Monday, September 15, 2014


It is going to be hot out here today, so we got out early. I hike so infrequently right now I cherish the outings we do get and I am sure Nim does too.

It is going to be a long week! Best to start it off right.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bad Bear and Kitten Cuteness on a Friday

Hello on a Friday! This will mostly be a cute kitten photo dump, but first, a mess courtesy of the local bear.

Yes, that is a giant oil slick in my garage. My garage now smells like Johnny Cat Litter.

I buy oil by the jugs (as opposed to individual quart bottles) for changing in the car. It is less waste that way. I had a jug sitting outside in the bed of my truck to remind me visually change the oil. Well, a bear bit it and made a huge mess in the driveway.

I then took the damaged jug, put it in a bag and put it in my garbage bin. It leaked through the bag and through the bottom of the bin. In about 24 - 48 hours it had crept all over the garage. I have never seen anything like this.

I am still cleaning the floor. I don't know if it will ever be the same.

I was personally a bit devastated because I try to be super careful with the local wildlife and take living among them as a privilege. So if anyone else besides me didn't know they like oil (and apparently diesel I am learning) now you know. 

I leave you with kittens! Last week they started walking better, playing, and generally interacting.

Although I did get spit at. :) Not by mama Missy however. I love her.

Enjoy the photos and have a great day!

Monday, September 8, 2014

In Memory of Jackson - Crystal Mountain Gondola

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Sunday was a very special day for me. On Sunday Nim and I joined Cindy for a ride up the Crystal Mountain Gondola. This was the first year for Nim and I, but Cindy has managed to go all three years since the gondola opened. This year was her first year going without Jackson.

Jackson died June 24th of this year. Sunday was really a special day in tribute of him. It was a real honor for Nim and I to go to a place that held a lot of meaning for Jackson and Cindy together. I felt his memory with me on Sunday.

(Jackson, Crystal Mountain, 2013 - hard to believe he is a senior dog! He has such a young look to him.)

Nim has been on one gondola before in Northern CA, but this one was a lot bigger. He definitely looked around quite a bit. Because it is really built more with winter travel in mind there isn't a ton of air ventilation, but the ride is beautiful.

Once we got off the gondola up top and managed to walk around the gravel without breaking anything (the traction is a real challenge once you leave the boardwalk) we started up a path that Cindy always did with Jackson. That is Rainer mountain in the background.

As you can tell it is pretty intense sun. It wasn't necessarily a terribly hot temperature, but under the sun it was actually pretty darn warm.

Eventually we reached the top of the path and found a shady place to eat, drink, and let Nim supervise the chipmunk situation.

This is one ledge we selected to remember Jackson.

The backdrop is just stunning. Bless dogs. They may not know exactly what is going on, but they are aware enough to at least sense emotion.

Eventually we went back down the path and stopped at another location that was just beautiful! Nim kept a sharp eye on Cindy. It is hard because these photos hardly do justice to the beautiful scenery in this area.

This is the boardwalk that comes off the gondola at the top. Notice the beach lounge chairs.

Cindy got a photo of Nim and me.

Eventually it was time to go back down. Some people do hike down. It looked punishing, even by my standards. Wear hiking boots.

Nim was a rascal in line.

Cindy got some great loading shots up top. Yes, it looks like I am strangling him. :) The gondola keeps at a slow move and you jump on.

So I don't have time for any Nim attitude, he needs to load in one smooth motion. :) Fortunately he loads nicely.

What a beautiful day.

I feel lucky to know Cindy as long as I have because she has really given me a chance to get to know Dalmatians. They are simply not a common breed. Nim has had the pleasure of knowing her last 4 in particular - Emma Lee, Chip, Daisy, and Jackson (all rescues, all hit their senior years together).

Jackson, you were missed, but well remembered.

(Nim and Jackson, New Year's Day, 2014 - Soos Creek Trail)

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I don't even know how to get this post under control. So many pictures. You can't even imagine the amount I cut.

Here is the short story:

Mama was found as a stray at a friend's house. She was taken in to the vet because she has a large hernia and a deformed spine and foot. Well it turned out she was pregnant and probably a year old at most. She was so skinny no one could tell she was pregnant until they were x-raying the spine.

We all know the statistics - fix your pets. Cats in particular start young and are prolific breeders. She is probably at most a year old herself.

5 babies are here and they are cute and healthy! Mama is a super nice cat and excellent with her babies. If I had room I would be fighting to keep her actually. She has a spay appointment coming once her babies are weaned. They are 17 days old for this photo shoot.

YouTube videos for your kitten fix:

Their eyes are just opening but their back legs aren't working. We tried to get some baby photos with so-so success.

Mama always had the eagle eye on me and if she had had enough or the baby was peeping she got up and retrieved baby back to the kitten pile.

Now that their eyes are open they are starting to get into grooming.

As you can probably tell, the 2 Tux kittens were the hardest to get photos of.

I am hoping to try another photo shoot later - although the will only be getting more active. :)