I’ve had the chance to explore a lot of cool places in my life and many of these adventures have been written about in my blog posts of the past nine years. This year alone, despite the pandemic that’s kept us closer to home, we’ve been to Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains, to the David Thompson region of central-west Alberta, to the north near the boundary with British Columbia, and to the far southwest of the province along the Cowboy Trail. It’s been quite a year.
But, the reality is, for every day we were away on an excursion somewhere, we spent at least ten here at home on the prairie. Since our step-out-the-door-and-pick-a-direction adventures often don’t make my blog posts, I’ve picked some photos from the summer and fall to show you where I trek on the days we don’t get in the car or truck and go somewhere.
With winter on our doorstep, a closed border to our winter camping grounds in the southwest deserts, and a pandemic discouraging visiting and travel, there’ll be a lot more roaming the home range in the coming months. Stay tuned!
I realize it’s Saturday, not Fur-iday, and that I missed last Fur-iday altogether. I have no explanation beyond summer brain. You’ve heard of it, right? When the weather is warm, the evenings are long, and the mind just keeps sliding into vacation mode? All a guy wants to do is lie somewhere in a nice, shady spot with green leaves rustling overhead. Aaaahhhh….summer.
And the joy of summer and shady places has got me thinking
about Logan, who had such a good final summer here on the farm, in his new yard
that we dubbed Logie-land.
To be honest, I thought the old guy had a slipped cog or two with his obsession for hiding in bushes and sleeping under trailers, some sort of canine paranoia that made him hide. “Why not just lie out in the open where someone might come by and pet you or drop food?” was always my question. Logan’s answer was …
For some of you sun lovers, that (30 degrees Celsius) may not sound terribly hot, but try wearing a black fur coat complete with leggings instead of shorts and flip flops. I guarantee you’ll have a different hot weather threshold.
When the fence around the yard got built last spring, Logan was pretty disappointed that none of the trailers had been fenced in, so whenever he was outside the fenced area, he was under one. At least T always knew where to find him.
Inside the fence, he created a network of trails under the
shrubs and through the tall grass, with little hidden, green nests all along
I’m working on my twentieth (or is it twenty-first?) den, I have the full spectrum of sunny versus shady places to nap, there’s a resident prairie dog to keep in check, and so much to observe in my half-acre paradise.
It was simple, he needed a den near each of the places his people hung out.
I turned ten in January and one of things I’m noticing is
that I just don’t have much tolerance for heat. I used to love lying out in the
sun. Still do on a cool day but, even then, it’s not long before I’m panting up
a storm and seeking shade.
On our latest trip to BC it was pretty warm about half the days and I finally figured out that my old friend was onto something—namely shade and undisturbed rest. Here’s a tip for you youngsters out there—whether dog or human—listen to the old guys and gals, they may seem a little crazy or obsessive but they probably know something you don’t.
From Logan I learned that under the trailer is the coolest
place in a campsite—cool earth, shade at all times of day, and open to all
sides so any breeze blows right through.
But, if you’re more inclined to filtered sun and some
privacy, well, camping out in a shrub is pretty darn close to heaven.
Logan was a master at finding the shady, shrubby, resting places everywhere he went, even in places where shrubs are hard to come by.
Since I’m never sure how long we’re going to stay in any one location (and neither are my people) I got to work right away underneath the trailer of the Wolverine. It was shady and a good vantage point for keeping an eye on things. Unfortunately, it lacked the brushy cover that I prefer.
You won’t find Logan in any of the many shady spots in Logie-land this summer, but you can do what I plan to do … lie under a shrub or a tree listening to the sound of the breeze rustling through the green leaves and remember a very clever black and white dog who liked nothing better than a shady, secret place to nap.
We’ve crossed paths with a lot of great peeps in our
travels, and our California friend Leon is right up there at the top of the
list. Partly because he brought Sue and her endless supply of treats, but also
because he was just one of those kind and gentle human beings that we dogs are
We first met Leon back in 2012 on our first big RV adventure in the desert. We were boondocking at a little lake called Fortuna Pond near Yuma, Arizona. “The Pond” is a popular spot for snowbirds because you can park right beside the water … and it’s free!
Fortuna was pretty crowded when we arrived but, after consulting a Washington couple on how comfortable they were with us parked off the nose of their rig, we pulled in close to them, leaving enough room for maybe one small trailer between us and the next camp.
A couple of days later, we were off exploring the area and, when we returned, there was not one, but two good-sized motorhomes squeezed into the space we thought barely big enough for one. As it turned out, it was lucky for us these particular Californians were handy at fitting into small spaces because one of those motorhomes belonged to Sue & Leon and the other to their friend Rick.
That week at Fortuna was filled with many games of ladder ball, a few alcoholic beverages (the peeps not us), and many a campfire tale with our new friends (along with a few unsanctioned visits to Sue’s place for snacks). It was tough to say goodbye when it came time for the next leg of our journey, but we drove off confident we’d see our friends again.
You may be wondering about the title of this blog, WWLD. You see, Leon was like an RV sage, all knowing, ever wise. He’d been RVing for years, had spent a lot of time off the grid, and there wasn’t a trick he hadn’t picked up, a shortcut he didn’t know about. So, when T and Nollind are stuck, they always ask, “What would Leon do?” At Ogilby, my peeps were ready to start adding to the propane tank system on Sid until Leon wandered over to have a look and ask a few important questions. Turned out the system already had the thing they were going to install!
From my perspective, the answer to WWLD is put a beer in your hand, a smile on your face, and wander from camp to camp getting to know the neighbours. Leon would know a little about everybody within an easy sauntering radius, always having time to listen to a story or tell one. He loved campfire time like no one I’ve ever met, and even built a cozy surround for the sometimes windy desert evenings.
We saw Leon the winter before last when we joined their camp at Scaddan Wash in early February. He seemed to be slowing down a little but still had that same sparkle in his eye, that same love of a good story.
Leon lost his battle with cancer a week ago and the
celebration of his life is tomorrow. If Sacramento weren’t so far away, we’d be
there to tell our Leon stories. I have no idea how his friends and family will
possibly fit all those tall tales into one short afternoon.
As for us, I’m pretty sure the next time we travel south the desert will feel a little emptier. But, we’ll enjoy a campfire, take a walk, get to know a neighbour … because that’s what Leon would do.