Last Sunday afternoon Shiloh was out in the front yard “helping” me rake leaves and load them into my leaf wagon. We were getting along pretty well, with him only occasionally grabbing one of the small tree branches out of my hand before I could get them into the wagon. Suddenly, I looked up to see Steve Crone and three young girls on an ATV being pulled by a team of 10 or 12 husky dogs passing by our front lawn. Of course, Shiloh saw them too and immediately dashed out into the road to greet all those “lively playmates!” Ignoring all my shouts of admonition and calls for Shiloh to come back, Shiloh pranced down to the middle of the string of huskies, jumped up and down with his best “Let’s play!” gyrations and evaded every attempt I made to grab his collar.
First, he pranced by me to join the lead pair of huskies; then he again evaded me and ran back to the trailing team with the same gyrations. This series was repeated several times until I got angry and shouted, “Bad dog!” in my most authoritative voice. This slowed him down, and when I told him to “sit,” he allowed me to grab his collar.
Shiloh is normally really well behaved, except when another animal appears, and then it’s “Play time” and “Tease Daddy” time!
A couple of Sundays ago, I got to talking to a friend about our hopes for a better working government after the election. He said, “You know, I work for a gas company, and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has just come out with another of those ridiculous rules requiring us to accommodate the handicapped. This one takes the cake. It requires us to install instructions on every gas pump in brail!” Think about that.
I am an amateur “history buff,” and I enjoy reading a range of non fiction novels about many aspects of American history. I am currently about 3/4 through “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen Ambrose. This is the amazing story of the Lewis and Clark expedition ordered by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803 to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territory and to try and find a trade route over the Rocky Mountains and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.
It details the prodigious efforts that Meriwether Lewis took to plan all the details involved in equipping a party of 30 men with boats, guns and enough supplies, ammunition and gunpowder to support a trip into uncharted territory inhabited by hostile natives and estimated to take at least two years! The trip was to navigate and explore the Missouri River from St. Louis to its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, find a route through the mountains and down the other side and then to travel down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. They also had to plan for the return trip via the reciprocal route without the expectation of receiving any assistance or re-supply by sailing vessels which might be at the mouth of the Columbia River.
This 4,000 mile journey was without benefit of modern technology beyond muskets, gunpowder and crude celestial observation instruments which resulted in calculation of their approximate location when the sky could be observed with the naked eye. Their only means of propulsion were by manpower (paddles, poles and ropes), wind assistance, and water, when it flowed in a favorable direction, and, hopefully, horses which could be purchased from the Indians to help carry some of their supplies over the mountains.