First Hike

So, as it turned out, yesterday afternoon's plans with Bob and Claire got complicated, they were off to a late start … it was generally decided that we'd just gather for dinner. After some chores, there was time for the Star Trek movie.

Which was more kinds of awesome than I can fit here, I think. Seriously, so fun, did so many things right, the whole "reboot" was genius. Also — umm, spoiler alert, probably — it was so great to have Nimoy back as Spock. I know he's spent years trying to get beyond that role, but to see him back inhabiting that character was pretty spectacular, a welcome visit from an old friend.

And it all worked out perfectly, we went over to Claire's mom's rented casita off Canyon Road for dinner, some sitting outside while the chicken grilled, then we moved inside for a terrific dinner (including the new favorite, corn and sausage) and a long evening of talking and laughing. They were going to be occupied today, so last night was our goodbye.

But that meant we were free today — and decided to take the dog for her first hike with us. Figured we'd try the Chamisa Trail up the mountain. We know it, it's not too tough … since, in our experience, she kind of maxes out at a 45-minute walk around the neighborhoods, it seemed doable. And the morning was clear, but a little cool and cloudy, so it hopefully wouldn't be too taxing.

We got up the mountain and she was plenty excited to get out and going. It's all uphill for a while there at the beginning, but she was eager, pulling ahead on the trail, rarely stopping to sniff or spot something (and it was inevitably something we couldn't see).


I wonder if it was the defined route, the well-worn path with a clear destination, that kept her going on so strongly. It's not like she was dragging us, but she was pulling all the way to the point where the trail turns around, which is about 45 minutes from the trailhead. We paused to break for snacks, but with some clouds rolling in, headed back on the "low road."

Out almost two hours, when all was said and done. Her energy level barely dropped the whole time, though she did sack out for the trip home.

Still time for more chore-type stuff, including some more work on the yard, detailed over at Santa Fe Garden. And just as I took Cheyenne for her evening stroll, the rain rolled in — an outcome pretty much guaranteed by the afternoon's car-washing.

It looked like there might be a respite, but the thunderstoms started, so there will be no grilling out. That's OK, we're settled in inside for the evening with KISS 97's 97 hours of live DJ-ing and Stacy's Refreshing Beverage of the Week.


Visit from Bob + Claire, Birds

Bob and Claire are in town for the long weekend. Mostly visiting with family, so they're off in a whirlwind of activity; in fact, waiting around now to see what the afternoon's plans are.

But they did stop by for a visit yesterday afternoon, to see the house in the nice (well, at least not snowy) weather and meet the dog.

After they left, our evening's walk took us back across the river to Alto Park, where Birds in the Park had spent the day. This was the art installation I ran across a few weeks ago; we knew they were going in and had walked there in the morning to see them being set up, but forgot to take the camera.


Arrived as they were being packed up for today's appearance on Museum Hill, their last in Santa Fe.

Saturday was pretty rainy and dreary, a good day for chores inside the house. Sun occasionally peeked through, but the clouds always returned, if not the rain.


Recent Goings-On

Saturday morning, fenced in the annual Santa Fe Challenge. Because of the experience level needed to referee foil — and the expense that goes along with bringing in experienced referees — it was decided that it'd be an all-epee event, unlike last year. Registration closed at 9:00 for the open epee, so you just needed to be there before; it's at least 20 minutes more. One of the young fencers, upon seeing me at 8:55, in my sweats, with my coffee, watching everyone else fully geared up and warming up on the strips asked, "aren't you competing today?"

Kind of a legitimate question, based on how the day went. Two wins out of six in the pools; in the direct elimination round, drew one of the kids I'd already lost to. Good and/or bad news — because I did know what to expect, though it would've been nice to fence someone new. So I knew what not to do … but it took me a while to figure out what to do. By the time I'd worked that out, I was down 10-3. Fought back to lose 15-11; problem was, he had enough of a cushion that he could just go for the double-touch, and even with a moderate success rate, still win. It was a well-fought and fun bout, though. Final standings here.

Meanwhile, because it was a little cool and cloudy, Monica had walked Cheyenne over to Teca Tu at Sanbusco Center for the monthly GCNM adoption clinic. Turnout was a little lighter than usual, and there weren't as many passersby; but those that did stop by were awfully generous, so we came away with some welcome funds.

Cheyenne, as usual, kind of sacked out, eventually just sliding onto the floor and losing her bed to her buddy Fifi.

Sunday, we collected a couple of our friends and went Albuquerque for the Albuquerque Collectors Con where 7000 BC had a table. But half the real point of attending any con is a big, unhealthy diner breakfast beforehand — so we gathered with the whole bunch at The Owl Cafe.

Con went well, better than last year's, even though it was smaller. With a whole pile of us there and not much space, there was plenty of visiting and socializing. We left in time to make it back home to sit outside in the Adirondacks — our first chance to do that this year. Once we gave Cheyenne the big bone we'd bought a few weeks back, we pretty much ceased to exist.

Tuesday night, after fencing and dropping the car at the mechanic's, went to Counter Culture where J. had helped organize a fundraiser dinner on behalf of The Vietnam Project. Turned out to be a great success, and we got to visit with J+J, meet some other new folks, with, as it turns out, several shared interests and experiences.

And Counter Culture allows dogs on their patio.

Last night, despite the threatening-looking clouds, kicked off grillin' burger season. James came over and brought along Shadow for Cheyenne's first experience being a host. Went well enough — Cheyenne wanted to chase Shadow around the yard, or maybe just run frantically. Shadow was mostly game for playing, though.

They were, of course, both game for snacks.

Oh, hey, look how this turned into yet another post about the dog.

Umm, well, the lunch cart reviews from our appearance last week on Mouth of Wonder are now posted

Bob and Claire due into town tomorrow …

OK, one last bit from Cheyenne (and Gary Larson): take time to stop and eat the flowers.


For Our DC-area Readers

Our old friends at the DC Conspiracy will present the fourth DC Counter Culture Festival this Saturday, May 24 from 10:00 to 10:00 at The Soundry in Virginia.

Group members with their comics will be among the vendors, and there will be workshops and entertainment throughout the day.


Found Again

Don't even remember where this came from — Albertson's parking lot? — but just found it again during a bout of spring cleaning.


Mouth of Wonder Guest Hosts

We're due to be guest hosts on this Saturday's Mouth of Wonder. In the review section, we'll be looking at a few local lunch carts, and then Monica's due to talk about some favorite food blogs.

Catch one of the live streams, or check on the archives later.


The most commonly used phrase around the house these days:

"I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to the dog."