Thursday, 21 September 2017

Bertie allows Gail to show some holiday pictures (just this once)

So this post is going to be all about Gail's recent holiday in the USA, and is the result of a painstakingly negotiated settlement whereby photos involving bicycles are balanced by dog and other animal related images.

Well let's get the boring biking bit out out of the way for starters.
Marse's dog Josh supervises the reassembly of Gail's bicycle
I had understood that Gail went to the USA to join her old friend Marse and a bunch of Marse's friends for an eight day bike ride around NW Montana.

Marse lives in Tacoma, WA. It seems she, Gail and the other riders drove all 450 miles from Tacoma  to the start point in St Regis, Montana on Tuesday September 5. And all the way back again the next day...  I, Bertie, think they were wimps to bottle out of the planned bicycle tour, just 'cos the route they'd planned, up to Glacier National Park, went right through the heart of an area of ferocious wildfires, and the whole state was blanketed in smoke so thick that people were being advised to staying indoors with windows closed and avoid all exertion...
Smoke covering Washington, Idaho and Montana
Gail had been looking forward to seeing all the Montana wildlife, but had to make to with this moose by the lake at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Marse and Moose
Even in Tacoma, the parked vehicles were covered in ash, reminding folk of the 1980 Mount St Helens eruption.

So the bike group re-thought their plans and organised rides around the South Puget Sound area and in Mount Rainier National Park, where the air was relatively clear. Gail says she thinks they did this mostly for her benefit, feeling bad that she had travelled such a long way with her bicycle, only to have the main event cancelled.

One day they started from the Cascade Bike Club HQ in Seattle (Gail was awestruck by the facilities), and toured the campus of 'U-Dub' (aka the University of Washington).

Another day they rode up to Black Diamond for a hearty lunch.

Then came a visit to Harstine Island, where the ride ended with a barbecue at cyclist Bill's gorgeous holiday home.

Next, the bike group spent a few lovely days enjoying more hospitality at Jim and Lori's cosy cabin in Ashford, near Mount Rainier National Park.

From the cabin, one day they rode up the 3600 ft ascent to the appropriately named Paradise.

Later that same day, back at Jim and Lori's cabin, Gail was instructed in the essential American campfire ritual of making s'mores, the perfect follow-up to all that exertion on the bike.
Lori exhibits the perfect s'more
Another day they hiked up to High Rock lookout, where they disturbed the peace of a solitary young man and his handsome dog Champ.

And afterwards drove miles and miles along forest track to harvest Lori's secret huckleberry garden.

Returning to base in Tacoma, Marse had other things on her mind. It turns out that her dog Josh is something of an escapologist, and has recently taken to scaling her 4 ft high fence, and roaming the neighbourhood. I don't see why this is a problem, but for some reason Marse was intent on installing a DIY 'coyote roller'. This apparently involved fixing lengths of plastic tubing on top of the fence so that it rolls in such a way as to make it difficult for coyotes and/or dogs to clamber over.

Oh, just to confuse you, the dog pictured about is not Josh, but seventeen year old Liddie, who also used to exhibit Houdini-like traits, but now is a sedate, if still charmingly cheeky, senior lady.

Finally, here is some bird-related artwork by the shore in Tacoma, plus one more photo of Josh and Liddie, as by my reckoning, there is still an imbalance in favour of bike photos on this blog post...

OK, finally, finally. Gail insists on posting this video she shot at a beach party one fine evening early in her visit, where Marse's nieces Marena and Soroa provided a memorable musical interlude.

PS Next and future posts, I promise, will revert to being all about ME (Bertie).


  1. oh a bbq? how great, I hope Gail had some fab steaks in her pocket as she came back to you... I think this places deserved the name pawradise... it's beautiful!

  2. Wow! For a fill-in for the planned was very exciting and beautiful!

  3. Bertie - You were spared the Yuppy Puppy grooming centre !

  4. Hari OM
    Well Bertie lad - I think that was a very good summary of the trip - perhaps all the better for Gail in it's unexpectedness and spontaneity? Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  5. Bertie I thank you from the bottom of my itty bitty kitty heart for being such a good WFT letting Gail post on your blog. These photos and commentary were breathtaking. I'm sorry Gail's route was changed but it appears this was an exceptional alternate.
    Marse's niece's voices are like very very pretty. My goodness do they have a cd or anything?
    Hugs madi your bfff

  6. What beautiful scenery, and what a wonderful time Gail had, even if she wasn't able to follow her original plans.-
    Now, Bertie, what did you get up to when Gail was away - anything exciting to tell us?

    Inca xx

  7. Thank you Bertie for allowing Gail to post her holiday photos! We are so glad that she got to do a bike ride and more glad the first one was cancelled cuz that smoke was baaaad!! We never saw a coyote roller before, what a wonderful idea!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  8. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! We are glad your person stayed out of the SMOKE! It has been terrible! One of my people has been very sick! Also, it wrecked our hiking holiday a month ago too! That moose looks scary! Those Dogs look nice! I want a smores, please! Did you get extra treats for all the bicycle pictures?

  9. Gail's photos are great! But I'm also glad to hear that you'll get control back of your blog Bertie! Mum is always hogging the computer at my place.. so I know the feeling!
    Lots of licks, your good friend Morrie :)

  10. All lovely shots Bertie. You negotiated well. Next job at the UN?

  11. It looks like Gail had an amazing time even with the wildfires closing down the main event. Thanks for sharing the great pics and video!

  12. That was nice of you to let her post a few pictures. It looked like a fun trip and my mom said she would die with all the biking!! Ha


  13. Bertie,

    Please excuse my ignorance but what is in a s'more?

    1. A s'more comprises piece of chocolate and a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers (which are a bit like oblong digestive biscuits). The word s'more derives from 'some more', as in "I want some more".

  14. We are sorry Gail didn't get her scheduled bike ride in, but it sounds like she had a very good time(as good as she could without you there, anyway)!
    Arty and Jakey

  15. Okay, this was an okay post -- it looked like lots of fun on those bicycly thingies -- but it suffered from a MASSIVE shortage of Bertie pictures!

  16. What lovely places! I love the Northwest. And I'm in south-central Idaho so I know about the smoke - it was awful for a few days! But if Gail ever makes her way to this spot farther south in Idaho there are lots of lovely trails for her to ride, including up a local mountain in the summer. I was on top of that mountain for the eclipse last month!

    Now if she could just bring you - this is one of the best places on Earth to be a dog!

  17. S'more, huckleberries a good campfire at the end of a wonderful day with minstrels sounds close to heaven.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot