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Day 3, still amazing

I remember waking up and feeling great. So great.  I could hear Michael and Dawn making jokes to each other from their tent.  It was just like when they were there at Wilsons Promontory except without the rain and the leeches.  Emily snuffled her way into my tent at some point.  She is such a sweet heart and such a Badger.  Little hairy love snufflers those two.

The campfire was reignited by just looking at it. Standard practice I now understood.  This video was actually from the night before but I don't want to lose it so I'll put it here



The rest of the morning was spent waking up, filtering water, washing out last night's mug of marshmallow chocolate drink, only to remember mashmallows float and the sort of floated all over the pristine lake until the weird little red fish with legs (salamanders?) ate them.  I worried I'd created a diabetic generation of legged fish but there was no way of scooping them back.

The night before we had met the oddest hiker I've ever seen.  She was possibly not from our planet.  Immaculate, clean, precise and well, unworldly.  She wasn't made of real person things.  The only way I can describe her is if you imagine yoga and a Japanese tea ceremony and that was your life, whilst hiking.  Every movement was considered. She rejected my offer of our left over wine from last night.  Australians, so brash, so alcoholic. I'm glad I reinforced any stereotype she had.  Her response, said under her breath, was that she didn't want to introduce any toxins into her body but thank you.  I had an overwhelming urge to see if I wiped my muddy hand on her face if the dirt would just shed off her when she would chasse off into the wilderness.

We waved our goodbyes to AlienGirl and continued to filter water at the stream.  We lowered the bar on all activities from that point forward:



We walked up a (I don't know what you call this sort of landscape feature? A lake-to-lake-dribble-valley?) to see the little lake that ran into Payne's lake.  It was so cute up there, so hidden and gorgeous.  Emily was pleased we could play more stick in the water.








And then we headed back the way we had come.  It was hot but I didn't die, not even a bit.  How amazing are these drop offs?



When we got back to the car we found more PCT hikers to take back down to town.  This time two girls, an American and a Turrrkish maybe girl.  They were not aliens from another planet.  They were normal and dusty and couldn't wait to eat burgers.  We also ate burgers.  It was a million degrees back down at the town.  It was a truely great burger.  I could have eaten 100 of these burgers.  Everything so fresh and delicious.  They couldn't understand anything when I ordered despite me trying to use all the right words like 'fries' and 'ketchup' and 'thanks'.  I can't really have an accent that heavy.

My memory is a bit blurry after this point.  I must have drifted into the afternoon dizzy phase of jetlag.  I remember we got back to Dawn and Michael's, I remember playing with Sam.  I remember seeing their vege garden.  I remember going to get icecream with Dawn.  We went through a roundabout.  We watched TV and Michael promised he would make us an easy dinner which turned into deluxe gourmet complex dinner that was insanely delicious.  That is one thing I keep remembering about this trip, freshness.  All the food was so tasty and fresh.

That Afternoon

Full of pancakes and coffee my caffine and sugar fueled system could almost overide the trepidation of climbing mountains with people who climb mountains for breakfast.  All I do is eat breakfast. I've been practicing that all my life.  Sadly the eating part was over.

We picked up a heavily scented PCT hiker from Germ..any? I think I'm remembering that right.  Before this point in time I really didn't have any thoughts about the PCT.  I haven't seen the movie.  I haven't read the books.  Someone told me about a hike that went up through most of America and some girl took a dog. I'd forgotten that story.  So this was all novel. Who is this guy and why are we picking him up? Dawn and Michael sure love hitch hikers.  Guten tag, Ich bin Penny.  Oh you speak perfect english.  G'daaaay maaaaate.

We stopped and he wandered off down the side of a mountain.  Bye bye German. Righto onto our hike. Boy it was hot already.  I did start to get really nervous now because I don't do so well in the heat and big long climbs can knock me around.  I had to keep remembering I could just be the slow horrible Australian making Dawn and Michael have to stop all the time.  Like an International Charity Case, and I'd live with it and it would be ok.

Up we went but everything was fine because I kept stopping to take photos and they would say "This is the boring part" and I would deny that it could get better than this because it was so woodsy! so many piney trees! so many plants that were so cool.  Geez you guys can do woodsy so good.  I just love it.

So called "Boring bit", Not at all boring.



Like a painting, a painting done by someone in the Northern Hemisphere! Look at the lichen.  Wows.



