Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lands Built By Volcanos - Part 2

Well, so much for posting videos.
I can see them on my computer but they didn't run as typical videos once I posted them on this blog, so apparently I need to do some more research and figure it all out.
LC also brought his camera with him during this trip to the lava rock field and snapped some pictures..............
We keep wondering if our athletic and joyous dog would like to have a running buddy or if she is content to be the lone dog in this family.
Kory has made friends with the yappy little dog that lives next door, and they spend a lot of time communing with each other across the fence.
It is funny to watch our dog excitedly run up and down the length of the fence in long and graceful strides, with the yappy little dog (with her tiny little legs) frantically trying to keep up.
We continue to be undecided about a second dog, stopped at the animal shelter again yesterday and still continue to be undecided.
I am of the opinion that we don't force it.  If it is meant to be, somehow another dog will find its way into our lives and we will just know that it is the right thing - for us and for Kory................
In the meantime our dog happily wanders and explores wherever we take her.............
One of many low-to-the-ground caves that are so easy to find in this volcanic world................
This particular lava rock field is filled with natural paths that made walking easy.
They are not always like this one.
Kory and I walked a few weeks ago in a lava field close to Cedar Butte in which we had to climb and pick our way up and over rocks, crevices, cactus and endless uneven ground.................
Temperatures are still forecasted to stay in the 40's for at least the next week.
A local resident told us this morning that the long range forecast is for the return of winter by the end of February or early March.
I hope that long range forecast holds true because I miss winter.
I miss the snow and frozen mist and inch thick ice crystals that settle overnight in the trees and on every surface in town.
It is a magical time of year - a silent, mystic, winter wonderland of ice and snow, and although half the town residents retreat south for the winter, I embrace this season.
Right now I miss it, and cringe at the thought of the upcoming dryness and unyielding heat of summer.............
Me taking a picture of LC taking a picture of me....................
This particular lava field is very large.
When Kory and I explored here in the snow a couple of months ago, we wandered for hours.
When it was finally time to begin thinking about slowly working our way back to the Tahoe, it became clear that from where we were, the quickest and easiest way to get back to the truck was to walk the tracks back.
On this particular trip with LC we spent most of our time wandering close to the outskirts of the field.
On this trip the quickest way to get back was to walk out of the lava rock, walk a short way into a desert field, and pick up a trail where we had parked the truck.
As we slowly began to head towards the wide open, sage bush covered field I looked down and saw this rock.
Covered in orange and green mosses, I could clearly see the face, neck and part of the body of some kind of animal.
It's funny how your mind works sometimes.
Have you ever looked at the clouds in the sky and seen something seemingly random in their shapes?
Of course you have.  Everyone has.
Something random, and unexpected, and you wonder why you even thought of it.
I did a training race one night with a guy I was considering partnering with for a real race.
The race director wanted a team to time trial the race and I drove down to Georgia, met up with the guy I was doing the training with, and we spent the overnight time trialing a major section of the race on bike and on the water.
At some point in the middle of the night we were canoeing across the lake on the way to a checkpoint.
In the blackness of the night, and on the blackness of the water, I looked to my right and unexpectedly saw a factory of some kind silently blowing smoke high into the air.
Only...............the smoke was some kind of weird purple color, and I laughed out loud when I saw it.
The bright colored smoke, billowing from the stacks, looked just like Marge's (from the Simpsons cartoon) wild and crazy hair style.
Why would someone even think of something like that?
I have no idea....................
I had seen them on my first trip to this lava field, and on this trip LC noticed them as well.
A series of flat rocks that had been placed one on top of the other, that did not appear to be a natural occurrence.
As we did the first time, we climbed up the hill to inspect the tower more closely.
There used to be a stage coach trail between Arco and Blackfoot that traveled straight through the desert, and that bypassed Big Butte.
There is an old story about a bank robbery that took place in Arco, and (as the story goes) the robbers buried some of the gold in the desert and never came back to retrieve it.
As we sat on the rocks at the top of the hill admiring this small tower and wondering what the story behind it really was, we laughed and speculated about the possibility of gold buried beneath the rocks...............
With no snow on the rocks this time, climbing down the hill was a safer proposition than it had been on my previous trip to this place.
Eventually we cleared the lava rock field and walked briefly into the wide open of the desert floor.............
Looking back towards Big Butte that was about 11 or so miles away...............
And looking back towards Cedar Butte a mile or so away from where we were parked................
Not long after we got Kory I picked up a soft water bowl for her.  A lightweight bowl that would be easy to throw into the bottom of a pack, and that could be folded to take up little space.
We tried it once and our pup had no interest in drinking from it.
What she DOES like to do though is drink directly from our hands.
She spills a lot and wastes a lot, but drinking water this way seems to be a bonding experience for her.
Whatever works................
Last May we had a huge herd of sheep unexpectedly appear on the outskirts of town.
The herd was overseen by a couple of non-English-speaking shepherds and a handful of beautiful and watchful Pyrenees dogs.
They moved locations almost daily for a month or so and we never knew when and where we would happen upon them.  One day they would be over by the Twin Buttes.  Another day they would be over by Cedar Butte.  And then close to town a few days later.
LC and I had both assumed that they would be a fixture in the area throughout the summer, but one day we realized that they were just.........gone.
On the way home from our trip to the lava rock field we unexpectedly found them again.
We will have to take pictures soon, while we still have them in our area.
A blog post from last year about the sheep.  And the pups.  And the horses.  And the sheep wagon.

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