Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Adventures in the Pipeline

Six and a half years ago we made a move that surprised some folks. We were visiting friends in Thunderbird Farms and stumbled on a little single wide trailer that looked like a great base to do some riding around Arizona from. We jumped on it and started hauling our horses south for the winters. We saw a lot of country, met some great folks, had some interesting adventures, and until Brenda's knee surgery in 2014 had a great time. Long-term readers will know that surgery wasn't exactly successful and Brenda has been unable to get back on her pony. I continued riding here the next couple of winters but it wasn't the same without my partner. Last winter we left the horses at home and brought an ATV, Blue II down with us, thinking that would allow us to get out into the desert again together. Well, it is not Brenda's favourite mode of transportation but, she is being a good sport and spending some time bumping around the country with me. We traded off our Living Quarters horse trailer and acquired a toy hauler that allows Blue II to travel with us and converts to a pretty nice dining room when he is on the ground.

Dogpound Anywhere (DPA)

So not needing pens and not needing a place to keep our ponies led us back in time to the days before Dogpound South when we were just wandering the highways and byways finding a lonely desert location and enjoying the winters down here in the Sunbelt. So we rigged up our new Road Warrior and the next thing Dogpound Anywhere was born. I mean what is not to like about spending our mornings with a view like this.

Watching the sunrise along a wash outside of Bouse, Arizona

We took our time getting south this year, something that is not all that easy when you are transporting horses, but Blue II will stand tied for just as long as you want and never a nicker or a stomping foot to get rolling. We started talking about the next chapter a little more seriously, and earlier this week decided to talk to our local realtor. Well, things moved pretty quickly after that, within 24 hours we had an interested buyer, and a day later an offer on the table. His number and our number were the same so if all goes well over the next few days Dogpound South will have a new proprietor and Dogpound Anywhere will shed her ties, lift her jacks and hit the trails again. Still, a couple of things to be done but I am hopeful none of them insurmountable and we will be onwards to continue John and Brenda's Incredible Adventure, down the road from Dogpound. We've got some old favourite spots to visit, some friends to drop in on, and no ties hopefully in a few weeks. We have conditionally sold the place as a turnkey deal, the new owner will just need his toothbrush and he is ready to go.

We loved this place, and it was great while we used it with the horses but those days are gone, and it is time someone else enjoyed it. We will miss a lot of things here, not the least of which is the people, and neighbours we have, and I am sure that unlimited internet will be missed as well, but I know Brenda won't miss keeping this acreage in order.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Not much to report today, but what the heck I'm on a roll and this blog will probably double my production for the year, maybe more. We didn't do much today, a fire in the morning to watch the day begin and drink our tea, but no pictures, that passed the pre-publishing inspection, of that event. As usual we are eating like royalty here at Dogpound Anywhere (DPA), but I am not much on food pics so you will just have to trust me that you would be drooling.

Yesterday and today Brenda took a spin in Blue II with me, it is not her favourite way to travel but she is a trooper and trying to look like she is enjoying it. I like this Can-Am but it does have one flaw, it is a mid-engine outfit and that engine sits right between our seats and throws a pile of heat. Those who have followed our journey with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome know that heat is not a great thing, so that doesn't make it anymore comfortable for her either. This is beautiful country and the scenery starts just beyond where you can walk easily. Back in the day Meg and I walked a couple of hundred miles through these hills but now Blue II is doing the moving and I am just along for the ride.

Along the way we came upon this memorial, appeared to honour two folks but the pictures were so sun faded it was hard to tell.

We took about a 6 or 8 mile run through the hills past an old mine site and the memorial and then back to camp to chill for the rest of the day. I spent a little time mucking about with my extension tubes and camera and below is the result of that exercise.

Just a rock but it could be the Grand Canyon

Wouldn't want to step on this little bugger

Every day has to come to an end but here at DPA the end is always beautiful so I'll leave you with this.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Yellow Bird Country

Well we got done Brenda's mission in Vegas and headed south for a old favourite spot near Bouse, Arizona. Along the way we crossed through California for a short distance and caught this train headed for the coast.

