I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 5:52 PM GMT on July 14, 2014
Sunday started quietly. Mornings are usually spent with the computer and coffee. I usually head out later for whatever. While I enjoyed the morning I noticed my neighbors were disappearing one by one. One minute they are there, next minute gone. Suddenly I noticed I was the only camper remaining. Shades of Taylorsville, Kentucky.
I took a ride through the countryside north to Spokane. Another college town, here it was Gonzaga. The Palouse seemed to be pretty weak around there. I admit I have been a little disappointed since I arrived looking for the Palouse scenery. Don't get me wrong. It is beautiful here. But I have been through before, before I even knew there was a NAME to the region. And I saw a few BIG hills that I have yet to see this time. Hills that got steeper as they got higher, until the hill rounded out at the summit. Almost like a rounded off volcano. I specifically remember noticing how the farmers plowed as high as they dared before it was too steep. I remember seeing cows grazing up on those hills, so steep I wondered WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? Wondering how often a bovine slips and tumbles down into a ravine.
Those extreme hills are out there, nearby. The zealous is a big area. I cannot see it all in the short time I am here. I could check out the specific routes I have driven through before and repeat. I think they may be south of here, near Lewiston, Idaho. That is a nice town. Will head that direction next. I would like to head north searching for some coolness. Route 2 still has not been explored like I wanted a few years ago. The Dakotas are waiting. But first I want to see my sister and brother-in-law. Then it is north time.
Last night I took another sunset ride out into the countryside. But there were some rare clouds coming through. It was getting dark early. I took a few pictures and came back. Meanwhile another camper had showed up and was parked a couple campsites away. It was a couple, with three dogs. Two were big, some type of hounds. One was a small white hairy thing, probably for comic relief. They kept to themselves and set up their site. Fine with me.
The evening was perfect. The clouds kept it cool, and a nice breeze was blowing. I sat out on the easy chair (and ottoman) and relaxed. Dutchie was nearby sitting, and Fluff even came out and was sniffing around close to the RV. In one second it went from pacifying to chaos.
Suddenly those two dogs were busting into the campsite (actually all three were there, but who cared about the little one) and chasing the cats. The dogs appeared from underneath LEGGS, so there was no warning. The cats scattered, but went into avoidance mode, running in many different directions versus a straight line to the nearby warehouse. Or inside the RV. It was a vortex of fur. Hard to tell at one point who was chasing who. Dutchie was circling back and forth, with a big dog close by. But she was always in control. Shortly she grew tired of the chase and sprinted to the warehouse where she slid safely under the building.
Meanwhile Fluff had seemed to avoid the main assault. She had stayed nearby Leggs mainly with a strategy of dodging versus full out running. Once Fluff reaches peak speed, it is harder for her to quickly change directions with her massive girth. It is simply a matter of momentum. But once Dutchie disappeared, Fluff became the focus of attention.
It was hard for me to stop the whole thing. I was right in the middle of it, but the best I could do was slow down the dogs. I kept yelling at them to GET OUT. I jumped in front of them as a cat ran by.
I do not remember sensing this was a life and death deal. The dogs did not seem to be hell bent on blood. Could they have been actually playing to a point? What would have happened if they caught a cat? The dogs made no move to me, and they had plenty of chances.
That little dog just watched as he stood in the middle of the action. I could have footballed him outta there, but passed.
It reminded me of a similar incident a couple weeks ago when I was in Buffalo, WY.
A big dog from the next camp site got tired of having Dutchie watching him, and suddenly charged. Dutchie was ready and started a circling routine, where the dog got close, then Dutchie would suddenly change direction and be free. I watched from the doorway of the RV. A couple times Dutchie was coming around and I figured she would bolt inside and be safe. But she ran right by the stairs and kept moving. One time she was running right toward me and I yelled for her, but she seemed to choose NOT going inside.
Now Fluff was in the same dilemma. And she chose to run inside. I was outside only a few feet away, and was totally surprised when that big dog followed her right up the stairs… It was here that the dog suddenly stopped and realized he was not supposed to be there. And I was in the doorway blocking him. I did not want to BLOCK him, but I had to get inside to get him out. We stared at each other for a second, Fluff was hiding under the drivers seat. It was here I wondered if the situation was really dangerous. The dog was cornered, and he could have been aggressive toward me. But I moved aside and yelled GET OUT, and he did immediately.
Maybe Dutchie knew that running into LEGGS could be a DEAD end.
Fluff was safe inside, Dutchie was safe in her own little world. So I walked around to look toward the camp site they had come from, and the owners were rounding them up and getting them inside. They never said anything to me. I watched the lady walk by in a few minutes as she went to check the bulletin board at the camp site. She saw me and said nothing. I just sat and watched her finally leave.
They were in their camper until about 10:30 this AM when they finally came out. The guy had both big dogs on leashes, and the lady had the little dog loose with her, but she was carrying a leash if needed.
Thinking about it, I have seen many situations where dogs chased cats. I do not recall one of them ever catching the cat, though. I am sure that can happen, and it could be ugly. I HAVE seen situations where it got close, and the cat stops and has a face off with the dog. Usually the dog backs off.
Playing Palouse Ridge Golf this afternoon in Pullman.
My last full day is tomorrow here, and I think I will go to Palouse Falls west of here. I feel like I have already been there, after seeing the photos online and from other campers. Seems like there is one spot for the photographic MONEY SHOT, and I have seen it several times already. Hope it has a few more angles.
Then I need to figure out where I head Wednesday.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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