Sunday, September 25, 2011
I finally made it home after 1 1/2 days on the road. Funny, how it seems so much shorter going than coming. Even after stopping at the Norske Nook in Osseo, WI (on I-94), it was still an ordeal. Part of the problem was knowing I was going back in to eighty and ninety degree heat! Since the third day in Montana, the weather was perfect- low humidity and cool temps. In Minnesota, the high overcast and cool temps made for perfect scenting and easy walking.
In retrospect, Montana was great fun and a lot of work. I don't shy away from walking as far as needed to find birds, and MT put that attitude to the test. I never did calculate the total distance walked, but it was pretty close to ten miles per day- perhaps much more than that. An interesting note: I did use my Astro to track my dog's running distance and noted they usually cover five times the distance that I walk. No wonder they are lean and mean by the end of a two week jaunt!
The top picture is of me and Ace. The bottom is of Bob and three of his four dogs- a Spinone, Sophie, Pudelpointer, Razz, and Gordon Setter, Tink. Not shown is his GWP "Ug".
Minnesota was beautiful. The people are absolutely friendly and the grouse woods are vast and flat. Unfortunately, we didn't find a whole lot of birds. The cover was still on the trees, so, when the dogs pointed a bird not right on the trail, it was very hard to get close enough to the dog quickly to get a shot! Many times, I would be pushing through alder and aspen only to hear the flush and see a brown blur through the trees.
All in all, it was a very successful trip. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. The dogs got worked on all manner of game birds and the pups had several points and retrieves. No one got hurt or shot or lost or aggravated. I am thankful that I have the health and opportunity to do this.