Photo One: Coyotes don't run in packs.
Saturday morning my plans fell through, which left me disappointed but my pup quite happy. This meant adventures would ensue instead! So we loaded up the car and made way to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in Cheney.
We hadn't visited since the summer due to Cricket being inundated with ticks, so I figured winter may be a good time to watch the waterfowl and maybe catch a glimpse of the resident moose.
Cricket wasn't having it. We got out of the car and she ran back. I put her leash on her collar and she pulled it off her neck. I finally attached it to her harness and drug her to the trail.
"What are you so afraid of?!" My little adventure pup was by no means acting like herself. I assumed she was spooked by the guy who ran by us when we got out of the car, getting his morning miles in. I'll learn next time to listen.
I coerced the sweet pup farther and farther from the car and with every step she acted more uneasy. Then I saw them. A "pack" of dogs running across the horizon along the frozen plain. It was beautiful. The sky was pink and the ground was baby blue. And they were getting closer. Zigging and zagging toward us. I believe there were three but one was more prominent, larger perhaps? Maybe just closer.
I learned later from my dad that if they were coyotes, it had to have been a mother and her pups. Coyotes run alone. Unbenowst to me. Whatever they were, they weren't something that my dog wanted to encounter. And she knew from the moment we set foot out of the car that there was a potential danger ahead...and I lead her right to them.
Mom of the year award right here.
Needless to say, we made our way back to the safety of the car. And I apologized.
Photo Two: Deep Freeze at Deep Creek Canyon.
Sunday. I put the dog in charge.
We decided to take our adventures to a new portion of Riverside State Park that we weren't too familiar with. Off Seven-Mile Road you can find Deep Creek Canyon and if you stay on the trail and make the loop, you'll get a perfect 5.5 miles in.
But who in their right mind stays on the trail?
Cricket led the way. Tail helicoptering the whole way. A whole new dog from the previous day's coyote encounter. She was confident. She was fast. She was agile. And she left this old woman in the dust. By the time our hike was over she'd led me up rock cliffs and had me sliding back down them on my butt. I ripped out numerous small trees by their roots trying to regain my balance and footing. I fell through the ice. I screamed after pidgeons flew at me out of a cave (they looked like bats to my defense). My scream echoed and startled me and I screamed again. And I haven't laughed so hard in ages.
Every now and again my little bug would run back and check on me, but she was on her own mission to regain her title of adventure dog. Fearless and strong. She accomplished her mission.
Me...well I ruined my pants, ripped my gloves and have bruises all over my bum. But that helicopter tail made every battle wound worth it.
Photo Three: Grown-Up Grilled Cheese
Did you know 40% of people take photos of their food at restaurants before they eat it? Usually to post it on social media? Well, I'm admittedly one of the 40% and this photo is worth sharing.
Next time you are in Coeur d'Alene make sure to stop by Collective Kitchen. And get the Grow Up Grilled Cheese. Apple. Avocado. Bacon. Brie. Curd. Goat cheese. Spinach. Sourdough.
Photo Four: Ooey Gooey Goodness.
I'm a horrible influence.
Oh, you eat healthily? You work out? Do you practice a healthy lifestyle? That's cool. Let me take you out for Gooeys.
You earned it.
In fact, a lot of people did. We barely missed the two-hour wait and managed to order the Gooey of the Month from Dockside at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. The"Gooville" Gooey features hot fudge, brownie chunks, M&M's, sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chip mint ice cream, a candy cane, peppermint lollipops and the Grinch on a splendid sugar cookie.
Ours showed up with the Cookie Monster. The Grinch must have literally stolen Christmas and made his way out the door. No biggie. The blue guy tasted the same.
Anybody say sugar high?
Photo Five: Light it up.
The third part of our Coeur d'Alene evening was to see Santa at the North Pole. So my friend Josh and I bundled up and hopped on a boat destined for just that.
If you haven't experienced a holiday light cruise on Lake CDA, you need to. Forty minutes gets you an incredible view of the millions of lights adorning the resort (complete with fire-breathing dragons protecting the marina) and a quick visit to the North Pole where you sing Christmas carols and Santa reads the names of all the well-behaved kids off his list! Josh and I didn't make the cut, but it sure was fun to see all the kids cheer with excitement as Santa read their name.
Oh, and did I mention there's a fireworks show at the end? #Winning