Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sprung Broke (past tense)

Spring Break is coming to an end.  We had originally planned for a different vacation setting, but decided on a week long family camping/canoeing trip.  We started out at Martin Dies Jr State Park where we paddled the sloughs of Steinhagen Lake and the Neches River.  We paddled 7 miles in 2 days, and hiked at least that many.  While there, we visited Angelina National Forrest and took what was advertised as a 2-2/3 mile hike. What they failed to mention is that was the one way distance, not round trip.
On Tuesday we headed down to Village Creek State Park where we enjoyed canoeing the Village Creek Paddling Trail, and the white sand 'beaches'.  We took a short ~2 mi paddling trip to the swimming beach the first day there, followed by an 8.5 mile out and back on Wednesday.  By Thursday, our arms were spent so we headed south to Crystal Beach on the gulf coast near Galveston.  What we didn't know is we could've hauled the camper down and parked RIGHT ON THE BEACH for a night or two of free beach camping.
On Friday we went on a 5-6 mile trip that was our most challenging.  We headed out with the current and wind at our back.  The return trip had us exhausted.  And!  It was the only time we came close to tipping the canoe, if it had not been that I sacrificed my life to potential alligators to save the boys from flipping over.  Fortunately, it is still a little cool for alligator attacks, and the water was only waist deep.
The parks we visited advertised canoeing parks with alligators.  We didn't see any alligators, but on the last day there we did see what perhaps could've been alligator tracks (right where I sacrificed my life).
The boys paddled every day on our trip (I missed out on the ocean paddling - intentionally - it was a little cool for me).  Once we returned last night, Cloudy asked me several times if we could go hiking and canoeing in the morning.  I think he enjoyed the trip.

Turtle tracks vs alligator tracks (photos courtesy of google)

creek at ANF 

"bridge" at ANF trail 

paddling trip around a slough at Martin Dies 

sand beach at Village Creek 

Great Blue Heron

Pete and Ben bravely battled the waves at the beach (and only tipped once) 

even Cloudy got in on the action (I stayed dry) 

hiking in the rain @ martin dies 

We paddled in this one day and watched a family of beavers or nutrias, not really sure which. 

Luke enjoyed our hiking trips, always an experience! 
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Naming of Dogs

So you probably gathered from Jenn's recent post that we decided to name the dog Luke...

We apparently have started a  "tradition" of choosing a name for our dogs that is based on the breed of dog.   Mom came up with the name for our first dog, Talus.   Tally is a Heeler, and talus is the term for some bone in the heel.   I think it's actually an ankle bone, but it's close enough.  (Besides, "calcaneus" doesn't make for nearly as a good a name...)

And Bailey we did not name ourselves, she came with that name.  But "Beagle Bailey" obviously made sense for a beagle.

Luke came to us as "Buddy", which is something I often call Ben...  And is also just a little too generic for us.

Now Luke is a  Treeing Walker Coonhound, so we had that to work with...

I told Jenn we should call him "Ranger", and then he could be "Ranger, Texas Walker", but none of us really liked the name Ranger.

So we settled on "Luke".  The boys like that he's "Luke Treewalker".   I also think it's cool that he's "Coonhound Luke"  (Coolhand Luke).  And for a redneck dog, Luke is the perfect redneck name. (It also makes me think of Bo & Luke Hazzard....)

Although it seems we keep calling him "Dufus" and "Your Dog"..  as in "Look what your dog did now..."

Tipsy Too

Pete mentioned it's been awhile since we last posted here.  And since I really enjoy, and sometimes harass, other blog posts  I thought I would send out a quick update.

Since January 27th...  Cloudy still really enjoys "school".  Reading is a must for him, 4-5 books every morning.  Sometimes when I'm swamped with Anatomy instead of reading his books, I read him mine. He stays entertained too!  "So that's my bones?"

Ben starts Spring Running Club after spring break.  Which means 5k season!  We love running 5ks as a family.  He also wants to start Taekwondo, I guess I need to check into that (thanks WES).  

After my 20mi bust run and Luke's adoption, the next weekend my guys broke up the miles and ran 20 with me at the house.  I ran 6 with Luke, 7 solo, 3 with Ben and 4 with Peter.  Made for a nice run! All culminating in an Ultra (50k) finish at Cowtown Marathon last weekend.  What an adventure.

Spring is here, so camping season is just around the corner, literally next weekend.  We have a week long camping trip planned full of canoeing, hiking, and possibly a trip to the beach.

As for this weekend:  We took out Tipsy Too.  It was a 2nd trip out this year, and the first with Luke.

The first and last picture of us all DRY

We paddled the stream south of Ray Roberts lake.

There were a few obstacles we had to overcome.  But Pete is a champion boy scout canoeist from his day, and navigates the waters expertly.  

Tipsy's new face we painted last weekend.   SHARK ATTACK.  It looks even sillier, belly up on the truck.  

Taking a HOUND dog on a canoe, a 50lb STRONG runs quicker than a rabbit, hound dog, that apparently has NEVER been introduced to water before, may not have been the smartest idea.
We finally moved him up in front of me and I squeezed him with my legs as tight as I could to calm him down.  Which actually worked out for me, because then I didn't have to paddle.  

Another hazard crossing.  The frist time we went over, on the way back we limboed under. the boys LOVED it, Pete sang the song and everything! 

one of the dozen red-eared sliders we saw on our trip

The worst of the crossings.  This was completely dammed up, we had to unload kids and dogs and carry the canoe over the tree dam.  The boys were allowed to walk across the tree, the dog was carried (big sissy).

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