Things that make me happy

Training my dogs.

Playing agility with my dogs.

Hiking with my husband and the dogs.

Letting my dogs play in the water.

Horse back riding.

Watching TV.

Sitting outside on a warm summer night enjoying the company of good friends and family.

I’m so lucky that this weekend will include all of these.


This summer has been tough. New house, new bills and new projects. I’ve struggled mentally a number of times and today I feel rejuvenated.

I went for a hike. I have missed the woods. I need the woods. I thought the quiet and peace of our new house was enough but it’s not.

So today I took a sick day. I took a day to address my mental health. I have been distracted at work and having trouble focusing. I hope this helps.

I met up with a friend and her dogs and she took me to a place not frequented by others. The dogs got to run and play off leash. We got to chat and absorb nature. At the end, the dogs got to swim and Vader even voluntarily swam after sticks. He is growing up!

Three Pools Project

Two more trips to Three Pools for my photo project. Started in Feb this year and have gone every other month since to take pics in the same spots.

We went on Saturday and Jason came along with us. We left early to hopefully beat everyone else out there and we did. The lot was empty when we arrived! We cleaned up some trash first at the lower pools and then I shot my photos. There was no one else there so we let Twitch run around off leash which he enjoyed.

Then we walked up the trail, stopped in a few spots for more pictures and then finished at the upper pool. We picked up more trash and then decided to cross the river to the other side. I finally got to be in the most magical place ever! It’s like it was built in Disney or something it’s just so magical. As if it could only exist in a fairytale! Gentle streams flowing around and over moss covered rocks. Beautiful! 

Before we even crossed the river I turned around to check on Twitch and he was wet! He had either fallen in or jumped in. After we crossed over this, one pool had pine needles floating on the surface. Twitch was catching up to me and decided he would take a shortcut over the needle covered “ground”. The look on his face when he found himself belly deep in cold water was priceless!! I wish I had snapped a pic of it but I was laughing too hard. 

He also decided that the white water needed to be controlled and I do have a few pics of him trying to bite the water. Lower jaw submerged and all!
We walked all the way down to the first location but on the opposite side of the river. I had never been on that side of the river before. It is so neat to see how the water has carved out the rocks.

We picked up more trash and then left. By that time several groups had begun to arrive so we didn’t have the place to ourselves anymore.

Next we headed to Opal Creek for a hike. I thought it was 3 miles but it was 6! Oops. It was gorgeous and we found some neat new spots.

This spot looked like a natural water slide the way the water carved a path down the rocks.


The water is so clear up there!  
This little wave was fun! Hard to tell in the pic but it blasts up about a foot from the surrounding rock.

This is the canyon leading into Opal Pool up near Jawbone Flats. 

The forest road we walked on to get to the trails had these bridges with spacings in the wood that caused Twitch to slow down and carefully place his feet. The spacings were the perfect size to snag a Twitch foot! So Kris carried him. Twitch was so tired he just hung limply from the harness. Lol I am pretty sure Twitch would have liked someone to carry him the rest of the way by then.

This is old growth forest with large diameter trees that are very tall.

It was a great day, lots of fun and beautiful area! We were on our feet from about 9 am until 3:30. We had the short drive from Three Pools to the Opal Creek trailhead but otherwise we were climbing or walking the whole time. Probably covered 8 miles of rugged terrain that day.

More rocks – Detroit Lake

Yesterday Shelby, Kris, our three dogs and I went walking along the almost dry bed of Detroit Lake. We started at Hoover Campground and walked upstream next to the Santiam River which feeds Detroit Lake.

The travel was mostly smoothed cobblestones with some sand as the lake level is extremely low due to lack of rain and snow melt. 

Below you can see the bed of Detroit Lake. The post behind Kris is a No Wake sign.

At this point we should be 20 feet underwater. 🙁

The dogs were allowed to run off leash as we were the only ones out there. When we did see others we leashed until past them.

The sheer diversity in the rocks we walked on was amazing. I took pictures of a few for this post. The cobbles ranged from granite to volcanic to sandstone.

 These green stones were interesting because most of them were very brittle. They were green all the way through and I have no idea what the composition is.

Here you can see sandstone that was laid down with various layers of a darker material. Most likely due to ash or dust in the sky. Could also be from a flash flood event where this rock was formed higher up a bank or shore where only silt settled out.

There were also a number of these types where it was a compressed mix of larger pebbles and sand. Very interesting! 

The below conglomerate has bits of granite and sandstone mixed inching you can see at the lower right of the rock as the darker spot.


Here is another sandstone rock that had two different colors of sediment compressed into it. There were a number of these out there.

Hiking Spencer Butte

Today we went down to Eugene so I could take a private lesson with Naomi Snapp. She runs Aussies in agility and I wanted to get some personalized looks at Twitch and I, to see where we could improve. He has concerns and motivation issues in trials so I am trying to address those.

The first thing she noticed was that he disconnects from me as we enter the ring. So we are going to work on stronger nose touches for pre-run routine as well as his spins as we walk out.

The second thing she noticed was that he slows down when I slow down, which in most situations is great, he reads deceleration, but there are times when I need him to keep moving like pinwheels and wraps around jumps. So maintaining motivation through tricks will help, not fixing things in trials and working on using a lunchbox to get speed.

The lunchbox is a hard sided plastic cooler that is heavy enough he can’t run off with it, sticky enough that he can’t open the lid and big enough for any kind of food. We worked on that today and it helped a lot. We used the LB for proofing weaves and contact behaviors and it helped with his motivation around the push to the back of a jump with a 180 to the tunnel. So some good stuff and really glad I did it.

Then we went to Spencer Butte. It was a 2 mile hike with 900 feet of elevation gain. And it was busy! There were so many people and other dogs and Twitch did really well with all of it.


He met dogs on the trail, he walked past dogs and ignored them, it was great!


Those are the Three Sisters mountains in the distance.


The trail wound through the forest with some really large trees!


Then we stopped at Oakshire Brewery for food and drinks and headed home.