The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alpine LA

Mirk not in Steamboat
 I'm in Steamboat Springs for the weekend at Marianne Sasak's dog trial on the Stanko Ranch for the first time evah. This setting rivals the Wooler Estate in England for grandiose beauty, and is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been for a dog trial. I am camped in a hay meadow next to world class trout fishing on the Yampa River, but my view of the mountains is what takes my breath away.

The accompanying photo was not taken in Steamboat, and there are none as yet, because my camera, (such as it is,) has died. It's OK...there's a WalMart in Steamboat, and that's the only bad news I have to report. The striking photo above was snapped of my Mirk by none other than a Nat'l Geographic published photographic talent, and my friend, Maureen Robinson. It's a stunner, isn't it? I can only hope that Mirk is half as good this weekend as Maureen makes him look in this photo.

The trip over was blissfully short. I made it in about 3 hours, even though the first part was a little dicey. The engineer for Hwy. 131 along the Colorado River North of I-70 apparently doesn't go in for guard rails. You can easily break an axle in the bar ditches around here, but the sheer cliffs encountered at the beginning of my trip North would put an end to any mechanical worries forever. I drove slowly.

The big ranches, and big, fancy homes began popping up just South of town, and they are everything and more than you read about in those glossy ranch real estate mags. You know, the ones that make you daydream about marrying for money. Vast enclaves overlooking the river with hay meadows, massive wrought-iron gates, and views. But there were too many of them, and they began to give way to condos...then more condos, then the ski hill, overbuilt commercialism, and whatever happened to downtown? There's a WalMart here and "Los Angeles" popped into my head. What must this place have been like 30 years ago?

A left turn near the industrial area on the North end of town brought me to a hay meadow on the Stanko Ranch, and site of the dog trial. They just finished haying this field, and a guy on a tractor was picking up the last of the round bales as I arrived. It's like camping, and competing in a park...with a world class view of 10,000 Mt. Werner, the ski hill and bits and pieces of town. Now I understand why this trial has so many fans. It's a fairyland from my vantage point.

I'm not at Soldier Hollow this Labor Day, because they invited me with only one dog. Who to run? Well, why not all 3... at Steamboat? I wish Mark and company another trumpeting success. They've always been my staunchest supporters, they work hard, and deserve all the success they can have. Here I have the luxury of running all 3 dogs, Mirk in both opens, Star and Buff in one each. There was a wait list and I was on it for a time, so I couldn't have run all 3 dogs in both opens, but this is the next best thing with sanctioning. I had one last practice this morning before leaving home Strang Ranch, and all the dogs worked well.

Price and I took in the trial field this evening after an unfortunate encounter with a common bully kick-turd neighboring camper. His girlfriend is such a lucky girl.  I could never do justice to the beauty of this place. A low-lying hay meadow, it backs up to the river with a view from the top that could stop a clock, and wreak havoc with small time pieces. Had a glimpse of the sheep this evening as they moved across the higway. More on them later with pics. Alpine LA has a Walmart afterall.

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