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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Canyons and mountains

K is still feeling under the weather. We're taking short walks on the trails near our house in the morning and evening. She perks up, follows scents, and runs around during our outings. They are, beyond a doubt, the best part of our days. This morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and K was trotting through an aspen grove. For a moment, everything felt right with the world.

Don't worry - K is still generally happy and comfortable. We have the pain from her leg under control. I think that I'm feeling worse than she is because cold hard reality is setting into my heart. This is real, not some theoretical scenario being spun by a vet. We see K's oncologist at CSU on Monday so we'll learn more then.

Back to stories from our recent trip, our bipolar switching between the mountains and desert came to the forefront again, just 2 days after we arrived in the La Sal mountains. We awakened to much colder weather (too cold to sit outside in the mountain air), and I even wore mittens on my bike ride! So, we enjoyed the mountains for the morning, and then we decided to head back to the land of red rock desert. It was storming down there as we descended in the LabMobile.
We drove south, gradually moving ourselves toward a good position for viewing the eclipse in a couple of days time. As we drove south, the sun started to shine again.
At about dinnertime, we arrived at an area that is a huge plateau that overlooks Canyonlands National Park. We never go into the National Parks since dogs can't do much in them, aside from ride around in a car. But, we thought that a view of the canyons, from lightly-regulated BLM land, would be fun. We arrived at one overlook around sunset when the rock glowed like honey.
Then the sun set in a brilliant light show with cliffs and mesas in its foreground.
We found a spot to camp, and I noticed the incredibly dark sky with a zillion twinkling stars. So, I set up my camera for a very long exposure of the stars circling the North Star. The funny part was that the Runner decided to take the dogs for a walk while my camera shutter was open. You can see his headlamp's path in the bottom of the photo.
The even funnier part was that we thought that we were camped in a discrete and legal spot. In the dark, we really couldn't tell exactly where we were. When the Runner looked around in the morning, he came back to the LabMobile in a hurry to say that we needed to move pronto. Apparently, we weren't legal, and we weren't discrete. That's a perennial problem with our habit of wandering around and not choosing a campsite until after dark - although it's a lifestyle that we both like.

So, we quickly evacuated our campsite and headed back to the overlook above the canyons where the sun was still low in the sky. K looked sleepily at me as I took her photo in the morning sun.
Then, I took a group portrait, with R on the left, the Runner sitting, me standing, and K sitting next to me.
R looked gloriously handsome as he stared adoringly at the Runner with the canyons behind him.
We didn't stay very long on this plateau. The stormy weather had passed, and the stifling heat of the desert had returned. K and I took a short mountain bike ride in the early morning heat.
By evening, we were back at 9000', now in the Abajo Mountains of Utah.
K looked much happier in the cool mountain air! Little did we know how much excitement the next day would bring, including a bear being chased past our campsite, a nearby forest fire, and a solar eclipse.


  1. Fires, eclipses and bears oh may!

  2. Looks like you had a great vacation. I can't wait for the next installment with that teaser.


  3. You're going to just leave us hanging on an ending like that?! That sounds like one heck of an adventure!

    I think the nighttime picture is a great one! The headlamp adds a really unique aspect to the whole photo. One of my goals for this summer is to take a shot like that. I always think it's such a cool effect!

    I'm glad K is enjoying her morning and evening outings. And I'm sorry that things are weighing so heavy on your heart right now. I know it's a roller coaster of feeling hope and trying to live in the moment and also seeing into the future.

  4. Greetings! These are magical photos KB! The headlamp trail among the amaing dizzying stars is great :)

    Big summer hugs from us!
    Sierra Rose

  5. The headlamp trail was a fun and interesting part of a great photo!

    You know, in TV land, they would call your last sentence a "cliffhanger". Certainly appropriate for where you were!

    Hugs all around,

    Jo, Stella and ZZkhat

  6. Paws crossed for you sweet K
    Benny & Lily

  7. LOL at the early morning "we need to move pronto." Some friends did a late night camp like that and found next morning they had camped in the middle of a dry creek bed!

    Especially loved the capture of the stars in the sky and the headlamp of the human and canine stars on their walk.

  8. What incredible photos. As always it is hard to pic a favorite. But I have to say MOM was particularly drawn to the star photo today.

  9. Even tho 'the cold hard reality' of life & love is starting to set it, you keep loving your K like crazy.

    Lily Bele

  10. That fourth photo of sunset is absolutely stunning! As always, all the images are incredible. So glad to hear that K is still happy and comfortable and able to enjoy her short outings. Will be thinking of you on Monday!

    Sue T. in AZ

  11. Once again, amazing pictures, especially the stars! I'm so glad to read that you and K are enjoying your days together and making each and every moment count!!

  12. How we love all your spectacular photos! You had such a great adventure, and we are sure many memories to treasure. Hope next week's visit goes OK.

  13. So many incredible pics and images!

    We will be thinking of you on Monday!

  14. loved the family portrait, the stars shot made me giggle and camping in an illegal spot, sounds like my family!!
    Have a great sunday KB and family :)

  15. Ann.. from THE OUTER BANKS OF NC..said...Memories are forever...this is I look at these pictures I see the many gifts that are given each day there is no place like the present and there you all are ..and with a thankful heart... the more you can see can just feel God makes you want to say"I have come to a good place by being myself "I can hear the music of the universe and those who listen ...can hear it too.. hugs for K and R.. Hope everything goes well on Monday for K....

  16. Ooo so many incredible nature events!! Love it! K looks beautiful and R looks so joyful!


  17. As incredible as these photos are they are only the trigger for your heart and head to remember always the smells, the breezes, the textures, the love.

    We are with you on this journey through the transition and beyond. Sending All of our White Dog energies and powers with you on Monday.

  18. Amazing photos!!

    We'll be purring for K on Monday.

    The Florida Furkids and Lexi

  19. Great pictures, as always! The long exposure one is especially cool. Glad you're enjoying your time!

  20. The shadow family portrait is stunning! As, of course, are all the other photos.

    You're in our hearts, Sweet K!

  21. Amazing photos and I do like your family portrait.
    I'll be thinking about you on Monday.
    Take care xx

  22. What a glorious adventure! We hope you feel better today, K!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  23. Amazing pictures´s really very nice trip you did. Would really go for a vacation there myself.
    K looks great. Hope all is ok at the vets tomorrow.

  24. So many incredible pictures to keep those precious memories you made together fresh and vital. We are sending lots of power of the paw to Miss K.

  25. Hi Y'all,

    Beautiful and some unusual pictures.

    Hope y'all are havin' a wonderful, fun week!

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  26. Hi KB, your photos are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing them. Hugs to you all. No worries, and love, Carol and (Stella and Rory)

  27. Love your Utah tales - and family portrait! And star pic and and all of the stories and photos! That image of R just glorious-

  28. What great pictures of a great adventure! I love the photo of the 4 of you. Sounds like the next day was even more adventurous! :)

  29. I just got back from the ocean, and ran overhere to get find out how our K and all of you are doing.
    I cannot believe these incredible photos. I love them all- the stars and the sunset- and the photo of all of your shadows!
    K and R look so happy!


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