Sunday, July 5, 2009

Farewells to Colorado, Hello Texas via New Mexico

Monday, June 29, and I have to leave Loveland. I am still amazed by the sight of the mountains so close and find myself reaching for the camera even when stopping at a gas station!
My friend of 38 years and I enjoyed some iced tea and girl-talk on
her front porch during my last afternoon in Aurora.
I took several pictures on the road over the next two days' road trip from Aurora to Austin, Texas. This one is near Colorado Springs. There is a large cluster of antenna on the top of this "hill." I was told that there is an underground military installation near there.
This one taken from I-25 nearing Pueblo, CO. Just found the clouds over the mountains and the shapes interesting. Nearing Trinidad, CO in this next picture. And not far into the Northeastern corner of New Mexico, Capulin Volcano - an extint one, but it helped explain the black volcanic rock outcroppings I saw in the area.
Late afternoon with clouds beginning to look stormy straight ahead of me, I saw this sign. Then this appeared over Amarillo. We spent the night in Amarillo and left for Austin the next morning, Wednesday, July 1.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rhys Celebrates his Third Birthday, June 28

Another 8 am ring time only today Pems showed after about 24 other dogs. We ended up showing around 9 am and Rhys received the first place blue ribbon in Open Dogs. We stayed in the ring for Winners Dog and Mrs. Betty-Anne Stenmark moved Rhys to the head of the line and he won Winners for two points. Then, after all the girls were judgedwe went back into the ring with the five Specials for Best of Breed. After going around the ring for the second time, Mrs. Stenmark moved us up behind one of the Specials and Rhys received Best of Winners. Oh what a glorious day! After a brief photo session with the judge, we went back to our grooming area where Rhys got a much needed drink and a bit of a rest while I clipped his ribbons to his crate then sat down to finish my morning coffee and make a few phone calls.
After spreading the news, I had to take Rhys shopping for a new toy - his choice. After all, this is our tradition when he wins points, and that Sunday was his third birthday, and we had to celebrate. So, I dressed him up in his cowboy hat and we went through some of the vendors' booths. A few people stopped to comment on his hat lost track of the number of smiles and "how cutes" we heard. He had his picture taken four or five times.

We checked out a variety of stuffed, plush squeaky toys, tug toys, rope toys, and just about any other item he gave a good sniff. Nope. No real interest in any of them, not even a good bite on the squeaky toys. And then he found his prize. A real raccoon tail. Yes, this was definitely the toy he'd been looking for.

I contacted a friend of Rhys' breeder as we had pre-arranged to meet after Rhys and I finished our day at the show, Buzz,. We were invited for supper and to spend the night with Helen, her lovely Golden Retriever, Noelle, a Basset-Beagle mix, Buzz, she was dog-sitting, and her horse Willow. Cheese and fruit with crackers, chips and salsa greeted us as we all got acquainted. Molly warmed up slightly to the other dogs, but Rhys just wanted nothing to do with that big blonde girl. Noelle is sweet and incredibly mellow Golden Retriever. She tried everything a doggy could to get Rhys to play. Nope. Not this boy. Poor Noelle. She looked so disappointed.

I could not tell whether or not Buzz was disappointed...his expression changed only at meal time. Molly and Rhys were both very interested in and curious about Willow. Molly insisted on barking at the lovely mare every time she could see the horse.
Rhys spent more time sniffing along the fence beside Willow than barking and I knew exactly what was going through his sweet Corgi brain: "I'd give up a week of cookies for one good roll in that pile over there...."

After a great steak from the charcoal grill and a little more conversation, our hostess showed us to a comfortable bed in a room with tropical flair. With the open window giving us a nice cooling breeze during the night, we all three slept quite well.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Adventures in Loveland and Fort Collins

It all started about about 17 or 18 years on a road trip to Northwestern Pennsylvania. John and I traded off driving and every time it was my turn to drive it rained. Sure seems I have been driving in rain on vacations or dog show trips ever since. So naturally, when I left Aurora Friday afternoon, the clouds were beginning to gather. About 30 minutes into the drive north, the rain began along with a stiff cross wind. The rain turned into a deluge. Fortunately, everyone on the road slowed down to aboutg 45 mph. Even with the wipers going top speed visibility was crap. About five miles from the exit for our motel, the rain started letting up. By the time we checked in and unloaded, the sun was starting to shine again. I just wanted to collapse and de-stress from the drive. But facing 8 am ring time for the show the next morning, I settled Molly and Rhys in their crates with dinners in the room, then got back in the car for the 9 mile trip to the show site.

Saturday morning was absolutely beautiful. The mountains are so close to the west of the highway, it was hard not to pull over and take a few pictures of the sunlight bouncing off the snow caps. Weather was beautifully pleasant. Rhys showed well and got first place in the Open Dog class then went Reserve Winners Dog. I am very proud of how well he did in his first show in seven weeks.

We met several area Corgi people. Julie Yamane and her lovely girl Joy. Julie posts to a couple of the Corgi email lists I'm on and it was so nice to meet in person.

She introduced me to some other folks, including Joann from Wyoming who has a lovely fluffy boy competing in obedience, Karen with Pems in Rally and Conformation.

