03 September 2007

Labor Day Weekend: Fun And Fire In Elgin

Saturday, we packed up the Sorento and headed out east to B's folks' place near Elgin. The plan was to make the drive, do the family thing, have some BBQ, chill out, and head home.

We pretty much stuck to the plan.

Phoebe proved once again to be a very good little traveler, even on the long drive, and got along well with the in-laws' dogs. We were worried, as Pheebs hadn't met B's folks 2 newer dogs, hadn't seen Jenn's dog Cassie in a while, and hadn't met B's bro's dog either. No dog problems. Yay!

When we arrived, we got all set up - mondo tent on the lawn, dogs all acquainted, find a spot in the shade and have a drink. We noticed a lot of dark smoke in the distance as we approached, and were of course very relieved to find it wasn't too close for comfort.

Shortly after arriving, however, we started to realize it must be a pretty big fire. The most obvious clue, beyond the smoke, was the FOUR helicopters that rather quickly arrived and started pulling massive buckets of water out of a pond on the in-law's neighbor's property. I immediately got all geeked up, and started snapping a ridiculous amount of photos. I'll spare you the full run of them, but here are the ones I liked best:

One of the Hueys working the fire.

This was a trippy-looking helicopter. I'd seen twin-axial 'copters before, but none quite like this one.

Here's a better look at it. I learned, from a little research, that this is a Kaman K-Max helicopter. I might have guessed it was a Kaman, since the only other intermeshing twin-ax helicopter I've ever seen was a Kaman (the H-43B Huskie, at an aviation museum somewhere)

Got 'em coming and going.

This plane showed up to the fire party a little late. I couldn't tell if he dumped anything, but the fire seemed like it was nearly put out by the time we saw this guy.

Anyway, the evening quieted down until B's brother and his family arrived. Another dog joined the mix as well, and they all got along great. Fortunately, I was buzzing on several glasses of bourbon (single ice cube, thanks), so the inundation of 3 nephews wasn't much of a shock. I hadn't seen the little rascals in a while, so it was fun for a while. They'd annoy me later, though.

Pheebs follows Molly into the horse corral, and they decide to play-fight in front of the horse while it ate. Dinner theatre? No, just dumb dogs.

Nice sunset.

Okay, okay, ya got me shooting at the moon again. It looked redder in some other shots I took, but this one came out best.

Played around a little bit with my tiny little tripod and the 'Starry Sky' mode. Here's the Big Dipper.

Phoebe, panting after all that chasing and playing - just within the first 30 minutes after we arrived.

Sunday was a slacktastic day, mixing in a little ATV riding with some near-collisions on it with the dogs, and some water ballon wars. A dash of not using sunscreen kind of soured the recipe, but the BBQ ribs (that totally kicked ass), and the cookie-baking contest (nicely done, Matt) made up for it.

The drive home Monday was long and boring, aside from our chatter and counting all the cop cars that had people pulled over (6), and the one that was lying in wait for the cars headed east. Phoebe was totally crashed.


BJDorr said...

A tired dog is a happy dog. I let my boys run themselves into the ground so they just sleep in the car on the ride home. That is some nice country out in Elgin.

Has Pheebs met the horse before? Lat week Henry was introduced to a horse. He wasn't sure what the four-legged beast was. Owen on the other hand though it was another big dog. Labs are so dumb.

Ghost Dog said...

She'd met my in-laws' horses before, a couple years ago. She got even closer that time. I thought she was going to get kicked or trampled for sure.

BJDorr said...

She's a happy dog though. One of the photos shows her tail being blurred!

BJDorr said...

That is a cool looking chopper. I tried looking up that chopper for more details but I realized my "Jane's Encyclopedia to Aviation" is 20 years old and it is not listed in there. I need an updated book, or take a run to the library and look it up.

It's a lot cooler looking than the CH-47 Chinook (or as we sometimes called it in the Army, "Shit-hook").

Ghost Dog said...

Hehe...I still have my Jane's somewhere. It's a 1992 edition, I think.

I seem to recall the running joke about the 'hook was that you didn't ever want to get on one that wasn't leaking hydraulic fluid - that meant it didn't have any left!

lands said...

Glad you had a good time. The pix were/are interesting.

You always wonder when dogs meet for the first time or if they haven't been around dogs for a while.