It was pulling hard on an uphill grade and within 10 miles we passed two more hot on his tracks, literally.

We ran down through Lake Havasu, and stopped in Parker to pick up a few things and then we were off to the desert for a little down time before we head the rest of the way into Dogpound South. As I said this is maybe our favourite spot to decompress and get away from the rat race. Our solar panels keep us in power and we have a new WeBoost system for our cell phones so we might even have decent internet, although the country around here is pretty nice and we don't have much time for the internet anyway. Today we took a couple of runs on the Can-Am and saw some of the country, even passed through this high security gate with a keypad to open and shut it.

That was on our trip to the dump to get rid of our garbage, and then we headed around the mountain for a short ride. The desert is a beautiful spot and we enjoy seeing it in all its wonder.

Had a little excitement back at Dogpound North today, I won't bore you with the snow pictures but my Thermostat sent me an email about 4:30AM this morning to tell me we had a low temp situation going on back there, so I had a peak at the camera in the Furnace Room as sure as shooting the pilot light had gone out. I waited a while and then caught Matt on his way to work and he ran in and relite it for me so we have heat on the Northern Ranges as of this writing, but our furnace guy is headed there in the morning to give it the once over anyway, and probably replace the thermocouple as a little preventative maintenance.

It is a beautiful night in the desert tonight and thanks to WeBoost we are able to write this blog as Live Writer doesn't work so well in the Mac Ecosystem and it has to be done online.

One last shot of the moon tonight off our dining deck.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I said yesterday Brenda had a mission in Vegas, we headed in today, got set up in the Las Vegas RV Resort and then headed off to complete that mission. A few weeks ago she watched a news story about the massacre on October 1. She saw some fellow had made memorial crosses for all 58 victims of this modern day massacre and each one had an American flag on it. Four of the folks shot down that night were Canadians so she wanted to make sure that was recognized. Today we visited the site and she put Canadian Flags on those four folks crosses. Jordan McIldoon, Jessica Klymchuk, Calla Medig, and Tara Roe Rest in Peace and know that those of us north of Medicine Line are remembering you.

Monday, October 30, 2017

On the Road

We spent Thursday and part of Friday hauling stuff out to the rig and packing it away, loading things for our southern migration. About noon we figured we had enough stuff to keep us from blowing away in the wind so we fired up the truck and headed out. The plan is to do something we haven't ever tried before and just wander our way south, taking it easy. Our first stop was going to be somewhere around the border, Milk River or Shelby, but we didn't actually find a decent spot to pull off until pretty Dutton, Mt. There is a good little Rest Area just north of there that is quite a way off the road and makes a good place for a "rest". And a great spot for the dogs to get out and do a little exploring.

We got a good nights sleep and Saturday morning around 9 we got on the road, I told you it was going to be different, in the past we would have already been 4 or 5 hours down the road by that time. Just a while down the road we pulled into Great Falls and filled the Ford, and then headed into Denny's to fill our own tanks. Brenda had her favourite Chicken Fried Steak with white gravy and I tried something new called Sticky Bun Pancakes. They were Pecan Pancakes dressed with some sauce off of Sticky Buns and holy smokes they were good, fattening, and not healthy, but oh so good. After a leisurely breakfast we headed back out onto the highway. Our plan was to head for southern Montana and called it a day south of Dillon, at the Clark Canyon Reservoir. There are a few spots to camp there, we chose Horse Prairie and it was sure a hidden gem. Rumour has it that it can be windy in that valley but it was dead calm the whole time we were there.

A pano the lake from our spot, probably 6 or 8 images stitched together
Sticking with our theme of taking it easy we hooked up about 9 and got on the road soon after. Today we had a big day planned, about 5 1/2 hours on the road, Seems strange wandering along, hooking up in the daylight and setting up in the same, not my usual way of heading south, but usually I am racing to get to DPS to meet Brenda coming on the airplane, but this time she is traveling with me and long days and her CRPS don't fit well together. We stopped for the night at Cabela's in Lehi. We have pulled in here before both with and without the horses, they had corrals here for them but those have been removed so it is not a horse stopping spot anymore. We did slip into the store and pay the rent though with a few purchases.

