LOG 3-19-19:

Lots to discuss in this blog note but it’s not long.

HIKE – Had a great hike in the KOFA national wildlife refuge this week. It was hot and beautiful. California poppies by the acre up the hillsides. Dogs went too, and a friend I’m camping with. Lucky Mozart got carried part way back by Margaret. Hot dog! I thought they would be tired, I was, but back in the bus Split was madly chewing on an old bone before she crashed. I think she was happy even though she had to be on leash for the walk. I’m not letting her off leash in the desert now. Too worried about snakes and scorpions. She did notice the lizards and was trying to chase them like they were squirrels.

NOSE WORK: OK all you folks wanting to do some Nose Work with me when I’m back in town. I’m planning to do some weekend and evening practice matches at Geotk and maybe some drop in classes if there is enough interest. So please email me at joycesdogs@gmail.com or reply to this email if you are getting the posts sent to your email address. I need your name, texting phone, dog name followed by approximate level you’re at [NW 1,2,3, or elite] or ORT’s you are ready for or have passed.  I’ll trade a run for half a day of being a helper: judge, timer, gate keeper, setup. So let me know if you’re interested in a helper position. Still working on which weekends I’ll offer the matches.

HOUSE SITTING: I’ll be returning to the Vancouver area in the middle of April.  I’m hoping to do some house/animal/garden sitting In the Pacific Northwest throughout the spring summer and fall.  With the bus my dogs can remain separate from household animals since I don’t think mingling is generally a good idea.  Your neighborhood has to be accepting of parking my bus [covenants can be an issue] so I’m most interested in being in somewhat rural areas where my bus will not be a problem for the neighborhood.  I’m able and willing to do some gardening, and can take care of small livestock and well-behaved horses as well as dogs and cats.  My base rate is $25 per day.  There is a possibility of some add on’s if I’m doing significant amounts of gardening or farm work or if the location or needs of animals makes it difficult to get away for a few hours most days. So please pass the word and feel free to share my contact info. with your friends and families.

PARKING SPACE WORK TRADES: Another thing I’m looking for is work trade parking spots. I’d like to trade 10 hrs. a week for the ability to park my bus off the street and fill my water tank every few weeks. Gardening, cooking, mowing, cleaning, skills training for your dog, canning, etc. maybe even a little child care!  Pass the word on!

For all of the above, contact me via my email address. joycesdogs@gmail.com On the right side of this page you can sign up to receive an email with my current blog post so you don’t have to go to my website to hunt for it.

TAFN see you in a few short weeks.

From the Desert again

BLOG written 3-14-19

Hi again, 10+ days later and finally sitting down to blog again. I had great training sessions with Glenna in Borrego Springs. She was in a house that we could search in so the first day we set this up:

Interior search of two bedroom size rooms that had doors at 90-degree angles from each other so dogs could search both rooms sort of as one. This was set up for pretty advanced dogs [elite and NW3]. First round: no odor! Watch how the dogs work when there is nothing there and never has been. An observation exercise. Round two had two odors in each room if I remember right: In a drawer, under a lamp on a nightstand. Under a chair and at the back of an open shelf at nearly floor level.

Next set of searches: containers. Same setup = no odor first round, watch how the dogs work. I can’t remember if we had distracters. It would be good to set this up in different ways. No odor no distractors, no odor all distractors, no odor some distractors. But not all in the same training session. Round two was with two odors. Couple of distractors. Again, good exercise for observing behavior of your dog. If you hang in there long enough will it push them to false alert? A good thing to know.

Training the next day at a mall like location. Many hides including ground crack, wall, posts, etc. and another search in an area that sort of formed a bit of a wind tunnel. Observation Observation, Observation! Third training day was just containers at Glenna’s place. And we both got fuchsia pink hair dies! Fun Fun Fun!

My twin Bro came on the weekend and we went flower watching on Saturday and saw amazing colors. Ate Mexican food, hunkered down in the bus in the wind. Sunday we drove over to Ocotillo Wells State Park, which borders to the east of Anza Borrego State Park [Borrego Springs is in the middle of the park, weird! Anyway, we ended up getting a private nature hike with the young naturalist and it was amazing. We saw many many desert lilies and she told us about having, in other years, driven all over for 3 hours to find just one. We saw Blister beetles-they cause your skin to blister if you touch them. There are many versions, the biggest being maybe an inch and a half long with a big red stripe across the back. We also saw Ocotillo cactus. Big ones, maybe 10-12 feet tall all sprouting their arms up from the ground. These are in the age range of 100 – 300 YEARS! old. An interesting piece of info from the Naturalist was that they are not finding small ones. The changes in the weather are not conducive to new ones sprouting. So it’s likely that they are a dying breed of cactus. Sad. But there is no global warming [sic].

