Monday, July 23, 2007

Paws Up Ranch

Paws Up Ranch

Pat won a great incentive trip from Lexus to Paws Up Ranch in Greenough, Montana for a family of four. We left Portland on Thursday, July 19 for Missoula, Montana. It was a quick flight with a stop in Seattle. Missoula isn’t that far from Spokane; maybe 100 miles.

The Ranch was an Angus beef ranch of 37,000 acres and they used to run 3,500 head of cattle, Now they only have 350. The famous Blackfoot River (A River Runs Through It) runs through the ranch. They have about 20 individual guest houses set in the trees. They are beautifully decorated in a western lodge theme, no expense spared. Ours had three bedrooms and 2 baths, a nice wrap around porch and hot tub.

We were given the opportunity to try 2 activities per day for the time we were there. We chose to do only one activity on a couple days instead. The first day Pat, Joel and I arrived around 1:00 and had a great lunch outside while we waited for Jill to arrive. She got there just in time for us to get ready for a fun filled reception. Western music and dancing and a BBQ on the lawn. Wagon rides, tug of war and horse rides for kids were also offered.

On Friday, our first activity was the Shooting Clays. We were driven to a separate gun club owned by Paws Up that had about a dozen shooting stations set up around a hilltop in and out of the trees. Heath, our instructor was great, showing us how to aim and fire at a couple of easy targets. Jill and I used a 20 gauge shotgun and the guys had a 12 gauge. Once we got the hang of it, he took us up and around to all the different stations. We had to shoot at clays that were going away from us, toward, crosswise and up. By about the fourth station, we were all breaking clay more often than not. It was a lot of fun.

Near the clay course, there was a huge field with a herd of black cattle and their cute babies. We really enjoyed watching them.

The day was quite hot, so we headed back to The Trough for lunch. It was a little disappointing, sandwich bar, but okay. It was nice returning to our air conditioned home for a few hours of relaxation before the evening events. A dinner was arranged at Pomp, the nicest restaurant on the property and we had a great meal. Then we skipped the evening event, karaoke.

Morgan picked us up at our cabin and took us to Tent City. This is like no tent camping I’ve ever done. The tents had soft beds with down comforters and electric blankets, there were bathrobes and pillows and nice indoor bathrooms with rain head showers. We took a walk down to the river as it was getting dark and returned to camp to Mark, our butler, making a fire and preparing S’mores. We sat by the fire with the only other campers, Hosea and Cameron, enjoying the company, s’mores and something to drink. Mark recognized the bugle of an elk, which he said was very rare this time of year. The night ended too soon and we retired to our comfy beds and a restful nights sleep.

In the morning, we had a couple activities planned, so got up early to a lovely outdoor breakfast prepared by Helen; granola pancakes, french toast with huckleberry syrup, salmon chorizo and the usual eggs and bacon. Lovely eating outside in the beautiful Montana country. Before leaving tent city, we visited the eagle’s nest and saw the babies who just learned to fly. On the way back to our cabin, we stopped at the equestrian center and got to pet a three week old mule and a couple of very young horses. They were so cute.

Our first activity of the day was a horseback ride for a couple hours. It was just our family with a couple of wranglers who took us into the forest on the ranch . We saw a beautiful buck and an elk. The ride was ok, but as usual, we were unable to go faster than a walk. My horse did enjoy trotting from time to time so he would walk slower than the horse in front, then trot to catch up. The made my ride a little more interesting. Lunch was another semi disappointing buffet.

In the afternoon, we hit the trail on ATV’s. I was a little nervous at first, but after a few minutes because fairly comfortable, although sharp turns were still scary even at the end. We were given bandanas to cut the dust and boy were we dirty when the ride was over. The ride lasted about 90 minutes with stops for water and a nice view from the top of Lookout Rock. Another scary place; sheer drop of 1000 feet.

