This is the time of year when we have steelhead fishers who have been staying with us for so many years that it's as though we're hosting a long string of family members. Jeremy Wright and his dad, Lee, are two of those special people. Although Lee is retired, he was a school teacher, as is Jeremy. They are kind, friendly and they make time for this father/son trip, as do others in their party of dear friends. You just feel better being around these guys.
All of our cabins, as well as our Dunsmuir place, Alpine Fish & Ski Haus, have lots of trees in common and many are deciduous, so the task of raking, mulching and moving leaves seems never-ending. It's great exercise, though, and the smell of leaves shredded for mulch is heavenly, especially the walnuts.' The patio at the Dunsmuir place has a metal shed in one corner and the acorns dropping on the roof seem to have given our dog Scupper PTSD. He loves the Haus, the town, the park along the river where we take them to run and the restaurants that welcome dogs on their patios, but the acorns falling on the metal roof? Nope. On numerous occasions, he has wiggled his way out of the garden and patio areas and sought refuge under our truck.
Steph completed the ski fence along the lower garden and it's a kick! People walk by, stop, take a picture with their phones and post it on their Facebook pages all the time. But this has slowed, and possibly stopped, Scupper's escapes.
With more of a normal winter predicted, the Haus will become our ski place for Mt. Shasta, as well as guests. Just 20 minutes from the ski park, it's perfect for skiers, and we often host parties that meet from the north and south since it's just a few minutes off I-5. You can see the Haus and ski fence on our Dunsmuir
This Thanksgiving, we will have the Cowell family from Morgan Hill staying at Sow's Ear, our vacation cabin next to us. They got us into stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) and we all graduated to running the river on SUPs this year. We're hoping to winter SUP by bundling up and strapping on protective gear more commonly seen on skaters and soccer players, because the usual low winter water means our fins can catch a rock and send us flying. I did this on a particularly fast and rocky spot a month and a half ago and the evidence is just now fading, hence the elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards, along with custom-fitted helmets!
It will be crazy cold, but there is something really special about cheating the seasons and doing something one might not expect. We're testing out using our SUPs without fins at all, but if that fails and common sense kicks in, we may just paddle Lewiston lake. It's gorgeous in winter and the bird watching is spectacular. We were up there a few days ago and had a golden eagle soaring over our heads the closest we have ever seen one. There are also bald eagles, osprey, egrets, cormorants and more.
We will have a very nice improvement in Sow's Ear when the Cowells come this time, but I can't blow the surprise. I'll just leave it with this: it took Steph a week of hard labor and made a huge improvement in a major part of the cabin that all of our guests will appreciate!
Did you happen to see the video of a great white shark attacking what I believe was a sea lion at Alcatraz on the San Francisco Bay? Scroll down to the video. The footage was taken from our catamaran, known as Princess of Whales
during her time with us. Now she's Hornblower Hybrid, one of the greenest vessels in the world, and she runs some of the Alcatraz trips. This is our first time to appear in Al Jazeera's news, albeit by proxy:
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the year and give thanks for the good things that have happened. The terrorist attacks in Paris were gut-wrenching and we were saddened at the lives lost, or changed forever by injuries and losses of those dear to them. We had several Paris dwellers stay at Sow's Ear over Christmas 3 years ago and they joined us for hikes with our dogs, kayaking on Lewiston Lake and the free Christmas dinner Sharron at La Grange Cafe' put on, which Steph and I did volunteer duty for. We've stayed in touch with the frogs, as I called them (I explained to them it was a term of endearment, but it took a while for them to accept it). There have been two attacks in Paris since they were here that have prompted us to fire off anxious emails asking if they were OK.
This time, I was writing the first email seconds after reading the headline in the news last week and we learned one of them was only 3 walking minutes from one of the mass shootings. Three minutes. And your life can change in a second. We are grateful all of our frogs, not just those in Paris, are all right. And we hope you and yours are as well.
Happy Thanksgiving, heidi, Steph, Bisco, Scupper, Chigger, Possum, Squid and Alvin Coolidge