Making Choices

I am trying to make different choices this year.

First I started with a lot less drinking and snacking. I am down 10 pounds and seem to be stabilizing there which is ok by me!

Next is to do more fun things with the dogs and less long trial days. This one is harder.

I start looking at the trials coming up and want to enter both days. Or enter two trials in a row. Because despite not enjoying the early mornings that much, I do enjoy the thrill of stepping to the line to tackle a new course. The accumulation of titles and seeing what kinds of times we can lay down. I don’t really enjoy having to cheerlead Twitch around the course though.

So I am trying to choose other activities for the summer. I am committing to two trials in July and August. Both USDAA and both outside. Otherwise I want to go camping and hiking. I want to go to new trails and get up early-ish on a weekend morning and go some place new at least twice in July and August.

May is already full though we could plan a hike on one weekend.

June I am currently planning one trial and one conformation show.

See? Not enough weekends for all the fun things!

Fall Camping

Kris, the dogs and I went camping for one night at Meghann Barger’s parents’ place last Saturday. They had talked about fall camping but had never done it so off we went. One night seemed doable and less work in case it was crappy weatber.

It was Meghann, Caleb and Meghann’s brother Ben and girlfriend Emma. Oh and Emma’s dog Colby. A cute poodle mix that was Vader’s size. All the dogs got along and had fun.

We started Saturday with a tromp in the woods. Some of the folks (including Meghann’s dad Dave) were mushroom hunting but Kris, Meghann and I were just hiking. Dave carved out a switch back trail up a ridge this summer so up we went and then hiked the upper forest. It was really quite nice and peaceful. The dogs had a blast!

Meghann has a penchant for tearing out old trees. Got some great shots of this! Lol

Caleb made a fantastic stew over the fire for dinner. Ben kept the fire roaring all evening which meant I got lots of doggie snuggle time. At one point I had both dogs on my lap!

I went to bed about 10pm but apparently Kris and Ben fell asleep in front of the fire until 4am! After drinking a lot.

Fall camping means damp conditions. Inside the tent was good but outside was pretty damp!

Sunday dawned chilly and Twitch peeing blood. Sigh. I packed up as I went and got stuff ready so we could head out as soon as possible. Stopped at the EVet on Market, got some antibiotics and he seems fine now. He just doesn’t like camping. 😉

I do though. Still want a bigger tent.


I really enjoy camping. Especially the kind we do at Meghann’s parent’s place. They have this great little spot in the bend of a creek. It has a shelter with electricity, fridge, sink and a toulet up in the shop. They even have an outdoor shower!

Of course there is a fire pit too. One outside next to the shelter and a stone fireplace on the end of the shelter. The land used to be a girl scout lication and Meghann’s grandparents bought the place i  the 50’s. Her parents run a nursery up the hill from the campsite.

We get to bring the dogs and they love it! Free running all weekend except overnight when they sleep in the car. Last year they slept in our tent but it was pretty crowded. This year we just put them in the van. Much better for all around.

This year we walked down the creek a bit. That water is cold!! Twitch was not a fan of the water and tried to find ways around it if he could. He even climbed a log and crossed a downed tree to avoid the water. Then I had to lift him down. Lol. Vader didn’t mind the water but avoided the deep areas. I tried to get him to swim but he wouldn’t. I’ll keep trying! The dogs were already pretty tired on Saturday afternoon.

It’s not very often you see Vader lying down and actually sleeping! Mathew, Jason’s son, was there and he loves Vader. Vader is very tolerant of Mathew but at the time of the below picture, Mathew was in the creek and ignoring Vader.

Earlier in the day we were all sitting under the shelter and Vader kept getting on this bench to lay down. He even closed his eyes several times. 🙂

We hope to go again this year but we shall see. Lots of fun! Still wish our tent was a little bigger. 


Actual real camping! In a tent, with fires and even cooked over some coals. 🙂

It was a lot of fun. We arrived on Friday night at Trillium Lake Campground just in time to get our camp and tent set before darkness fell. Then we lit a fire and roasted some marshmallows! We chatted and just had a grand time. 

At bedtime I changed into pajamas which were not warm enough. I was cold most of the night and my feet never stayed warm. 🙁  Even with Twitch in my sleeping bag at my feet they were still cold, warmer then when he left, but still cold. In the morning I shoved Twitch into my sleeping bag next to me because he was laying between Kris and I shivering. He should have stayed at my feet!

The next day I felt kind of crappy since I didn’t sleep well. We walked around the lake and then I took a nap. It was nice to sleep and be warm. The weather warmed up to the low 70s during the day.

After a nap we took the kayaks down to the lake and paddled around for an hour or so.

The view did not suck. 😉

Back to camp, a little cleanup and then some dinner. Hot dogs over an open flame. Yum!

At bedtime I slept in my clothes. Wind pants, long sleeves, sweatshirt and two pairs of socks. I put a hand warmer in between the sock layers too. I was much warmer and much better rested the next day! Twitch spent part of the night in my sleeping bag again. 🙂

Sunday dawned chilly and we made breakfast then Kris and I went for a walk to work off some of Twitch’s energy. Got back and broke camp to head home. On the road by 10am. I would have been ok with sitting around the fire a bit longer but Scot had dumped the last of the wood in the fire pit to make a huge blaze with flames 4 feet high.

It took 3 hours or so to unpack, rinse and hang up all our stuff once we got home.

All in all a good time. 

Next time I will plan my clothing better. Sweatshirts for hanging around the fire and sleeping in. Two sock layers with hand warmers. 🙂

I will take two 5 gallon jugs of water, one for handwashing and one for drinking water. That will give more room in the coolers for food stuffs.  We can expand our menu a bit that way.

I will bring a pan of some kind and a French press coffee maker for coffee.
I will bring an xpen and extra mat for the dog(s). Connecting them to benches and chairs was moderately successful. 

I will bring food toys and Twitch’s shirt. He was chilly in the evenings, though he liked being stuffed in my sweatshirt. 🙂

A larger tent would be nice. Not too much larger but big enough for some gear and maybe our suitcase with clothes in it. Or a popup canopy with sides for privacy and to keep critters out.

But it’s good to be back in my own bed. 🙂