Sunday's excitement in the next post.......K

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just Hanging out in Aurora

The past couple of days have not been nearly as exciting as the trip to the mountains. Here are Rhys and Molly lounging on Gynia's patio one morning while we enjoyed coffee and conversation at her table under the supervision of her cat, Sassy. I've done some minor exploring and a little shopping. It is amazingly easy to find places here and drive to them. Yesterday I found this little European Deli, actually it's a Russian deli. I bought some tea and cookies there. Then found a Starbucks and treated myself to a frappacino - it was a warm day. When I got back from my little excursion, I took Molly and Rhys for a long wandering walk around the neighborhood near the motel. After that they took up their favorite sleeping spots in the room. Molly on the bed and Rhys under the desk area using my shoes as a pillow.

Today I organized the load in the car and organized the things in the room for loading tomorrow morning. This afternoon I surprised Molly and Rhys with a trip to a really nice place called U Shampooch.

Rhys made an attempt to look brave in the tub, Molly was not pleased in the least. But finally, here they are in the crate waiting for me to pay and gather up our stuff. Two lovely, sweet, clean, and dry dogs. Of course we drove back to the motel in a complete downpour and were all three fairly wet when we got to our room. We have made new friends at the motel everyday, but the night Security Guard loves to greet them during our last potty walk. He noticed tonight that their coats were a little softer.

Tomorrow I'll meet Gynia for breakfast after she gets off a 12 hour ER night shift. After that I must finishing the packing up for our show weekend in Loveland, load up the Road Crew and make the drive north. Thank goodness it's just over an hour away. I don't know when I'll get to write another update. It's going to be a busy weekend. In addition to the shows, I'm going visit a woman who used to be a neighbor before moving to Estes Park. Sunday afternoon we're going to visit with a friend of Rhys' breeder. She has a large fenced yard so the Corgis can have some real romping time. K

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Mountain Adventure

Yesterday we left Aurora with my friend Gynia and her mother, Virginia, for a day trip to the mountains, specifically Mount Evans in the Arapahoe National Forest. I thought Gynia had said 11,000n feet elevation the day before when she described the trip. I think she must have been talking about the restaurant/gift shop at Echo Lake. (photo above) We stopped here for a restroom break before continuing the drive up the mountain. Molly and Rhys enjoyed a brief walk in the cooler air. And Molly just could not identify that dog that kept barking back at her - the place IS called ECHO Lake. We all got a little chuckle out of her barking at herself. It was about 68 degrees there. Before leaving Echo Lake Lodge, I snapped a quick shot of the sign I noticed adjacent to the parking lot. (photo left) I was a bit surprised to see 14,130 feet. On the way up the mountain highway (okay, it was a narrow, winding asphalt road with occasional spots of crumbling edges followed by the perception that we were about to launch ourselves into wide open space! We stopped at Summit Lake at 12,000 feet and gave Rhys and Molly a real treat - snow in June. While showing off in the snow, several other park visitors asked about the Corgis, and insisted on petting them wet feet, wet bellies, snowy backs and all. I'm afraid we may have to temporarily suspend our membership in the LCS (Lesser Corgi Society) as they both displayed the most impeccable Corgi manners and could have won Mr. and Miss Congeniality awards.

Finally here we are at the end of the paved road just a few hundred feet below the summit. The sign says "elevation 14,130 feet" and the posed picture is proof that I stood at a "Fourteener" the local name for those few mountains that are over 14,000 feet. Rhys and Molly made more friends and so obviously enjoyed the 48 degree temperature! The photo on the left is from an observation point and the snow-capped peak in the very far distance is Pike's Peak! Yes, we could see that far!

I have several other good pictures from the day, but need to do some cropping and editing to make them meaningful.....K

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On The Road

Monday morning already. I think we've recovered from Saturday's 10 hour drive. Molly and Rhys have slept a bit more than usual. The picture at right was taken outside Limon, CO on I-70. And yes, I drove in rain again-thank goodness for new wiper blades and new tires.
We had a quiet Sunday, first day of summer. I sorted out the "stuff" from the car and organized the motel room we'll be in for another five days. Then spent the afternoon with my friend, Gynia, and her family, sitting on the front porch sipping iced tea and catching up on several years of life events. I thinkb perhaps, maybe, her big Siamese kitty, Spike, may have forgiven me for bringing "dog smell" into the house. Molly and Rhys, hung out on their shady patio where they could see the cats through the patio door and Molly let us know each time they moved. Rhys was more interested in the sniffing flower boxes and lounging on the top step to their hot tub.
Today, we are off to the mountains so I have little time to add more for now. Molly and Rhys get to come along. Will definitely have some pictures from Mount Evans, 11,000 feet......K

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Adventures

We're neck-deep in packing and preparing for a long road trip. Rhys, pictured at left, is definitely ready to head west and show off his new hat. Molly is less enthusiastic about wearing her cowgirl hat. The three of us are going to visit some friends and family and do a little dog showing along the way. This highly neglected (until now) blog will be our trip diary and main method of updating the folks back home. We should have some great tales to tell.

Jerry would love to come along and leaving him behind is a bit painful for me. At 13 and a half years old, unable to use his rear legs, the trip would be uncomfortable for him, and more than a bit difficult for me to manage all of our activities. So, he'll stay home and be the watchdog, back-up doorbell, and cat humbler.

Our first stop is Aurora, Colorado where my friends have promised a relaxing visit with some great food and drink, perhaps a picnic or two, perhaps a little shopping. My next post will be from Colorado.....k