Friday, September 1, 2017

July/August Hiking Goals

I skipped the July update of our hiking goals for the year. We didn't actually go hiking at all in July. I know. Pretty bad, considering we have so few dry months here.

My favorite SUP selfie so far this summer

In July, I did make it out on the paddleboard and kayak a few times. I went to a small, local lake with my mom a few times.

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Playing with the GoPro at the local lake

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"Docking" the SUP and going for the dismount

I also went camping at the coast for a few days with a friend and her family. We took out the paddleboard and some kayaks to Beaver Creek on the coast. I mostly stuck to the SUP, but did take a spin in the kayak. We camped at South Beach State Park, which was a lot of fun, but I didn't get a single photo of our campsite (we were in yurts) or of the beach. Or of the beach at Pacific City when we went there at the end of the week.

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Kayaking a little at Beaver Creek

The first week of August, I slammed my week full of water trips. I started with a trip to Olalla lake with a friend who has never kayaked. I helped her put a big, super fun check mark on her bucket list, and had the opportunity myself to get out and have a great time.

The next day, I headed down to a reservoir near Eugene with a friend, where we spent a very smokey day out on the water. The Willamette Valley has been in smoke almost all summer, it feels like, from wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and even some smoke coming all the way from the big BC wildfires.

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In a reservoir near Eugene- it wasn't overcast at all, that haze is all smoke

Then, I headed to the Silverton lake the next day to meet up with another friend and enjoy yet another day on the water. I was exhausted, but it was an amazingly fun week. It wasn't quite planned to be like that, rather, I made plans with three people and kept forgetting that I had plans. But somehow it all worked out, and I had an awesome week.

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Still a smoky day, but much clearer in Silverton than in Eugene the day before

I went whitewater rafting with our flyball team boxloader and his friends/family, which was pretty awesome. I got exactly zero photos, and didn't have a dog with me, and didn't know anyone except the one person, but it was an absolute blast. So much fun.

I also had a chance to hit the beach once in August, even though I rarely do the beach in Oregon in the summer.

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Posing on the beach

And went back to an old favorite hike, Drift Creek Falls. There was actually a tree down across the road and a few people had parked and hiked in the last mile to the trailhead. But, with teamwork between three carloads of people, we managed to move the tree out of the road with zero tools. That kind of eclipsed the hike, to be honest. It felt awesome to come together with a team of strangers and get something done that would have been impossible alone.

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Classic sign photo

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Having a tiny dog willing to balance on things is pretty fun sometimes

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Trailhead mileage sign

I just love the suspension bridge at Drift Creek Falls. It scares me, but I have been slowly tackling my fear of heights (remember that I went ziplining in the Redwoods in California?). This is a solid bridge in good condition, but narrow enough with open looking sides to be scary, but with chainlink and solid boards, so you can use it to conquer fears.

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Drift Creek suspension bridge

What have you been doing in the great outdoors this summer? Any fun plans before summer ends? I'm hoping to get some more hiking in this month, and at least a few more SUP trips as well.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Chewy Review: Nutro Wild Frontier #chewyinfluencer

A while back, we did a full review of Nutro Wild Frontier in a venison flavor (officially called Woodland and Trail recipe). This month, we had the chance to review a different formula, and chose the Cold Water recipe, which is a fish and chicken food. We were given this food in exchange for our honest review.

Chewy August-0264
Waiting for foodstuffs is so hard

My absolute first reaction to this food was being thrilled at the size of the kibble. The kibbles are a really nice, small size, and rounded in shape. I might be a little obsessed with kibble size and shape right now, because we've been doing training with meals. Smaller kibbles mean more treat opportunities before we run out of meals. And the rounded shape is easier to handle than kibbles that are triangular or square.

Chewy August-0269
Tiny little kibbles

A 4 lb bag of this food, which is what we were sent, has lasted Ptera about two weeks at one cup per day. On right now, this bag costs just over $17, which makes a reasonable monthly cost for food. The 24 lb bag would actually last long enough for us that I won't buy a bag that big if only Ptera is eating it (Koira is eating mostly raw food, rather than kibble). We actually had to throw out about eight pounds of kibble this month because it had gone rancid (which is nasty, and you really don't want to have happen). That is actually why Ptera started eating the Nutro full time.

We have been training with meals roughly half of the time, sometimes both meals in a day will be training meals, sometimes a few days in a row all meals will be in a bowl, etc, depending on how much free time and motivation I have to get some good training in. Even eating this as her main food, Ptera is happy to work for it, and is thrilled to start training times. When I fill her bowl, she actually runs over to our training area immediately and I have to call her back to her rug if she is eating out of the bowl for that meal. Of course, I still measure out the correct amount of food for each meal, whether we train with it or feed it out of a bowl. Ptera actually has gained a little weight this month, so I am scooping "light" half cups of food for meals instead of full or rounded cups.

Chewy August-0268
Om nom nom

My final impressions of Nutro Wild Frontier are that we like it, regardless of which formula we are using. Ptera is a fan of it, the ingredients are decent quality, and I don't have to feed a metric ton of it to keep weight on her.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WW: Drift Creek Falls

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Hiking down to the falls

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Good dogs

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Ptera spotted a squirrel

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Koira isn't a fan of heights, but posed on the suspension bridge for a photo with the falls

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The dogs with Drift Creek Falls

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Drift Creek Falls, with the suspension bridge on the right

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The falls from above

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Ptera's view from the bridge.