Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Smokey Ate Lambchop!!! (Really!)

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This is one of two sheep herds grazing in the area of my camps.  He is a very good shepherd and on command he can turn the whole herd.  He is flanked above by two dogs, not the two white Guardian Dogs that are out of view who keep a very watchful eye on their flock.
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This is a young Guardian Dog in training.  So cute.
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But in spite of the five dogs on duty and the good shepherd, things happen.  See the trees in the center?  Behind them is the campground where I live and off to the right of the photo is the second campground that I also manage.  Under those trees the very night this photo was taken, a bear caught and killed a lamb.  No one even gets too excited about these events, except the Guardian Dogs which I heard barking like crazy that night.  Still, it is a common event, all too common.
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Two days after the kill, some other predators dragged the carcass out in the open to finish feeding on it (in foreground).  Sad.  I considered saving and tanning the hide but it was just too stinky.
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And the cattle, no matter how many times they get driven out of the campgrounds and day use areas, they return… to poop on everything, including the picnic tables (which I have to clean).  Funny stupid animals.  One day I looked off to the right to the campsite next to me and found about 30 head just standing there looking back at me.  They were not making any sounds.  I shouted “Get on out of here!”  I turned back to loading my golf cart for work, and when I glanced back, they were gone.  I guess they are getting used to me driving them off.
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That is my camp in the background, but a river was running through it… it rained 30 days out of the past 31 days… do I decided to move across the road to higher ground to the site in the foreground.  I’m happier now and dryer.
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This is Kali (named after the Hindu Goddess of Destruction) who jumped into my kayak one day when I approached the shoreline to greet her.  She was so excited about getting in a boat she climbed up my front and nearly when over my shoulder.  Her Mom is a geologist who is working on an oil rig out here.  Very interesting lady and I love that pup. They had returned to visit me.  She will be a great dog one day but is full of puppiness right now.
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More interesting people and their dogs, and horses and mules.  People love this beautiful area.  And the dogs are grand dogs indeed.
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And look at this one… a brown eye and a blue eye.
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This is a Sharpee (spelling?) mix.  He would stare down the ball, then grab it and chomp on it a bit and then drop it and stare it down some more.  Funny dog.  Funny-looking dog.
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Now here is something I have never seen before… a dog playing fetch the stick from the water.  The people on the floats would toss the stick, and the dog would swim and get it and return to the floats.  At one point I think he was tired and wished the people would get the heck out of the water, but he kept swimming.
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The very best thing about my hosting job is all the great people I have met.  These long time friends, Bev and Anna, befriended me.  It felt as if I have known them all my lives – soul-sisters.  Funny story, they each bought the same camera unknown to each other.  Reminds me of Liz and I last winter, meeting for the first time, wearing the exact same key lanyard.
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Anna’s husband, Clyde, has this giant wok and made breakfast burritos for all of us one morning.  You can see for yourself the process below.
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Let me tell you, this breakfast was to die for.  Thank you for the protein infusion… I needed that.
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Left to right: Loyd and Bev; Anna and Clyde.  They had to cut their visit short and return to lower elevation due to a health issue.  Sure hope things settled down alright.  Best of health to all of you and sure hope to see you again soon.  In OK when I kayak there in a couple months???
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And I met other great folk, this young girl invited me to her birthday party, cupcakes… with chocolate curls on top.  I’m going to regain all the weight I lost up here before I leave.
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One day I gave kayaking demos to folks and let them try out my kayak.  Here I’m rocking the boat to show how far I can lean and not turn over.  Really, I didn’t turn over.  They were a great family with two wonderful sons – Tucker and Dexter.  I didn’t get permission to put them on my blog yet, hence no photos but maybe I can add them later.
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When I returned to camp I found the little boys had left these flowers for me.  Thank you Tucker and Dexter.  Hope I get to see you both again real soon.
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Project completed.  Empty space under my desk at my feet now has shelves and is a real space saver.  Still looking for some more bungee cords to hold stuff in… hard to find out here.
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But in spite of cows pooping on picnic tables, and Smokey eating Lambchop, the beauty of Colorado will be what I remember most of the Summer of 2012.  Really an awesomely beautiful place.
CAUTION:  I am told by the end of August it will be getting really really cold up here… and I am suppose to stay until Oct. 30.  This should make for an interesting blog or two????!!!!!  Night time temps in Rifle are in the 60s and that is too warm for me.  40s is good.  My body is all messed up temp wise… how will I adjust to the South-Central states and then Arizona again???

8 comments:

  1. Looks life a beautiful place to work and you have nice families around you. I am staying at Mesa Verde until Oct 26th and was told I may see snow here before I leave.

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    1. I was evacuated from my camps on 9/22 due to a fast approaching fire. Am working in other locations in hopes of being able to return to close the campgrounds down the right way. Suppose to be there until 10/21 but think I'll be laid off by the end of Sept. Would not surprise me to see snow before then. The cows have already said the heck with it up there and have headed down the mountain on their own. I say many of the ones that have been my neighbors all summer, about 30 miles away from my camp as I came down the mountain on 9/22. Amazing how they know their way home. I talked to the owner last night on the phone and gave him an update on their locations, he was headed up there today to round them up and maybe bring them down and away from the fire danger. It's raining today and we are praying for even heavier rain as 200+ acres have burned just five miles west of my camps with winds heading due east.

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  2. I was pleased to see Kali (named after the Hindu Goddess of Destruction) on your blog. She is mellowing out nicely compared to when you saw her. We should be up to visit again before I have to head back to Montana. I have enjoyed your stories and look forward to hearing about more of your adventures. You are an amazing woman!
    Lois & Kim Martin, and Kali

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    1. Hi Lois. I corrected Kali's name. Looking forward to see you all when you return to the lake.

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    2. We returned to Montana before I had an opportunity to head back up your way. I may have to go back to the drill rig for some unfinished business, hope to see you then. Lois

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    3. Lois, I hope to get to see you again before I leave CO... and Kali too, and that fella as well. I have some rocks I want to ask you about. Haven't found much in that area of interest to me. Also wondered if you wanted to see those I have cut and polished last year. My HOST site may move around some now... But it's a big white van with SD plates, and black cargo rack on top.

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  3. Looks like you are having fun! Jay and I are enjoying being on the road again. Funny, we saw sheep in our area too, but we didnt see many dead animals! Some campers mentioned a dead deer by the road but we never saw it. Safe travels and good luck finishing up those alst few states!

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    1. AyJay... you guys coming back to Q this winter? Would be fun to see you again. I think there will be job openings up here next year if you are interested. Thanks for the well-wishes for the last eight states. I'm going to enjoy it, but that darned kayak had better stop gaining weight... gets harder and harder to get it loaded on top of the van. I am not planning on towing my trailer to those eight states, to save gas. I'll drop it someplace, and then backtrack to get it before heading to Q. Hope to see you this winter.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.

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