on the weekends. I did go hiking this weekend with a friend of ours and her eight month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Brownie. It was a nice sunny day and in the 60s even. I'm super glad we got out and had a long hike since it turned out to be the nicest day this weekend. It's cloudy and 55 degrees right now (at noon), and I had soup for supper last night since it was definitely soup weather. Seems like Mother Nature decided that since it was Labor Day weekend, it really *was* the end of summer for us. Heh! Here's hoping Fall brings some sunny days, even if they are chilly. With a little luck, I'll be able to post a bunch of hiking pictures of the Fall colors up here in full sunlight.

Here are some pics from the hike. Click on them for nicer sized versions.

Buck and Brownie

Here's Buck amongst some flowers

This is the big bull moose that was ten feet from us munching on the undergrowth. Buck and I walked quickly by and Buck didn't notice him, happily

Pretty little creek and meadow- the one thing about all the rain, our mountains are very green.

Scenery looks better when the sun is shining.