Monday morning the 11th I headed out and ran errands in Indio then headed back over to Quartzsite to re-group with the women’s caravan I was enjoying before I left for the coast. There are new faces and some folks have left for other destinations. There are about 25 of us right now. Cars and tents to big C class’s and everything in between. It has been very windy still, and cold but expected to warm up over this weekend. Then we will all be complaining about the heat lol. I plan to be with the caravan till around the 22nd at which time I may head to either Las Vegas area or Sedona with an acquaintance I met at the January RTR event. Today I decided due to the weather and distance to bail from the Deckers CO trial. I want to seek the sun and reasonable temps. This winter has thrown many for a loop what with the cold and wet. I want to try to be a weather hunter for a bit before I return to the PNW, which will be in mid April. If your one of my former students in Nose Work, stay tuned for info about practice matches and maybe even a few classes. I will try to get that info out soon.

Back to the Desert

BLOG DATE: 3-4-19

Holly moley! I can’t believe I haven’t updated my travels for nearly a month. Maybe because I haven’t really been traveling. I’ve been in Arroyo Grande preparing meals for a 97-year-old fellow so his daughter could take a trip to India. Also fed chickens, collected eggs, and got to go to Nose Work class with Teah Anders at Gentle Touch Pet Training.

Gentle Touch was the destination for Martha and my ‘test’ road trip 2 springs ago so it was fun to see again, a few folks that I met on that trip. It was also great to be in class and have someone else setting hides. I got to work on Split’s box behavior [learning not to stand on them]. Rumor or truth has it that NACSW is getting tougher on ‘destruction’ of search areas.  Just standing on containers apparently fits into that category.

I left AG on the 4th of March headed for Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Wild flowers are a-bloom and I’m anxious to get out there and do a bit of hiking and seeing them. Last night I pulled in to a camping spot [casino parking lot lol] in the dark and this morning woke to see gold bloom up high on the hills above Hemet CA. The mountains around here just rise straight up and it’s really something to see.  I think the flowers were California Poppies. On my travels through the high desert on the way here, I found out there is a poppy preserve in the high desert N of LA. It’s going on my research list to maybe check it out next time I’m in the area.

So Tuesday I arrived at the Borrego Springs park visitor center about 230 and as I was looking for parking, my phone rang. It was Glenna, who has been here in Borrego Springs for the last couple of weeks. She suggested a dispersed camping area for boondocking and an hour later as I was setting up my camp, in she rolled with hubby John and Nose Work Partner Bella [who by the way was 1st place at her first Elite trial a few weeks ago in Centralia, with a ‘p’ ribbon too!]. So we will get together tomorrow and hopefully do a bit of training and catching up.

2-5-19 on the road again

WRITTEN 2-4-19

I’ve left Caravan 3, the women’s caravan. They have moved to another site per the 14 day stay limit on BLM land in the area. I’m headed towards the coast.

After hearing about a free campsite on the banks of  Lake Mead, I made the decision to head that direction on my way west. I’m at a lovely spot about 15’ from the water. Under a big tree. Ducks swimming about. And some wind and drizzle on occasion. There are about 15 rigs in the area. And a dumpster and pit toilets. Luxurious LOL.

As I was driving along today I listened to a ‘Women on the Road’ podcast. The young women who was being interviewed had spent a lot of time in Central and South America. She was fluent in Spanish and talked about traveling with her partner who did not speak Spanish. My thoughts went to how I wish I spoke some Spanish. And then I remembered briefly meeting a women at RTR who had a sign on her car door advertising some sort of Spanish language program for kids That had gotten me thinking that trying to learn ‘toddler’ Spanish might be a good way to get started. A few days ago I looked on line hoping that I might recognize her website but to no avail. So today I was wishing that I had taken a picture of her car that displayed the website so I could look it up. Well, I rolled into this camping area, and was driving towards the end looking for a place I wanted to park for the night, and what do I see but her van! So I have snapped a picture, but don’t have Internet tonight so will look it up once I leave this place. Hoping to talk to her tomorrow. Its getting dark, still a bit dizzily and I’m hunkered in for the night.