This morning we got on the road about 9ish and headed south again, it was a nice driving day and we slipped down the Virgin River Gorge and pulled into our regular stopping place at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Logandale, Nevada. This is a great spot for those hauling horses, nice pens, some covered stalls and even an internet connection that works pretty well. We always throw some money in the honour box as even though we don't haul horses anymore we do use the internet and the power that is available. This a well kept place and I was a little disappointed to see that some folks don't appreciate it, looked like at least two trailers had been here recently and cleaned themselves out in the parking lot. There are great spots here for doing just that but these goofs just pushed it out the back onto the parking lot. I worked off my dinner shovelling a couple of idiots manure and shavings and piling it in the proper place if we don't look after these places they will not welcome transient horse folk anymore. And you just know that people that do that probably didn't put anything in the box either.

Logandale Sunset

Tomorrow we are heading for Vegas, Brenda has a mission in mind so we will have a short, 60 minute, drive day and get that job done.

Hey look at that two entries, one month.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Getting Ready

Well despite my good intentions here it is almost 2 and 1/2 months since my last journal entry. When last I wrote we were heading to Vancouver Island to visit our good friends John and Gina, and planning on visiting with Renè and Jeanette along the way. All that went according to Hoyle and we had a great visit with them all. We went to dinner at Fort Langley with Renè and Jeanette and then once we were back at their place we headed over towards the ferry terminal. We originally planned to just roll up to the locked gates and spend the night right there, but along the way we came across a Bass Pro Shop in Twassen and decided that looked like a better spot to hole up for the night. We were on the early ferry the

She fits and didn't actually take up the whole ferry

next morning so were pulling into John & Gina place around 9ish. Our rig was a tight fit, but with some help from our new neighbours, and rolling across their lawns we made it into our spot at the Resort on the Lake near Westwood Lake. It is a nice place with friendly folks and some great walking trails that Maya and Max just loved down by the lake.

We spent a great ten days hanging out here, picked a few berries, told a few stories, shared some laughs and met Brenda's long time online friend Angela and her husband Don, RV'ers who spend their summers on the Island and their winters in Arizona.

Then it was back to Dogpound North, but first we had to navigate the forest fires that BC has had going on all summer.

Fires along the Trans-Canada Highway just east of the Rogers Pass
I snuck out one day to see our nephew riding a bull up at Sundre. It was a learning experience for Justin as just after this shot the bull won the battle and drug him around the arena a bit before he got loose.

Early September is birthday time for the Tomasir kids so we headed in to spend a little time with Kash and Everly at their birthday bash. A good time was had by all and Grandma got some snuggles in, tell the truth so did I but there were no camera's spying on me.

Kash and Grandma

Everly and Grandma
 The rest of September was taken up just fiddling around here at Dogpound North, got a little road work done, fill in some sunken spots around our fire pit and closed up the big burning pit we used to get rid of our old barn. Then it was time to take our rig up to Allandale to get a few warranty things looked after. One of our solar panels must have taken a direct hit from a meteorite or something as it was shattered, so that was replaced under warranty as well. Allandale did a pretty good job, but Heartland the manufacturer of our Road Warrior is pretty slow getting parts out to their dealers so it was there a lot longer than was the plan.

Dry Island Provincial Park along the Red Deer River

Last weekend Lacey and Clayton brought the girls down to have one last visit with us before we head south for the winter so it was great to see them one last time as well.


Ella and Alle monkeying around

We got the rig back today and other than the 50 mph winds that blew me home from Red Deer that went well. Tomorrow we start loading it for our southern migration, so we are hoping to be south of the Medicine Line and looking for warmer climes pretty soon.

Sunset over Dogpound North last night

Friday, August 18, 2017

Where the Heck Did They Go?