Dinner was an in home BBQ. The staff dropped of steaks and salmon and all the trimmings for us to enjoy a leisurely dinner at our own pace. After a long, busy day, it was nice to just relax and enjoy our cabin and each other.

The final day was fantastic. We were able to sign up for all day fly fishing starting at 6:30. We me up with our guides, Bill and Kerry at the Wilderness Outpost and proceeded to the river. Each guide had a raft with rowing frame and seats for two, so we split up and learned to fly fish. Before getting onto the river, we learned how to cast and set the hook if a fish bit.

Then we hit the river. It was a particularly warm day, so we needed to get our fishing in early. Evidently, the fish don’t like to bite when the water is warm and it wears them out. The weather was beautiful and, even without the fishing, the float on the river would have been great. Kerry was a funny guy, very much into the Montana outdoors. I managed to land two and lose two, Pat caught one big one, Joel caught three and, Jill was the champ with five. We didn’t keep them, sent them back to their lovely river home.

Near the end of the fishing time, we pulled it over and the guides set up a nice picnic for us. They BBQ’d New York steaks, had green and pasta salads and candy bars for dessert. After lunch, we floated for another 45 minutes or so and headed back.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with reading and sleeping until dinnertime. Dinner was held at the equestrian center. It began with a cocktail party and hors d’ouvres for the adults, little kids were given the opportunity to rope a fake steer, sit on a saddle and other western activities in the arena. We had dinner in an adjoining room and watched a video that was created about the week. Then watched a horse show. Several riders did a shooting exhibition while riding around barrels and the emcee took the bridle off his horse and showed how smart and well behaved he was.

We were sorry to see it end, but hope to go back again. What a fun time.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


We couldn't believe the crowds in Sunriver this time. It must have been because it was the weekend before 4th of July, but there were people everywhere. It was very fun.

On Friday, we golfed at Aspen Lakes in Sisters. The wind was howing, but the course was beautiful. Would love to try it when the weather is better.

Saturday, we took a long walk, went to the library, ate at the Trout House. We were lucky to get a seat on the deck and watched the kayakers and canoers rowing by. Later, we golfed the Meadow Course in Sunriver. It's just o.k. Nothing to rave about.

We had a lovely lunch with some Bend friends at Anthony's in the Old Mill District. The food was great. Pat and I split a nice salad and Mahi Mahi tacos. Delish!

The Jump Off Creek - Molly Gloss

This book helps me remember how difficult life was for the original settlers of the NW . A Pennsylvania widow sells all her late husband's belongings and buys a cattle 'farm' in the Blue Mountains. The weather is miserable, the farmstead is a wreck, the ground barely grows anything. Incredible life. We're so lucky.

A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest Gaines

Nicely written, but somewhat slow.

Gilead - Marilynne Robinson

This is one of the most amazing books I've read in a long time. It is notes written from an older pastor who married late in life, to his young son. The writer is dying and writes words of wisdom for the boy to use throughout his life.

I got the book from the library, but for the first time, felt like underlining sections and writing in the margins. I plan to buy a copy soon.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Booklist 2003 -2012

