Monday, January 25, 2016

Oh, What a Fall There Was . . . .Stayin' Alive

Next time you fall down and can't get up, make sure you're armed with an important essential to make it all worth it. 

Bring along your camera, or maybe a couple of cameras, cuz you might get some good pictures.  

That was precisely my answer to taking tumble after my snowshoes sank deep into the snow alongside Grouse Creek yesterday afternoon. 

We were at the point where, about a month or so ago, heavy rains and melting snow caused the creek to rise and overflow its banks, in turn, causing a road washout and adding a new tributary to the main creek.

Bill had been explaining about the washout when I handed Liam's dog leash and tromped over closer to the shoreline for photos.  I snapped a few and then went down. 

With one snowshoe caught at a weird angle underneath the snow, I knew that getting up was gonna be a challenge as it has always been throughout my life when collapsing into deep snow.  

Hate to admit it, but a low sense of gravity might contribute to the difficulty. 

Having been in similar positions many times before, I decided this time to take advantage of the situation, especially because my camera was in my hand when I went down.  

Photographers learn early on that saving the camera takes priority over worrying about the body.  So, it was spared of getting covered with too much snow.

What an angle for taking doggie pictures, I thought.  Generally, when taking low-level photos,  I think about how far down I can maintain my body while stooping down on my arthritic knees for a photo, or do I really want to get my pants wet for this photo?

Well, yesterday no thought process was needed.  I was already down and likely to be there for a while before figuring out how to get up.  So, why not take advantage of the situation. 

It was nice forgetting for a moment the challenge that lay ahead and just lying there concentrating on Bill and the dogs. 

So, yes, the pictures turned out nice.  Next came the task of pulling myself back to an upright stance.  

Bill wondered if he should come over and give me a hand.  Well, Bill had two dogs in hand, along with a walking stick and a very concerned Kiwi at his side.  

I could see the potential of a three-pronged attack of serious face licking along with the very distinct possibility that all those leashes with those 14 legs could potentially end up in a mass on top of me.  

Then, we'd have a real problem, especially with no cell phone reception to call 911 to come and rescue five tangled up bodies in a snowbank at the Grouse Creek washout.  

"No, if you come over here, so will all the dogs," I said to Bill, while stuffing my camera back into the fanny pack. 

I tried pulling myself up with the walking pole I'd brought along.  

"Don't do that," Bill said, "you'll break the pole." 

I pretty much agreed and flung the pole over his way. 

"I can give you a hand," Bill said again, coming my way with three very concerned dogs. 

All that humanity and caninity in one spot wasn't gonna be productive, I thought, again refusing his offer.

"I'll roll out of here," I said, "once I get this one snowshoe unstuck."  The snowshoe did not want to cooperate until I cussed at it.  Then, if finally came loose from the snow.  

I crawled through the snow a couple of feet toward Bill, and then tried, in vain, to get up. Finally, I relented to having the outstretched hand from my husband's body, attached to two dogs and a walking pole, come closer.

Happily, the dogs stayed out of the way, and he was able to pull me up. 

Our trip down the unplowed road north of the North Fork turn-off had already been stressful.  

One needs to plan better when thinking about snow shoeing while taking three dogs with a puppy on a leash and another, racing like the Energizer Bunny way, way ahead---where he could very likely meet head on with a moose---and refusing to respond to "Come, Foster . . . DAMMIT, come back, Foster."

Memories of Kea's demise within our woods from last fall still remain very raw, and the thought of anything bad happening to our dogs in any situation keeps me on edge. 

So, the trip in was a bit noisy until Bill finally hooked Foster up to a leash.  Later, I learned that Liam wasn't gonna go anywhere away from his pack, so I let him go off leash.  

Eventually, all worked out well as dogs stayed with us and we could actually enjoy our snow shoeing. 

Quite the Sunday afternoon adventure, but the road, with only snowmobile tracks, provided a nice outing for all of us, minus the mishaps. 

Plus, the creek, dotted with snow puffs on rocks and locks, was beautiful and rather majestic.

Now, let's talk about those moose that Foster could have encountered had we allowed him to be off leash for much longer.  We saw tracks crisscrossing the road all the way up and all the way back. 

Fortunately, we saw no moose while snowshoeing, but on the way out, two big cows ran alongside of us through the bushes just off the road.  When brave dogs---Liam and Foster---barked at them through the window, they stood like statues staring at us. 

No time for photos during this brief stop, and that was not a big deal as I already had my moose photo for the day.  This one had positioned itself just south of the house during mid-morning.  Kiwi alerted us to its presence.  

Her barking did not scare it off, but it was a bit camera shy when I came out on the deck to take pictures.  The big cow eventually ran into the woods south of the house.  

We think it will hang around for a while because when we returned home from Grouse Creek and I went out to put the horses in the barn, they were riled up. 

Lefty kept a strong focus on the Meserve Preserve to the north.  Lefty also snorted and pranced around the barnyard, even remaining stirred up when I brought him inside. 

So, here at the Lovestead we'll be remain on a very vigilant moose watch, lest the dogs be outside when the big visitor returns. 

And, if you're wondering about the "Stayin' Alive" portion of my post title this morning, scroll down below the photos.  

Keith Lee Morris, whom I've spoken of several times in the past couple of months, scored a big breakthrough by writing a piece for The Daily Beast, which appeared Saturday.  

He provides a narrative about his youth in Sandpoint, blending it with recent adulthood challenge associated with his novel Travelers Rest. 

The piece is quite entertaining, providing some glimpses of nostalgia about Sandpoint kids in the '70s, namely Keith and his friends. I added a YouTube video for your viewing pleasure as an accessory to Keith's thoughts. 

Happy Monday.  

Link to Keith's story in The Daily Beast

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