Walk on the wild side

Exhausted from the long and tiring day yesterday, we decided to take it easy and stay in and around Creston today.

Another gorgeous, cloudless sky... Lisbeth really couldn't have timed her vacation any better. No way we'd be spending indoors more than a minute longer than necessary!

In the morning, we explored our own 16 acres, half hoping and half fearing we'd walk into bears. Just in case, Murray made me carry a pea whistle to chase them away... or was it meant to be blown to summon help? I'm not sure which, but at least we were prepared.

No, Lisbeth was not pointing at bear evidence (though we certainly found enough of that).

This is what she saw! A cornflower:

We went all they way down to the river. Normally it would be a 20 minutes hike, but it took us a little longer because these past few years, the path has become rather overgrown and will probably disappear altogether in another year or two - Mur and I will have to go down soon with saws and axes if we want to continue using it.

All the way down we talked loudly and clapped our hands every now and then. I dared not blow my whistle for fear Murray would take a sprint down and gallop to the rescue... but luckily we were spared any encounter with bears. Although we really wanted Lisbeth to see another bear up close, that didn't mean we'd have liked to walk into one on a narrow path with no place to go but down the steep bank, into the river deep down below!

At last we arrived at the river. Lisbeth could not believe how large our property is! She was brave enough to go down right to the water and admire the view...

... and take a picture.

Me, the coward, remained safely on high grounds waiting for her to come back. But I would have jumped in to rescue you, Lisbeth!

An interesting fungus with "tears in its eyes" growing on a fallen tree.

After we made the hike back, we drove to town to take a picture of the grain elevators from the same angle as the picture she took at the museum.

Of course no visit to Creston is complete without a stop at the wildlife center. When the employee told us we might be able to spot some bear droppings, we tried not to snicker... that morning, on our property, we must have seen at least 30 already!

It was a fun hike across the boardwalk.

We did not spot any wildlife, though Lisbeth still managed to find something alive to take a picture of.

We went up to the observation tower and then headed back taking the shortest route, a leisurely walk that still felt like hours - the sun was hot!

Then we went to the Skimmerhorn Winery for some wine tasting. That is to say, Lisbeth did all the tasting... I just had a sniff here and there, me having to drive back home. She was modest though and even though she was offered the full range of 20 bottles or so, she only picked three or four - to try, that is, not drink the entire bottle.

What a view! Almost as nice as our own...

How happy Murray was with his gifts - delicious red wine and a bottle of port labeled "Old Koot". No Mur, I had nothing to do with it, it was Lisbeth who bought that... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Another fun day, and a very special and unique moment in Burns history: the three of us watched the very first movie in our (almost finished) home theater! As Lisbeth said, we should have donned her with a tiara, called her "Lis" and ask her to cut a ribbon to declare the place officially opened!