April 25th, an auspicious day, our daughter Lacey and her Alle both call that their birthday and it is also the day I last posted a blog. I am reluctant to spend a lot of time on the mundane goings-on in our lives, let it suffice to say that we have been to dentists, doctors and shopping a bunch of times over the last 4 months. Didn't drink coffee on any mornings and very rarely read the newspaper, but we have kept up on everyone's goings on with the internet. We have been out camping a few times, once with Lacey et al and then by ourselves, both times to the Bighorn Dam where I can run around with side by side and the living is easy.

Abraham Lake on the North Saskatchewan River

Abraham Lake

Company comes to Brenda's Morning Tea Fire.
I did get an opportunity to run in and see Annika, our granddaughter at her Spring Concert, she attends the school her Dad started teaching at 21 years ago, and the Director of her Band was a student of her fathers I think. Time sure flys by.
Annika's Spring Concert

 Then in June there was a gathering at Dogpound North for my birthday, a complete surprise for me but these beauties spent the night, all worn out from the partying.
Sleeping beauties at Grandpa's Birthday Bash
 July in Calgary is Stampede time and if there is a cowboy on the planet who wouldn't like to ride at the ride Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth I haven't met or even heard of him/her but this one is special one this is Justin James, the son of Derek who gave Brenda away at our wedding.

Justin James Calgary Stampede debut
 And Stampede is Band Time also, here is my grandson, Lucas, playing at McMahon Stadium.

Lucas at McMahon Stadium with the Calgary Stetsons Show Band
 And just to keep things hopping July is also haying time in our country, it was good to see it all put up and covered with tarps with nary a rain drop on it, and I just heard today that it is all sold.
Dogpound North's haying is done, all sold too, I heard today.
 We have a couple of hummingbird feeders here at DPN, but this guy likes his organic grub. These little guys keep me entertained most evening watching the aerial dogfighting going on. I have taken hundreds of pictures but they have so far avoided me capturing any mid-air collisions.
Mid-Air Refueling
Now we are getting up to today, this was a log marshalling yard just upstream from Revelstoke. We found a great spot to boondock there as we meander our way towards the coast. Tonight we are in Merritt, BC, and tomorrow we plan on stopping on at Renè and Jeanette's before camping out at the Twassan Ferry Terminal so that we can catch the early Sunday morning ferry to the Island. I expect with a total length on our rig of right around 63' we will almost single-handedly put BC Ferries in the black this quarter.
Loading Log Trucks at Revelstoke Dam

Good morning view from our Boondocking site at the Dam Site
Well I won't make any promises but maybe, just maybe I will get another one of these journal entries done before Christmas time. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Time Fly's By

Last time I wrote we  had just returned from a trip to the desert with our new rig. It worked fine but the lack of solar capabilities meant we ran our generator much more than we liked. We'll work on that.

I spent a lot of March working around the yard at DPS, getting the irrigation system set up for the summer and hauling granite to fill holes and patch up the tree wells. That and spraying the weeds. The weather has been pretty hot so I like to get all that done early in the morning and then head off to the pool for my swim. I have been making it over there 5, sometimes 6 days a week. That takes me through to lunch and then I pretty much just hang out in the shade for the afternoon.

A few days I have taken Blue II for some spins in the desert, trying to connect a few trails I have seen out there and do a little photography along the way.

Always like the desert wildflowers

And some Arizona Wildies

Brenda and her CRPS don't get along very well in the heat so she has been pretty much housebound for the last while and then March 16th she headed back to Canada. She needed to get some dental work done and if you are going to be forced to stay in the house you might as well sit by a furnace as an air conditioner.

Once she had headed home I started slowly putting things away, clearing the deck off and storing all the outside stuff inside for the summer. There was no rush but I figured I would work my way north in time to be home for our daughter Rebecca's birthday with a stop for a day or two out on Yellow Bird Drive.

 Max, Maya, and I got loaded up and after one last swim we left DPS for Bouse on the 23rd. We spent two nights there enjoying the warm night temps and the peace and quiet before heading out early Saturday morning for the road north.

