Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vacationing at Grand Coulee Dam

We went on our first real vacation over the Independence Day weekend. I took Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off; our office was closed Monday so it made for six days away from it all. We had a great time!

With six plus hours' drive each direction, we definitely had some stops. First stop on the way (and last stop on the way home)...Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery, specifically, we visited "Herman" the White Sturgeon.
 I wish, wish, wish! I had been quicker with the camera. Vegas did not know what to think about the sturgeon when it swam right at her. She tensed all over, stood facing the glass, and barked like a fool. It was so darn funny!
We arrived! This was on the shore of Lake Roosevelt at our campground. Vegas loves the water but was very funny (Must have been her day for it?) with the waves lapping in and the logs in the edge. Then she was barking at the buoys. Granted, the buoys were about 12 inches or so taller than her, I would guess.
The following couple of pictures on the beach and in the water were taken early Thursday morning on a walk with my dad and his girls. 
Later on that day the kids and I took the dogs and went for a hike up the hill behind the campground.
That evening we all went on a walk and went a bit "off road." The picture below I'm sharing for two reasons. First, we were all amazed by finding blooming cactus. It was just a really cool find. But, the other reason is because there were patches of them all over. At one point I had just pointed a grouping out to my son and before I could react fast enough Vegas planted a foot in it - and just as quickly pulled right back. Unfortunately I didn't stop and check her paw right then and there. I felt badly about that when I found, later, three or four prickly spines stuck in the side of a paw. A lesson learned; fortunately the wounds didn't bleed or cause her any difficulty.
It was fairly hot out there being the high desert plus not having much for trees around. That being said, I rigged a makeshift lean-to/tent for the dogs. It took some doing to get Vegas to chill out under cover. 
Zach, my youngest, the dogs, and I spent a fair amount of time at the lake during the days we were there. Mostly we just splashed around, tossed sticks for Vegas, and used the water to stay cool. 
Great Dane balancing act.
Zach got Vegas into retrieving sticks out of the water. From time to time that sent her into fits of Great Dane zoomies....
Some days are made for chilling.
We finally got to go to the dam itself on Sunday! 
This was overlooking the spillway from the top of the dam....pretty rainbow!
And this is our little friend we found.... He enjoyed pieces of our elephant ear. 
After we got back... More water time!
More Dane zoomies.
Our last last hike on the Bunchgrass Prairie Trail. 
Some sort of wild rose.
Prickly pear cactus.
Our last stop on the way home. Bonneville Dam again. Vegas was very thirsty.
Still thirsty.
Big as the white sturgeon.

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