long haul to Boise

It is pretty desolate from Crater Lake, Oregon to Boise, ID. There are really only two major routes east and west through Oregon – the northern route or the southern route. Since we’re in a Land Rover, why not take the unbeaten path? On Forestry roads we went, roads that are too small for even a map, or an App! Gas up baby, cause you won’t see many cars, let alone towns or even gas stations till you hit the eastern side of the state.

Babe, can you look where the next town on the map might be? I’ve got to pee. While we pass, we might as well top off the gas.

Well, here’s one: Christmas Valley. Maybe we’ll see some good scenery! Christmas in a Valley. There must be mountains surrounding it. Just kidding. There’s nothing there. Open desolate farm land, houses and trailers planted in the middle of nothing. How do they even get water out here? A convenient store (no gas station), a post office, and a four way stop, with streets named Vixen St. and Snowman Rd. This is weird. Its a dessert. There’s nothing Christmas about it.

Read how an agressive salesman promoted Christmas Valley to retirees from California, falsely advertising it’s appeal.

Next, we played a car game as the sun set behind the dry and flat horizon, betting length of time until we would see another car on the road. It got dark and we continued our quiet and desolate haul until reaching a town in eastern Oregon before making the final haul into Boise, ID.

Skyler loves riding in the Rover with her head out the window, but this haul seemed to be taking a toll on her. There were more shoelace strings of saliva streaking the window than usual and she was a bit anxious, whimpering little cries every now and again. I chalked it off as too much water before she got into the vehicle. At the next pit stop she threw up her bowl of food on her bed in the back. We figured she had just had enough, or maybe the elevation played into it, or she injusted some bad water.

On this cold and frosty night, we finally arrived at the rental in the North-end of Boise, with a house key and some logs for the fireplace waiting for us – as the gas and hot water was not turned on yet. We set up the air mattress and sleeping bags in the middle of the living room and emptied out what we needed from the Rover. That night, we barely slept. Skyler was pacing, crying, dry-heaving, and trying to lay down but with discomfort. At one point in the wee hours of the morning, I laid on a cold blanket in the frosty grass next to Skyler while she cried and I had this flash of the scene from “Marley and Me” when Marley roamed to the base of the tree by himself to peacefully go to sleep. I cried and then as soon as we could, called a Vet we didn’t know anything about and got Skyler in first thing.

After taking a look, he said we had 3 minutes to make a decision. Either put her down, do nothing, or give him the okay to go in and do emergency surgery, with a 50/50 success rate. “There’s no way to tell if it’s too late or not for her”, he said. Her stomach had likely flipped. He described it like a baloon. The blown up balloon is the stomach, and the end had twisted, causing nothing to be able to go in or out of it, causing great pain and slowly getting larger in size. When they went in, her stomach

was purple, like a finger that had been tied off, with no blood flow. There was a chance that the organ was already dying and would not recover even after flipping the stomach and attaching it to her side to keep it from flipping again.

God provided again. He took us to a vet in town that was willing to come in before business hours, perform emergency surgery and charge us the cheapest rate in the Valley. Not only that, but after a few days of recovery, Skyler was given a clean and miraculous bill of health. The Vet said he did one of these surgery’s on a German Shepherd just last year and the dog didn’t make it. Our St Bernard’s life is a true blessing.


Raspberry Picking

[box]Raspberry Picking, Turtle Catching, and NO DOGS ALLOWED.[/box]

We spent this past weekend with my Dad and Step Mom, at their new Up North retreat, by Torch Lake. While there, we had a wonderful visit with my Grandparents and step-brother, Josh, who we don’t get to see enough.

As we arrived at Eastport Beach, there was a prominent sign stating “ABSOLUTELY No Smoking, No Dogs Allowed.” Disappointed but respectfully determined, we looked for other beaching options. Despite the NO DOGS signage, we decided to risk getting ticketed for bringing Skyler to a so-called public beach on Lake Michigan. There was absolutely no way we were going to leave her in the car for 3 hours while we all enjoyed the water and the sun. A set of grandparents with their granddaughter, sitting and playing near us, fell in love with Skyler. The experience on the beach gave us a glance into our future with Skyler and a young child playing on the beach.

After the beach that day we had fun Raspberry picking at a farm near the 45th parallel. This particular global region creates a beautiful climate for farms and vineyards growing all kinds of luscious fruits. While picking, I think we ate as much of the raspberries as we picked.

Kevin enjoys snorkeling off the dock either to spear fish or for pure amusement. While snorkeling yesterday, he found a momma and baby turtle moving along the sand below. In a surreal moment, about 15 ft. under water, he caught them with his bare hands, flowing back up to the surface, following their oxygen bubbles. We looked in awe at the detail of her beauty, shot some photos, then released her back to her watery habitat to rejoin her baby.

The Sailing Saint Bernard

Like many of the creative, adventurous ideas that Jackson (Kevin) comes up with, my immediate mental reaction is, “that’s crazy.”

But I don’t voice my initial thoughts usually, because I know better. That’s just my more cautious self reacting. Plus, there’s plenty of people out there to burst your bubble and I don’t want to join that population. Thankfully, I usually catch the thought before it comes out and think twice about my word choices.

Today, his idea was to take Skyler sailing. This is a one man boat, mind you. Two at most, if the second passenger is a smaller person. The first photo shows her skepticism. But then he tells her to get in and “lets go for a ride!” She willingly hopped in. This dog doesn’t want to miss a beat. The water was pretty calm, as was the dog in the boat. She rode just as peacefully as the quiet breeze.

When they came back to shore, Kevin took me out on the water with him, meanwhile, Skyler raced to the end of the dock as we left her behind, and she barked at us until we came back. “Don’t leave me here!”

Below, I just threw in the picture Kevin took of the Gardenia. They are in full bloom up here right now and smell more fragrant than any other flower I’ve encountered.