On another note, as I walked around this place with the dogs [one at a time today] my ‘un-scooped dog poop’ radar went off. There is a lot here and it makes me so irritable.  I think I have decided to channel my anger into a plastic bag and scooper and am hoping the rain will be gone tomorrow and I will walk around and fill a bag and toss it in the dumpster before I leave. So that’s it for now I guess.

This morning, Tuesday, I have decided to head to Death Valley. Need to check the road reports. I think it might be wise to stay east of the Sierra mountains till after Tuesday as I believe it might be snowing there. I don’t need to be in Paso Robles till Friday. I am volunteering 2 days at the trial there that Split and I are way down the wait list on. I got into Denver but decided today not to go. Both the kids are in Deckers CO the following weekend.  I’m pretty sure that snow is still a possibility in March besides which it gives me another week in the desert if I want to connect with Caravan 3 again. I didn’t get into Dana Point either. Disappointing that I can’t get into anything on the coast.

Guess that is all for now. Onward up this hill through some mountains and assuming it will drop down into Death Valley. Maybe I’ll have a signal tonight and can post about the rest of my day.

catching up 1-22-19

My time flies! My time flies.

one of the best so far

The RTR is officially over. We did a big cleanup the day after the last event and it was great to see that almost all camp areas were clean. Satisfying to not be satisfied with full trash bags if you get the drift. 

Nice BBQ after where I met a couple from the Vancouver WA area. They have been coming to RTR every year since it started and there were literally just a handful of folks. Far cry from the apx. 10K this year. Not just van and small rig dwellers anymore either. Many big A and C classes and a few busses. 

I have only really encountered one nasty crabby person during this entire event. People have been really respectful of space, in traffic, and when setting boundaries in the ‘free pile’ area.  My mantra after meeting that one nasty fellow was ‘don’t let one crabby person spoil your whole day.’

Saturday, was a pretty easy day. One shift of traffic monitoring and then I went to ‘the big tent’. Quartzsite is a mess of people.  Traffic was awful, like pdx lol! The big tent is maybe football field size and filled with all kinds of RV equipment and gadgets for sale. Stuff to make your life easier on the road if your one who has a giant rig and wants all the comforts of sticks and bricks. I did buy another one step high stool for helping myself and the dogs get up and down from the bed more easily. I wonder some times what Split will do when she is too old and arthritic to jump the 3+ feet to get on. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. Mozart will be easy to pick up.

I keep telling people ‘my next dogs are going to be poodles’. As I have shrunk my space over the years the amount of dog hair remains the same. I’ve been trying to brush Split daily, often when she is eating as it makes a positive association with the brushing which she does not relish. I miss having BSD’s to brush. I used to lay Echo and then Rider down on their sides between my legs and I could line brush them and it was very satisfying. Mo is not so fond of the brush and does not tolerate it even with food most of the time. And he is a shedding machine. Oh well.

A few nights ago the Coyotes were singing in the not so distant parts of the desert so I had noise on in the bus to help the dogs be calmer. It’s was the ‘wolf blood moon’ total eclipse night, however we had clouds so nothing to see.

We went for a longer then usual walk the following night and tired dogs are good dogs. Next day [yesterday as I write this] I joined the women’s Caravan in the Parker area which is NW of Quartzsite. The Caravans are going to be going year round this year. These are groups of people informally gathered and camping together on public lands. There is a Max of 75 people per group. They will move according to the time restrictions of the BLM and other public land use rules. Generally 14 days. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people, and coming and going is as easy as packing and driving off or driving in and setting up camp.  I’m hoping to intro some folks to nose work in boxes. There are many do owners here. I have trials in March so gota get back to practicing a bit LOL.

The wind is blowing very hard today. And last night, and the night before. So I’m at the library as I type and get ready to post this. I’m also hopefully finally going to deal with some personal and Biz Business I have been procrastinating. The Parker Library Internet is pretty good. And a friends X boyfriend lives in Parker and has offered me use of his Internet and shower etc. as he is headed back to Portland for a while.  I’m also looking forward to having time be a bit less structured. I really have been pretty busy since I left the Portland area.