Divergent - Veronica Roth
The Death Cure - James Dashner
The Scorch Trials - James Dashner
So Much for That (Audiobook Book Group)
Scorpio Races (Audiobook)
The Night Circus (Audiobook)
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
Miss Perrigrine's Homes for Peculiar Children
Never Let Me Go -Kazuo Ishiguro (Book group)
The Speckled Monster (Book Group)
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
Island in the Sea of Time - S.M. Stirling
Storm Front - Jim Butcher (Audiobook)
Dies the Fire - S.M. Stirling
A Cup of Friendship - Deborah Rodriguez (bookgroup)
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley
Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West - L. A. Meyer
The River House - Sarahlee Lawrence
West of Here - Jonathan Evison
In the Belly of the Bloodhound - L. A. Meyer (Audiobook)
The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan (audiobook)
The Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
Nemesis - Philip Roth
Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand (bookgroup)
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Baile
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan (audiobook)
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
River Secrets - Shannon Hale
Comedy in a Minor Key - Hans Keilson (bookgroup)
Gunn's Golden Rules - Tim Gunn
You Had Me at Woof - Julie Clam
Princess Academy - Shannon Hale (audiobook)
Enna Burning - Shannon Hale (audiobook)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
Limbo - A. Manette Ansay
Ben & Me - Cameron Gunn
The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale (audiobook)
My Lobotomy - Howard Dully
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson (audiobook)
The Free Book - Brian Tome
Cutting for Stone - Abraham Vergese (bookgroup)
The Little Friend - Donna Tartt (Audiobook)
The Reliable Wife - Robert Goodrick
The Monsters of Templeton - Lauren Goff
The Seamstress - Sara Tuval Bernstein (bookgroup)
Spilling Clarence - Anne Ursu
Finnikin of the Rock - Melina Marchetta
Tinkers - Paul Harding
Lean on Pete - Willy Vlautin (Bookgroup)