Snow.  How could this be boring?



We even lost the track so we got to bounce around like Mountain goats finding it again.  Cute to watch these two work together under pressure.  As someone who cannot understand how teamwork could possibly work, marriages that stay together equally perplex me.  People can be mad and then not mad.  Facinating.



They finally admitted it was getting less boring. 



Going the full goat track.  I love your goat tracks, they are special.  See that storm dropping over the far mountains? Cue Dawn speed hiking to the tree cover. 



We made it down to the lake with plenty of time to set up, swim and I could go poking around for things.  The campsite was unreal. Like a movie set.  Little rock ringed camp sites, big trees and all next to an adorable lake.  I expected 'tribal council' to happen at any moment. 

The next bizzare thing was Michael building a fire out of bark.  The whole thing just caught and no one had to try very hard at all. Just piles of bark.  How? This makes no sense to me. 

All of this was like nothing I'd ever seen:





Slept like a brick. 

Oregon trip - Day 2 but just the morning


I'm back.  Who knows for how long but I'm continueing on from last post that was many times ago.

We planned on getting up early but there was none of that when it came to it thankfully.  I woke up at 7am USA time and from that moment on I was an AMERICAN. I'd just get a little dizzy and sleepy in the afternoons but other than that my body clock was completely inverted to weirdo northern hemisphere times. 

We got ready, filled up water bottles, played some under-the-donna-there-is-a-mouse-ouch-shit-you-can-get-your-claws-through-blanket-lets-stop-that-game with Sam and headed to a place for breakfast.  All the American things happened here. This whole picture is 110% American.  Even that water.  Who wants chilled water for breakfast? Americans.  That bacon: Hard.  That butter: Whipped.  Those sauces: Plentiful and free.  Those pancakes: Enormous.  That table: Laminex

Non-stop coffee not pictured.



Damn I really love these two, seeing this today made me want to cry a bit. Coffee: pictured



Checking out our hike. Started to worry about elevation gain but turned out nothing to worry about. My body loves to get hiiiiiggggghhh so higgghhhh



Up there is a where we were going, maybe?


Emily and I enjoying the scenery from the back seat.




We stopped at a Ranger's station (also THE MOST AMERICAN THING I'VE EVER SEEN) to see if we would catch on fire on our hike.  Nope.  Then asked if we could start a fire on our hike and the ranger are all 'yeah go for it'.  As an Australian this made absolutely no sense to me. Little did I know fire was to become a feature of this trip.

Look at those animals! So American! So Not Southern Hemisphere!



Later ... the afternoon. 

Oregon trip - The biggest Monday

This Monday deserves its own post because it never ended.  I flew out of Melbourne at 10am and arrived at in San Fransico at 9am on the same Monday.  I didn't really sleep on the plane, possibly because it's impossible to sleep when you are travelling back in time.  It's just one of those things.

The energiser bunnies (I hope those ads are a worldwide thing) of Dawn and Michael and dog Emily picked me up at the airport after leaving their place at 2am that morning, so all three (+Emily) of us were in a great state.  That's when the coffee intake began in full force for me.  On Dawn and Michael's advice: Feeling sleepy? Drink more coffee.  Feeling wistful? Drink more coffee.  Almost got hit by a car by not looking the right way when you cross the road? Drink more coffe.  I'd highly recommend this approach because it worked 100%.

So we drove out of San Fran in the Matrix, the wind in our respective hairs and Dawn astounded that I hadn't finished my tiny coffee after half an hour.  We had a deadline.  We were going to make it over the border that night to Oregon (350miles/560kms).  It seemed a good idea.  With a stop at the famous Avenue of the Giants (add another 100 miles).  Approximately an hour or so in we also decided to add a trip to the coast at Mendocino (add 70 miles).  And so our trip went from a possible 6 hours to 10 hours.  Then add roadworks and stops to drive through trees and you eventually end up in Talent, Oregon juuuuussssst before midnight on Monday.   So my Monday was sort of 40 hours long.  The whole day felt like a dazy party.


Bye bye Sydney airport and Qantas kangaroos


In between this photo and the next photo there was Mendocino with clam chowder (with the proud advertisement of 150 clams per vat!  I assume this is a good measure of clam chowder quality?). Clam chowder is indeed delicious with this many clams per vat.  The coast was cool and grey.  This was to become a common theme when it comes to 'the coast'.  Anywhere that wasn't 'the coast' was hot and hot, which was great because I had come straight out of winter and I like hot, especially on holidays.

