Monday, November 07, 2016
A Walk at the Seed Orchard
The belt-buckle mystery from a few years back came up yesterday afternoon. We were walking with our dogs at the Forest Service Seed Orchard just off Grouse Creek Road northeast of Sandpoint.
The belt-buckle mystery occurred one fall day about four-five years ago when I was riding Lily on the Cowboy Trail. Bill was walking along with us.
We had approached the trail by crossing Grouse Creek after leaving the pickup and trailer at a parking area.
At one point, we met and visited briefly with a couple of women who were out enjoying a mountain bike ride. We eventually left the trail and spent some time exploring the area around the little lake at the seed orchard.
Later, I happened to look down and discover that my belt buckle was missing. I had no idea when it had fallen off my belt but figured it could have happened on a water crossing where Lily was still learning to walk over the obstacle rather than launching off and jumping across.
That particular belt buckle meant a lot to me because my sister had given it to me after winning her second state championship for individual horse judging back in the 1970s.
So, later, Bill and I returned to the trail and methodically retraced virtually all of our steps from the earlier ride.
We also made signs with name and number and posted them along the creek crossing as well as another location near the seed orchard.
About a month later, I received a call from Chris Biers, a member of the Pend Oreille Pedalers who lived not far from where we had left the sign at the creek crossing.
Somehow, in one of his conversations, the subject of a "found belt buckle" had come up. Having seen the sign at Grouse Creek, Chris gave me a name and a telephone number.
That was when I learned that I had already lost the belt buckle before we met the women bikers.
They discovered it along the trail and picked it up but had no idea who to call until the conversation with Chris. To say I was relieved to have it back is an understatement.
Anyway, yesterday, as we walked, Bill would make occasional references to the belt-buckle day.
Our walk turned out to be a little more work than expected when I remembered on our drive to the orchard that I had forgotten to bring Liam's "Easy Walk" collar.
So, over the course of the next two hours, I do believe that Liam became much more aware of the "no pull" command and what it means when you're dragging your mom off to the side of the road and suddenly have to lose ground to refocas and make that big circle backward.
Regardless of his progress, I'll must say that a strong scent of some unknown animal up there along that hillside supersedes the need to follow instructions and the nuisance of having to make those refocas circles.
In spite of his training, Liam has very little regard for obedience when his high-octane nostrils suddenly alert him to an unknown critter in his midst.
Still, he made substantial progress on the leash, and it was a wonderful walk in a pretty area, still boasting the last of the tamarack gold (which was raining from the trees as we walked) and definitely igniting a memory or two from other visits.
Like Bill said, "Not too hot, not too cold, no rain and a nice walking surface."
An enjoyable afternoon, for sure.