Brynn

Hunting & Dancing with Hounds

New Funny Farm content coming soon. But after a busy weekend, I can only proffer up a few pixs and captions.

On Saturday Brynn hunted untethered — “off the leash,” as she likes to say. In other words, without any speed moderation from yours truly.

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What does this mean?

It means that I’m dispensable.

I’m still useful when it comes to tacking up the pony, or tightening his girth. I am menial labor.

But in the hunt field, I am a nonessential employee.

Last week, Brynn was frightened to ride down steep slopes and cross creek beds. This week she was blase. Freed from the lead, she announced that I could fall in behind her. “You can stay back there,” she said, gesturing toward Rocky’s tail.

She’s a teenager, embodied in a kindergartener.

Which is impressive and annoying at the same time.

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Chatting on the hack home

 

In the meantime, Hadley is still honing her hound handling skills. Pictured, this isn’t Kennedy, but another effusive hound in the pack.

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Dancing with hounds.

Or just bonding.

Either way, it’s a feel-good experience.

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(Photos by Karen Kandra & Robert Keller)

Pumpkin Surprise

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Remember those rogue pumpkins that Hadley planted along the deck? Well, this afternoon — while I was clattering away on my laptop — those gourds yielded an impromptu activity and a tasty snack.

Want to give it a whirl? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins
  • children
  • baseball bat
  • salt
  • butter
  • garlic powder
  • Worcestershire

Directions: Allows kids to beat the pumpkins to smithereens on a mud-free surface. Any club or bat will do; our kids prefer an Easton model.

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Next: Should one kid salvage any pumpkin shards… extract seeds, then rinse and boil in salty water. Finally, drench the seeds in a butter/garlic powder/Worcestershire concoction, and bake for 10 to 50 minutes… depending on oven volatility.

I never thought there’d be anything salvageable from the pumpkin carnage I witnessed today.

But the seeds were pretty tasty.

Aside from a little driveway grit.

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Blisters & Bears

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Our crew debated the distance — was it 26 or 28 miles? — but the fact remains: we hiked all day last Saturday.

From long before sunrise (with head lamps) until the dinner hour. We trudged up grassy ski slopes and hoofed across ridges; we slogged through mud, and marveled at spongy, moss-covered forests; we cursed while wading through weedy, abandoned trails.

But we made it.

This was Xtreme Hike 2015, which I previously prattled about here and here. The event raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Our location for year three? Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

Noteworthy details:

Maisie and I completed the hike at 5 pm… just a shade under 12 hours.

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Mile 23 or so

 

Martin, hobbled by quarter-sized blisters, limped across the finish line a bit later. 

In the predawn hours one hiker encountered a bear, and she temporarily lost her way while fleeing the scene. (I was elsewhere on the trail, but you hear things when you’re carrying a walkie-talkie.)

The rest of us observed bear treads in boggy patches.

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We also viewed a kick-ass sunrise behind Shavers Lake.

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And later, majestic mountain views.

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Kudos to the crew of 45 hikers who ventured out last weekend.

And a great big “thank you” to every one who donated — especially those subjected to my ceaseless nagging for contributions.

You rock.

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