One last desert campfire and star shot before heading North

The first night we stopped at the Cabella's just south of Salt Lake City, in Lehi, Utah. A little bird on Facebook told me that my Sister-in-Law, Tricia, and her kids Chris and Remi were heading south so after a little negotiating we planned a breakfast meeting in Pocatello, Idaho. Always great to see those folks and especially in a different place. After a quick breakfast we both got back on the road, me for Canada, then for points south. I stopped at Costco in Helena to pick up some butter and then made a run for the Medicine Line. That night I stayed at a rest area between Lethbridge and Milk River, as I had a plan to have breakfast with an old friend the next morning in Nanton.

For a travel day, I slept in as I couldn't get Van out for breakfast much before 7AM and I was only an hour and a half away. We had a great visit, solved most of the worlds issues, reviewed all the problems that had surfaced in the energy business since we both retired and then it was back on the road for me. A couple of hours later I was back at Dogpound North.

It took a day or so to get the rig unpacked and everything hauled into the house, and then another couple of days for Brenda to put it all away.

But before that was all done we headed into the city to meet Bec, Ved, and the kids for lunch at our favourite Chinese spot. Great food and even better company.

For the last couple of years I have been bugged by a leg problem that I thought might be sciatica so I have tried exercises, chiropractors, and my own family doc with no relief. I had an appointment with a Neurologist set up so I went in and he poked prodded, electrified me and decided that it might not be sciatica but he didn't know what it might be. He told me take a little magnesium and hopefully that would resolve the issue. Who knows worth a try.

With the rig parked for spring, my doctors appointment behind me, it was time to tackle a couple of clean-up jobs that had been waiting awhile. First I need to muck out the barn and haul a bunch of junk to the garbage. Then the big job, the Quonset hut. It had been collecting stuff for ten or twelve years and I decided if I was the only one who had any idea what something was or where it came from if I didn't want it, it was gone. That made for three dumpsters full of stuff, and a full truck full of metal junk to the dump. And a lot of reorganising to boot.

Those jobs took the best part of a week, but luckily the week was pretty nice weather so it was an OK job.

I had a chance to run in to the University and see my grandson Lucas's team compete in the Western Regional Finals for Robotics. Kind of a cool sport/tech game where the teams build robots and have to complete pretty difficult tasks while competing against another team whose robots need to do the same thing and are at the same time trying to mess up your plan.

Luc's team on the far side almost out of site.

Remember back at the beginning of this journal entry I said we needed some solar capability, well, it was time and I took the rig to Red Deer and dropped it off to get that installed. I won't bore you with all the issues that started but we ended up with 464AH of Battery capacity,  and 400 Watts of Solar capacity on the roof all supplying power to a 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter. That hopefully will allow us to do what we want to do without using the generator to much.

While the rig was getting it's solar equipment installed I took my F450 to the shop to get a manifold bolt replaced, all under warranty, and they even supplied me with a brand spanking new pickup to drive while it was in there. So I did a bunch of driving and took a bunch of photos while I was wearing out someone else's wheels.

Oil Train heading through Cochrane

A train full of oil heading to the West Coast

And yet another oil train heading out of Central Alberta likely for the West Coast

Oh, we do export some things other than oil, although the train was mostly oil tankers there were a few grain cars in the middle.

That meant a trip out to Morants Curve to catch an oil train or two heading for BC, a visit with Kim Johnson in Canmore, and then a trip out through the old Burnt Timber field and a drive up the Foresty Trunk Road to check on the wild horses.


Wildie Foal

Mom and Babe

The last week has been a little snowy and cool but there have been some great opportunities for catching some northern lights action. Here are a couple of images and a video from two different nights of chasing the Aurora.

Night #1 at Twisty Slough

Night #2 at Dogpound North

I am not sure this video will work but here's hoping. Make sure you hit the box in the right bottom corner and make it full screen.

Today is also a big day, both Alle and her mother Lacey share today as their birthday. Alle had a birthday party over the weekend at a local swimming pool so I ran up to Rocky for that event.

Two little girls mother and daughter, same birthday.

Spring is over here and I must have slept through summer cause it appears we have headed right back into winter with no warning.

A little snow this morning.