Friday, October 4, 2013

A long trip away from home

Well September flew by very quickly thanks to a full calendar of travel . I believe I put about 5,000 miles on my trusty old van traveling about last month!

It all started with Birds in Art, my annual trip to Wausau WI for the flagship art exhibition put on my the Woodson Art Museum there, showcasing 100 of the best sculptors and flat artists in the world in their juried show. I was included again this year (my 18th in 20 years, I do believe) and an added incentive for attending was the induction of my dear friend Terry Miller as the 2013 Master Artist for Birds in Art. I got to hang the medal around his neck after making a 10 minute introduction to our fellow artists on Friday, Sept 6.

Well, it was SUPPOSED to start with Birds in Art. Due to an unfortunate development regarding Thumper, followed by a generous offer from a fan of his, it actually started with my driving down to Paris KY to leave Thumper for a couple of days of veterinary workup (for an issue not affecting his health specifically but needing workup). Won't say much more until all is said and done. So Paris, overnight, where I got to visit a son of his, 'Lock', and see my hosts' lovely horse operation in Bluegrass Country. 

They also breed Short horns
After that nice afternoon I headed on up to Wausau for the show.
tears flowed!

Hoping the fame can be shared.

Then BACK to Paris Saturday to get my dog, then on westward to the front range of the Rockies. On the way I stopped over at an artist friend's to se her and her marvelous Border collies.
Joni's 'Asher' with new BFF Thumper.
Then onward to Loveland CO to visit and stay with another friend.

 It started raining about the time I was arriving in Loveland and it kept it up until the rivers were overflowing, all week long. We wee fortunate; though we never got up to Rocky Mountain Natl Park, there was no house flooding where I stayed and only the inconvenience of a few road blockages. So many in the region fared far worse. We left Loveland for our planned trip up to Yellowstone and Teton as the rivers were really cresting and had quite the detour that day to get far enough south to find an eastward road that could take us out past the cresting sections of the South Platte river  so we could head north. That little detour added 3 hours to the 1 hour we'd normally need to get to Cheyenne, WY, from Loveland CO.

The South Platte River. 2 minutes after we crossed it, the bridge was closed.
 Once we were in WY and headed west on i-80, the highway overhead signs all read:  ALL ROADS TO COLORADO CLOSED.  I am guessing you don't see that very often outside of the occasional blizzard days.
Dreamer, Deja and Thumper after a little run before entering the park one day.

In WY the weather was fine, if a bit warm, and predictably the warmth made wildlife sightings scarce. the elk remained in the high country (except around Mammoth where they are permanent lawn ornaments), the moose remained hidden, and even bison were in smallish herds scattered about. We actually saw more wildlife outside the park....

Grizzly yearling between Dubois, WY, and the eastern park entrance

Very habituated raven

Female Harlequin Ducks

The Lewis River, heavenly

The Chief Joseph highway. On he way to Cody, and incredible scenery outside the park.

Bison near Tower

Female Harlequin ducks

National Forest road, perfect for an off-lead dog session

A favorite spot in Yellowstone, willow flats. 
Anyway it was a whirlwind trip through the greatest place in the National parks system, but got to show it to my sister and refresh my memory as to what I really want to go next visit. (Paint, and take more time, a week later in the season).  As luck would have it, there was snow in the park the day after we left, which no doubt brought more wildlife down from the high country. and 10 days later came the government shutdown, locking visitors out of the park altogether, *sigh*.

But we (or I and my dog) had a date with the ASCA Nationals specialty show in Greeley, so back to CO we came. Most washed-over roads were reopened but washed-OUT roads will be weeks and months to restoration. Fortunately my commute betweenLoveland and Greeley required no detours.

Quick shot of Invitational judges and ribbon


Premier under Jennifer Cannon

Zoe, a Thumper daughter.

The invitational
He garnered a Premier under judge Jennifer Cannon, but was not the other judges' type, apparently, though he showed beautifully with his BFF Maria. However in the top 30 Invitational Thumper was 3rd, a thrilling placement.

Getting their games on.
In the ring
So all in all a busy 4 weeks. We returned home via Kansas (another Border collie visit!) and  Ohio for overnights, and now will stay home for the foreseeable future whil I catch up on work and play with the dogs I'd left behind, none of which appear to harbor any ill will toward me for leaving them here in the east.