Friday, June 19, 2009

road trip

After these past couple of months I've almost forgotten how to blog, let alone paint. Yesterday I was co-jurying a chapter show for the FCA and the NEED to paint came rushing back in. Just a few more days to go ... and bodies to bury.

It's been three weeks since Sonya and I hit the road to collect Coco in Idaho and I have only now assembled the photos for blogging. It was a great trip, if rushed, as we had to cover almost 1500 km in three days. We didn't take the fastest route, mind you, and it was well worth it. We crossed into Washington state at Nighthawk, an itty-bitty crossing between the lake districts of British Columbia and Washington. The Canadian side of the border is fairly well populated (by western North American standards, that is) but we were amazed at how empty it was in that part of northeastern Washington. Miles of lonely roads and stunning vistas. This semi-desert region is definitely not what most people think of when they think of BC and Washington. And I totally revise what I said a few weeks ago about small-town interstate USA. The only indication of corporate America in beautiful, remote old towns like Tonasket and Republic is the Bank of America. These towns are a national treasure full of unpretentious charm and character. We spent two nights (both going and coming) in the gold-rush-era mountain village of Republic at a plain but pristine motel that was dirt cheap and had deer wandering by. We had dinner at the local tavern that night, surrounded by a Hog convention (and I'm not talking piggies).

Leaving Republic for Idaho on Day Two we drove over mountains dotted with Tamaracks, a conifer that loses its leaves in the fall (and is apparently spectacular) and is unusual in this part of the world. And we got pretty lucky in the wildlife-spotting department:

I was getting pretty anxious to meet my new dog and see Mary Ann, who I hadn't visited in several years, so while approaching Spokane, an hour west of our destination of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, I picked up a state trooper and a $113 souvenir of the USA. I blame Sonya's Acura as it's so much zippier than my geriatric piece-o-shite.

Our visit with Mary Ann, Jim, and the extended pack was lovely but way too brief, and Coco has turned out to be a perfect fit. I adore her. She is quite different from our former dogs. She and Jesse spent a week together before I had to give the black clown up for advanced training and though he outweighs her by 30 lbs of flesh and at least that much of bull-in-a-china-shop-itis, by the end of the week she had him totally wrapped around her little paw. She's worked the same magic on the rest of us.

We retraced our route
home because it was so lovely, and hit Sherman Pass (1675 m/5500 ft), near Republic, at sunset. There are a lot of stark, dead trunks of trees throughout the dry pine forests of the region (caused, apparently, by 1988's White Mountain Fire), and I went a little crazy at the pass, trying to capture them against the incredible colours of the sunset. Call me trite and a shallow romantic, but it was real eye candy. More photos here.

Back home, the whirlwind that is June in the 'burbs just doesn't compare with three short days of freedom, and Sonya was an excellent travelling buddy. But I have me a new dog and all is well. (And we just missed Brad Pitt, right Louise?)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

more dog blog

Rudy has come to the rescue again as I spin my wheels in a frantic effort to regain my footing after last weekend's Idaho adventure. It's been a long time since we had two young, high energy dogs tearing around the place so I didn't even download my photos until Thursday. Got some great shots I can hardly wait to post, though.

Continuing on the dog topic, last night I was watching the news when a clip came on about Romeo, a yellow Lab we puppysat last Thanksgiving when his puppy-raising family went away for four days. Apparently he is now a companion dog for a child with one of the worst cases of autism in Canada. Anyway, here's Rudy:

Since you've temporarily become a Dog Blog, here are some awesome animals: