Well, we did Echo’s birthday a couple weeks ago. This week we did our boy Henry’s (that’s him in yellow fur below), followed immediately by Natalie and Nana’s birthdays as well.Henry got a rambling hike up one of our local hills, called Mount Jumbo. It was punctuated by many a pause from his peskily meandering, story-telling, sniff-stalling humans. Echo played Matriarch Elephant leading her family across the savannah… which in human-hiking-the-dog terms meant she was mostly wandering off. That big L was our destination. See…
Aside from his hike, we also trained Henry in the course of that one day to get ready for a treat any time we said, “Happy Birthday Henry!” or even just “Birthday, Henry!”. Thus proving, this (12-year!) old dog can still pick up a new trick or two.
A few days later, Natalie’s birthday hike was an almost totally different Montana experience. Natalie and Nana share their birthday, so after a call to Nana and Grandpa George that morning, and waiting for Xi to arrive at noon — we set off a little over an hour north of Missoula to a place outside Seeley Lake, MT called Morrell Falls. We wound our way through a few miles of Lodgepole Pine, Douglas Fir, and Tamarack groves, all littered with a criss-crossing lattice of old fallen trees and limbs, and bejeweled with ripe humps of nearly blooming Bear Grass.
Echo wore her adventure vest. The Lodgepoles were so — Lodgepoley. At one point the trail sidled up to the river, Morrell Creek, which was racing us to another more spectacular meeting spot up ahead. We crossed at this lovely little bridge, but not before being hypnotized by that smooth, clear water sliding over the mosaic of stones in the creekbed. A little further on, we met back up with Morrell where she leapt and tumbled 90 feet only pausing part-way down just long enough to carve a deep bathing bowl for giants, and roaring so loudly that the sound was carried a full half mile. We all gazed and gaped at the falls, but not in the picture below…In that one, we’re gaping at one of the many lovely lakes we passed on the way to the falls and back — this one (below) as a matter of fact. All four of us, though pretty well worn out by the end of it, felt like we’d each gotten something fun out of Natalie’s birthday tromp. We changed clothes in the parking lot and drove straight back to one of our favorite restaurants in Missoula for some much deserved birthday dinner. We all went to bed early, pretty well stuffed with birthday bliss.
Tomorrow our Bella comes. And Summer goes into high gear. What a lovely time… And what lovely use we’re getting to make of that time. I love these bright adventurers. I love the way(s) we live, and love “our chothers” (as Echo used to say while learning to say “each other”).