Monday, July 03, 2006

Oh I'm going to sleep well tonight!

I'm absolutely exhausted. I left here at 10:15am on Friday, and drove up to Eureka for the annual "summer fun" poultry show. I know I keep saying I'm going to the last show of the season. Well, that really was it. No more. State Fair will be in early September, and then the open show season starts up in mid/late October. But in early July, when the Sacramento valley is approximately a million degrees, it's soooooo nice to head north and hang out on the coast for a weekend, where the daytime highs are lower than our nighttime lows!

I only took two birds, Diva and Luna (Black Rosecomb hens). They are in miraculously good shape for this time of year, and I hope they hold out for State Fair. I may even get to show them as two-year olds. I'm impressed, birds tend to get pretty ragged during breeding season. I took 22 other birds though that were pre-sold to A.R. and D.W. and this time of year when I'm overrun with chickens it's certainly nice to get rid of a bunch! :-) The only roosters were a couple of 8-week olds, so it was a quiet ride. The youngsters were chatty the whole time, but that's a very pleasant sound.

I had a really good time up there, got to spend some time with friends and it's just a really "mellow" show so I managed to do plenty of relaxing too. It's far away... yes. It's just over 300 miles. I also brought up two framed Standard drawings for one of the sponsors who lives up there, and it totally thrills me how happy he was with them. Sometimes the politics and various "issues" of that job really start to drag me down, but when a sponsor is that happy it's like "ahh, so THAT's why I'm doing this!" :-)

Oh, and Luna won Reserve Grand Champion! It was a very small show, but I'm quite pleased nonetheless!

So here I am leaving the flat valley and heading into them thar hills on hwy 20 just outside Williams:

Clear Lake itself really isn't crooked, the camera was! Clear Lake is very large, and very pretty, and I would have had to pull over to get a good pic but I was on the wrong side of the road:

Highway 101. It looks like this for much of the drive and then it gets into the redwoods:

Redwoods on the "Avenue of the Giants" which is a scenic alternate route. Slower, but pretty. Everybody should walk/drive/ride through a redwood forest at some point in their lives, it's magnificent:

Do I have pictures of the birds? Nope, you've seen them... didn't get around to taking bird pics. And once again I have no photos of my chicken buddies because I'm a total dork about taking photos and seem to only be capable of taking photos of scenery and animals. I actually do hang out with humans from time to time, I just don't have photo proof! ;-)

I had originally planned to head out to the beach right after the lunch on Saturday when it was sunny and nice, but I was pretty quickly morphing into sleep-deprived-zombie mode so I decided napping actually made more sense. That may not have been the wisest move, because by the time I did get out to the beach that evening after dinner it was overcast, windy, and downright cold by the water. Nevertheless, I did go, so...goal achieved. The little strip of orange is as much of a sunset as I got!

Starfish on the rocks, there were a whole lot of these:

To my reluctant tour-guide, thank you for going with me. :-) This one's for you:

Instead of going straight home afterwards, I had decided to take a different route and head over past Redding to visit J.C. and D.C. again. So instead of going back down 101 I took 299 east. 299 is very very pretty, but it's hard to spend much time actually looking at it, because I have to focus pretty hard on not driving off a cliff or something. The road winds around quite a bit, to say the least. Winding roads are a foreign concept around here, so it's always an adventure to drive on them. A friend of mine once told me that one of the first drives he ever did shortly after getting his license was to haul a load of horses over 299 on a rainy night. I think I would probably die if I tried that. No way would I drive that road in the dark!

Anyway, I left Eureka just after 9:30am on Sunday. It was 55 degrees and overcast:

Yay for scenic vista points! I pulled over and took a couple pics overlooking a big valley. There was a scary looking hippie dude up there blasting music out of his vw van and dancing around... needless to say I made sure to park on the opposite end of the vista thing.

4 hours later I arrived at my destination, and it was right around 100 degrees. Ugh, I wanted to go back to the coast! We sat in the air conditioning and watched movies until it was cool enough to go outside after dinner. I got to meet the buckskin Azteca filly this time, she wasn't born yet last time I was there. Boy is she a looker!

And friendly!

I was hoping she would turn around toward me, but this ended up being an interesting photo anyway:

I left there this morning, got home around lunchtime, and have been desperately wanting to take a nap ever since then but I haven't had time, too much work to do. This evening I figured I'd better work Shylah, since I knew I wouldn't have time tomorrow or Thursday. She's really quite good at the walk, and she's improving on her responses to rein and leg pressure. Holy moly she's a lazy little thing though. I asked her for a trot today (I was out there alone, nobody doing groundwork today, just me riding). She didn't want to move, but once I asked for it I knew I had to get it, and that took a lot of kicking! I think partly there's the issue of her not totally understanding yet, but there's no doubt she's quite lazy and I think that's more the problem right now. She did finally trot, and got slightly better about responding by the end of the lesson, but it's going to be a miracle if I can actually move tomorrow....

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