Dawn and I in a Redwood Giant.  So many giants.

Being Australian I was incapable of mastering the bear bins.  The Americans watching me just smiled. Michael gave me an education.



That is one big root mass.  Dawn and Michael are so very funny.  It's probably been about 2 years or more since they came to Australia, possibly 4 years, I'm not sure.  But we just picked up from where we left off and those two make my belly laugh so hard. My face hurts to be around them.



We took another detour to pay $5 for the privilage to drive through a tree.



Here we are arriving in Talent on the biggest Monday.

Being back

What a marvelous time I had on holidays.  More than marvelous, exceptionally marvelous.  I'm struggling to work out how to write about it but I might just slowly trawl through the days one by one to drag out the joy.  That could be a fun thing.

It's funny how you get back from a great time and want to make every day of your life as great as that time.  And you can't nor should it be.  The joy of amazing things comes from being completely suprised by it and without some of the ordinary and mundane it would never pale in comparison.  What I found to be a take home message was that getting older (or not being young) doesn't mean I need to lay down and be bored/boring.  So many women doing amazing things.

Dogs have been good and are not broken or too fat.  The neighbor accidentally set fire to the fence while I was away but luckily Mum put it out with the hose (and she conveniently hosed their sound system which they play very annoying loud music on.  Good job Mum).  Someone ran into the back of my car but that is all organised and off to the repairers in a week's time.  All in all nothing serious.

One last day off and then back to work tomorrow.  Luckily we have some agility fun with friends on Wednesday night to keep me pushing through.

And look who is here? We must have crested the hump of winter

Getting on a plane

So on a plane I get.

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Formed paths

The lads and I took a gamble today and drove 2hrs to Marysville to see if a forest loop track allowed dogs.

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This Agility Season written very boringly

I wrote this and it bored me so much I've rewritten it. It's now dot points

— better than last Autumn

— better than Spring

— Badger is really really nice

— I'll never be perfect, but it's still fun

-   I enjoyed feeling stronger in my legs after finishing Jaka's course.

Urgh now the new editor has lost half my words.

Video:

Carrots

When give the dogs their carrots I always choose the biggest woodiest one for Badger, the juicy mid size one for Pan and the one that most resembles a penis for Javelin. I know he appreciates it.

I swear it was lighter already tonight

Goings on

Mostly it's all about getting excited for my trip right now. Sometimes my job is very frantic but then a little glow of joy comes out of my tummy because NOT LONG TO GO! Wheeeeee. Who cares about stock take when there is such a fun thing to look forward to.

I filled out Trumpies visa-application-that-isn't-a-visa-application-because-nobody-trusts-those-dodgy-aussies form last night. I promised I wasn't coming to America for terrorist activities so no one had better make me do anything crazy ok? I promised, and I'm a lady of my word.

The next things to start doing are finding travel insurance which seems to be easy. I suppose I should check that being airlifted from "the woods" after bear mauling is covered? That's the most likely scenario I can imagine where I will need expensive medical attention. Are the sheep at Poodletopia the kind that like to take out your knees? I've herd (haha I'm so funny) sheep can be like that.

Also start making a list of things to pack. I love a list. But I can't imagine that will be too hard to make because IT'S GOING TO BE SUMMER! You don't realise how absolutely stunning the idea of instant summertime is when it is 7.15am and it is still as dark as dark outside. Will I need some jumpers and a rainjacket though? I assume the temps can vary a bit.

In other news I've been taking this course and what a barrel of fun that is! Exactly what I was looking for and a perfect class to do in winter to keep fit before all this hiking Dawn and Tammy are going to make me do ;).  It goes for a month and you get exercises to do every night. By week 2 I can feel my legs getting much stronger and possibly my core although I completely suck at anything that involves core work. I like that he even runs a session on how to get up after falling over on course! He includes both the face-plant-eat-dirt situation and the bam!-hip-smashing version. I've put them below so you can see my non-existent push ups. I say I'm reenacting the falling over part better than if I was to do a real push up. Yes yes.




The exercises are really varied which keeps my easily bored mind interested.

Yesterday I was asked to help get a litter of 10 Lab puppies in a photo before they go to their new homes today. It was quite the task! Those things just flop off everywhere.