I just went on my first river trip. My first camping trip. My first road trip. I’m only nine months old so there are a lot of “firsts” happening.
I had no idea where we were going. All I knew was that the bags were packed, the truck bed was so full you couldn’t see out the back window and Lisa kept looking at the giant book of maps telling Brett where to turn. I could only assume they’d never been where we were going either.
The road trip was uneventful. Lots of sleeping, listening to podcast. Our longest stop was in Salmon, Idaho at the bakery. If you haven’t been to Odd Fellows Bakery you need to make that a destination. Located in an historic building; just park your car and follow your nose. That’s what I did; but then they wouldn’t take me in, tied me up to the bench outside while they enjoyed croissants, ordered sandwiches, coffees, teas and loafs of bread for the five days of camping. I kept busy meeting people on the street as they passed by. Not too many people can resist stopping to pet a friendly, energetic, yellow lab tied up outside of a bakery.
It took all day but we finally arrived at the boat ramp in Rome, Oregon on the Owyhee River. I didn’t know it until I got out of the truck, but Brett and Lisa had just delivered me to the best place on earth (that I’ve experienced in nine months anyway). There was a wide, slow moving river for swimming, people to greet and other dogs with whom to play. I never got tied up; free to roam and swim and run. And then, to top it all off, Lisa and Brett slept on the ground with me. I was so excited at the end of the night that I went for a quick swim. I was soaking wet for the tent so Brett took me for a walk under the stars before bed. We came back towards the tent and I went for another swim. Then Brett seemed mad and we went for another walk. Dog heaven. I didn’t sleep all night. I sat up and watched. There was so much to watch. Sometimes I’d have to bark, unsure of what was moving in the darkness.
The next morning was warm and sunny. I spent the whole morning chasing other dogs and swimming. But this time I got to try out my new personal floatation device, all the other dogs were wearing theirs too. There were people all over the boat ramp putting their boats together, blowing up their rafts, loading coolers, dry boxes, fire pans, groovers and dry bags. By the time we were ready to go all of the other dogs and most of the people had already left. I had dug a hole in the dirt and laid down in the cool earth for a much needed nap. Brett finally called me to load up. What!? Do you mean get on that boat? No. I’m not too sure about that. Using the handle on the back of my life jacket he lifted me onto the boat, shoved us off while jumping in too. Yeah. This was a bit too unstable for me. I jumped out. Once again Brett hauled me back into the boat. I paced back and forth as much as one can on a 6 1/2 foot wide raft. Then I saw the birds. So many birds. Geese, ducks, hawks, sparrows; constant movement. And the smells, my nose never stopped twitching taking in all the smells. It was sensory overload. I finally had to lay down and take another nap. I was exhausted.
We floated and camped for five days. Sleeping under the blanket of stars, eating by the fire. The camps were full of fun things to do. I chased butterflies, chewed on great sticks, napped. The first night out the wind blew and blew pushing our tent to a constant unnatural angle while whipping it loudly about. That was my second night in a tent in which I didn’t sleep. The wind brought in a cold front leaving a chill in the air for the rest of the trip. Luckily we had sun every day and I have a thick coat of hair. Lisa wore all of her clothes on the boat unable to stay dry as we paddled through the white water. The four people in our group huddled around the fire every morning and evening. After those first two nights I was able to sleep soundly in the tent and by the last day I was so comfortable on the raft that I climbed onto it and napped on Lisa’s river princess seat as Brett loaded the boat with all of our stuff.
As usual, Lisa read a lot. She read in the morning after getting the fire and hot water going while everyone else slept, she read before going to sleep, even though her bare hands were freezing and when there was calm water she read on the raft while we floated down the river. She was reading a suspense novel on the trip. I’d never seen her read a suspense novel, full of blood and gory details. “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Book Store” by Matthew Sullivan. Not her kind of book, why was she reading it? Turns out she is reading the Chapter One Book Club book in which the book club will Skype the author on Saturday May 25 at 11:00 in Hamilton. Lisa likes hearing authors talk about their work and how they got there, so….she’s reading a suspense novel. I probably won’t be able to go. She’s having to rush through it since it’s a 14 day loaner from the Darby Community Library, her favorite library.
Lisa’s book recommendation is not the suspense novel. She’s recommending “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” I don’t know what it’s about but she sure seemed to enjoy it. And it came recommended by her daughter Hannah and her reading soul sister Carol.
More great book recommendations and outdoor adventures can be found at Wild About Books.