The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller
One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein (bookgroup)
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larsson
Tokaido Road - Lucia St. Clair Robson
South of Broad - Pat Conroy (bookgroup)
An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination - (bookgroup)
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley Brisingr - Christopher Paolini The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen (bookgroup) The Memory of Running- Ron McLarty The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins In the Woods - Tana French The Help - Kathryn Stockett (bookgroup) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame Smith The Magician's Assistant - Ann Patchett Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford Shanghai Girls - Lisa See (bookgroup) From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris Dead as Doornail - Charlaine Harris Left to Tell - Immaculee Ilibagiza Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa (bookgroup) Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris Hunting and Gathering - Anna Gavalda Invasion - Robin Cook Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout (bookgroup) Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris Travels in the Scriptorium - Paul Auster Breakfast with Buddha - Roland Merullo (bookgroup) Kindred - Octavia Butler Club Dead - Charlaine Harris Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris The Candidates Wife - Patricia O'Brien The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer (bookgroup) Innocent in Death - J. D. Robb Eon - Greg Bear House at Riverton - Kate Morton (bookgroup) Ender in Exile - Orson Scott Card The Book Thief - Markus Zusak Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach Stardust - Neil Gaiman The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin The First Patient - Richard Palmer Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates (bookgroup) A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon Embracing the Wide Sky - Daniel Tammet Ishmael - Daniel Quinn Slightly Sinful - Mary Balogh The Gate House - Nelson DeMille (audio) Slightly Tempted - Mary Balogh The Lazarus Project - Aleksander Hemon (bookgroup) Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin (audio) The Reader - Bernard Schlink Love Walked In - Marisa de los Santos My Stroke of Insight - Jill Bolte Taylor (Audio) Mountain Rescue Doctor - Christopher Van Tilburg Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo (Audio) How Starbucks Saved My Life - Michael Gates Gill Lamb - Christopher Moore The Purpose for Christmas - Rick Warren Doubt: A Parable - John Shanley The Last Chinese Chef - Nicole Mones 1776 - David McCullough (Audio) Slightly Scandalous - Mary Balogh Slightly Married - Mary Balogh The Sweet Far Thing - Libba Bray The Thirteen Tale - Diane Setterfield Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives - Pamela Grim The Way of the Small - Nicholas Bray Rebel Angels - Libba Bray The Lake, the River & the Other Lake - Steve Amick When You Are Engulfed in Flames (audio) - David Sedaris A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray The Religion (audio) - Tim Willocks The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper Breaking Dawn - Stephanie Meyer Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri New Moon - Stephanie Meyer The Shack - William Paul Young Dreamers of the Day - Mary Doria Russell Reservation Road - John Burnham Schwartz Twilight - Stephanie Meyer The Good Earth - Pearl Buck Eldest - Christopher Paolini The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni Bel Canto - Ann Patchet Rise and Shine - Anna Quindlen (audio) Invasive Procedures - Orson Scott Card et al To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (audio) The Dante Club - Matthew Pearl In Cold Blood (Audio) - Truman Capote Golden Ocean - Patrick O'Brien True Evil - Greg Iles (audio) The Prometheus Deception - Robert Ludlum (audio) The Last Town on Earth - Thomas Mullen Skylight Confessions - Alice Hoffman Snow Flower and the Secrect Fan - Lisa See The Faith Club Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert A Hole In Texas - Herman Wouk Blink - Malcolm Gladwell Murder On the Orient Express - Agatha Christie The Human Stain - Philip Roth The Last Crossing - Guy Vanderhaeghe The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald The Outlander - Diana Gabaldon The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith - Anne Lamott One Last Scream - Kevin O'Brien Sweetness in the Belly - Camilla Gibb What Got You Here Won't Get You There - Marshall Goldsmith Then We Came to the End - Joshua Ferris Sacred Romance - John Eldridge Wild Fire - Nelson DeMille What's So Amazing About Grace - Philip Yancey March - Geraldine Brooks Little Women - Louis May Alcott The Collectors - David Baldacci Waxwings - Jonathan Raban Tender at the Bone - Ruth Reichl Walking in Circles Before Lying Down - Merrill Marko A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver The Virgin's Lover - Phillipa Gregory Born on a Blue Day - Daniel Tammet Everyone Worth Knowing - Lauren Weisberger Be My Valentine - Debbie Macomber Kafka on the Shore - Murakami Mayflower - Nathaniel Philbrick The Great Fire - Shirley Hazzard Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling Three Cups of Tea Secret Ceremonies - Deborah Laake Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
The Jump Off Creek - Molly Gloss A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest Gaines The Curse of the Blue Tattoo - L.A. Meyer The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Bloody Jack - L.A. Meyer
Saving Fish from Drowing - Amy Tan
Lord Foul's Bane - Stephen Donaldson
Flashman - George MacDonald Fraser
Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad - Howard Norman The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillippa Gregory The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards The Last Battle - CS Lewis The Silver Chair - CS Lewis The Magician's Nephew - CS Lewis The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis The Horse and His Boy - CS Lewis Prince Caspian - CS Lewis A Death in Belmont - Sebastien Junger The Amber Room - Steve Berry Extremely Loud and Incredible Close - Jonathan Froer Summerland - Michael Chabon American Pastoral - Phillip Roth The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The March - E.L. Doctorow
Rendevous with Rama - Arthur Clarke Calculating God - Robert Sawyer Nightfall - Nelson DeMille The Final Solution - Michael Chabon Shadow of the Wind -Carlos Luis Zafon Summer of My Greek Taverna - Tom Stone Soul of a Doctor Cell - Stephen King Blow Fly - Patricia Cornell Zorro - Isabel Allende The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith The Dogs of Babel - Carolyn Parkhurst The Stone of Farewell - Tad Williams The Green Angel Tower - Tad Williams Back When We Were Grownups - Ann Tyler Everyman - Philip Roth Under the Banner of Heaven - John Krakauer Wild at Heart - John Eldridge Sons of Fortune - Jeffrey Archer Leaving the Saints - Martha Beck Wicked - Gregory Maguire The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd Devil in the White City - Erik Larsen Split Second - David Baldacci Polar Dreams - Helen Thayer Chill Factor - Sandra Brown Storm of Swords - GRR Martin Eragon - Christopher Paolini The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion Clash of Kings - GRR Martin Black Wind - Clive Cussler Game of Thrones - GRR Martin Count to Zero - Ken Follett Polar Shift - Clive Cussler The Solace of Leaving Early - Haven Kimmel Chainfire - Terry Goodkind Debt of Bones - Terry Goodkind Naked Empire - Terry Goodkind Pillars of Creation - Terry Goodkind Faith of the Fallen - Terry Goodkind Soul of Fire - Terry Goodkind Temple of Winds - Terry Goodkind Mountains Beyond Mountains - Paul Farmer Journey from the Land of No - Roya Hakakian Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling Blood of the Fold - Terry Goodkind Stone of Tears - Terry Goodkind The last Juror - John Grisham Wizards First Rule - Terry Goodkind The Sea Will Tell - Vincent Bugliosi Dry - Augesten Burroughs Castle Roogna - Piers Anthony The Source of Magic - Piers Anthony Bonesetters Daugher - Amy Tan Running with Scissors - Augesten Burroughs A Spell for Chameleon - Piers Anthony The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams Golden Buddha - Clive Cussler Decipher - Stel Pavlou Replay - Ken Grimwood Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman A Thread of Grace - Mary Doria Russell Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Aron Ralston Kiterunner - Khaled Housseni Gunpowder - Harry Turtledove Frankenstein - Dean Koontz Curious Notions - Harry Turtledove Time Lottery - Nancy Moser Abhorsen - Garth Nix Lirael - Garth Nix The Spider's Web - Peter Tremayne Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynn Truss Sabriel - Garth Nix Prey - Michael Crichton The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri Double Vision - Pat Barker Reflex - Steven Gould 1st Meetings in the Enderverse The Stand - Stephen King The Known World - Edward Jones The Dark Tower 7 - Stephen King 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez The Girl Becomes a Comma Like That - Lisa Glatt The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon Beauty - Susan Tepper Perilous Power - Rose Sabin Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon Deception Point - Dan Brown Hearts in Atlantis - Stephen King Song of Suzannah - Stephen King Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris Left Behind - Tim Lehaye DaVinci Code - Dan Brown Word Freak - Stefan Fatsis Sickened - Julie Gregory Pompeii - Robert Harris Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi Helm - Steven Gould What Your Doctor Can't or Won't Tell You - Evan Levine, MD Jimping off Planet - David Gerrold Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides Heart Full of Lies - Ann Rule Wildside - Steven Gould Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert Dune - Frank Herbert Jumper - Steven Gould Headwind - John Nance Angels and Demons - Dan Brown The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon Wolves of the Calla - Stephen King Oracle Night - Paul Auster Passing for Normal - Amy Wilensky Wizard & Glass - Stephen King The Wastelands - Stephen King The Drawing of Three - Stephen King The Gunslinger - Stephen - King Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides A Plage of Angels - Sherri Tupper The Voyage - Phil Caputo Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer The Map that Changed the World - Simon Winchester Three Junes - Julia Glass Trojan Odyssey - Clive Cussler Blessings - Anita Shreve Embers - Sander Marai Return of the King - JRR Tolkien Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris The Two Towers - JRR Tolkien Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolkien The Last Innocent Man - Phillip Margolin Without Reservations - Alice Steinbach White Death Clive Cussler 1000 Days in Venice - Marlena De Blasi The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman Portrait of a Killer - Patricia Cornwell The Red Pony - John Steinbeck The Pearl - John Steinbeck Lost Breath - Peter Stark Life of Pi - Yann Martel Peace Like a River - Leif Enger Harry Potter and the ORder of the Phoenix - JK Rowling Doomsday Book - Connie Willis Neither Here Nor There - Bill Bryson Want Ad Killer - Ann Rule Lust Killer - Ann Rule No Spin Zone - Bill O'Reilly Pope Joan - Donna Cross And Never Let Her Go - Ann Rule Of Mice & Men - John Steinbeck Fallen Angels - Tracy Chevalier Master and Commander - Patrick O-Brien Anvil of Stars - Greg Bear Inside the Magic Kingdom - Tom Connellan Frankenstein - Mary Shelley Sideshow - Sherri Tupper Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Beach Music - Pat Conroy Dress Code - Toby Fischer Mirkin The Gate to Womens Country - Sherri Tupper Cannery Row - John Steinbeck The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester Balza and the Little Chines Seamstress The Forge of God - Greg Bear