Monday, November 30, 2015

Fun adventure at Northern State Recreation Area - Part 2

 After all that structure investigation in part of this post Fun adventure at Northern State Recreation Area - Part 1  it was time to move on!
We head towards the large open areas and pass a few more structures

"Awesome and I can't wait to check this out!"
Lots and lots of berry bushes line the trail.
We've been doing recall work with D'light and so we have his long line off .  I have the long line in my bag and I'm ready to re attach it if needed.

This is a great location to work on recall as you  have long straight stretches and can see what's coming.

The dairy barns in the background

Our recall cue is "Let's go"

"Here I come!"

Here's a series of EXCELLENT posts by another New Rattitude foster parent teaching recall to Timken who they fostered and adopted.  This series of posts is what I used as reference when we started this work with D'light.
And look at how strong Timken's (and their other dogs) recall is:
Recall work isn't a one and done thing.  You have to keep working at it!  For folks that say" my dog won't come when I call him" then I say you either are not doing the training correctly (using force free training) or you are not doing enough of the recall training, building a strong foundation, creating a fun game of it and reinforcing the behavior.
Time to get moving as it was cold and standing still for too long was no fun.

On the grounds is a disk golf course.  Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, Disc Golf players use golf discs and aim for a Disc Pole Hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tee area and finishing at the Disc Pole Hole.
As we move on the landscape is starting to change

D'light is thrilled as he loves trees! 
Trees = critters in his mind.

Guys on the move!

D'light finds a critter spot

While he's busy hunting, dad watches him and I find this cool patch of ice in the dirt

Time to go!

A stream with a thin layer of ice

More recall work

"Hey there's more buildings up here!"
"Hurry up!"

"Are you coming!"

Not much to see so we keep moving.  D'light does a nice job of staying near us and he does a lot of walking like this with Brett.

Surprisingly we didn't find any critters, just lots of little birds.

Creepy single structure out in the middle of no where.

Beautiful tree lined path

"Hey check this out!"


We hear water and are off to check it out

A very pretty and peaceful creek

The moss is growing

Time to start heading back

A beautiful day

And then we find more structures and again, out in the middle of no where!

D'light shows interest in checking them out

Looks like they are old mechanical buildings

Off we go to get Viva

"Viva is going to love this place!"

An old barn

"Here we come Viva!"

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fun adventure at Northern State Recreation Area - Part 1

We headed almost 3 hours North to the Northern State Recreation Area (NSRA)   This is a 726-acre portion of the former Northern State Hospital.  It's located on the eastern edge of the urban growth area of Sedro-Woolley in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
Here's a link giving some history about  Northern State Hospital
Located on the 726 acres are a number of abandoned buildings that people can check out.
The cluster of buildings we check out first are the dairy barns that were in use many years ago.  As you will soon see, they are in rough shape and we were surprised that people are allowed to check them out.
Here are some interesting links about the site:


As we usually do, we bring just D'light along so we can scope out the environment for Viva.
D'light says "What on earth is this place!"

It was a beautiful day!

We go inside the above building...

D'light takes in his surroundings and then the smell grabs his curiosity.

The buildings are clearly falling apart and missing parts of their structure

D'light's brain is loving all the smells

And Mr. Brave boy crawls under that beam...

to sniff some wild animal scat that you find throughout the building. 
There was a large "beware of bears" sign near the parking lot.

A solo sign telling us about the buildings

So much to take in

Brett says "Let's go"....

D'light's response is "Here I come dad!"

The guys check out more of the structures

A stable where some cows were kept

D'light's nose was in overdrive

He had a great time moving in and out of the structures.  It was chilly and you can see the frost on the ground and the roof is in bad shape.

"What's over there?"

Part of the roof has collapsed

So much to smell

"Should I climb up there?"

"Nope, I'll just let others know I was here!"

D'light did well with all the different structures

He did have some times of being a bit nervous notice that raised paw.
And he worked through his worries about the new environment and found lots to check out

I can't say I blamed him for being unsure, I was a bit creeped out with some of the structures and stuff laying around.

D'light would have loved to find a critter and he was looking all around for them.

Time to check out one of the biggest structures

It was beautiful inside

D'light and Brett move on to check out the milking parlor

Just weird!

Lots of stuff around and D'light navigates it well

"Mom, this room is creeping you out isn't it!"

I didn't like the milking parlor so I left while the guys explored it.
Here they come!

"That place was cool! Come on dad, lets go find some other stuff to check out"

"Any critters hiding in here?"

Off he goes and he's relaxed and having a good time.

"Where to go next?!"

We walk the grounds

And find this cluster of stuff

"Come on!"

Up he goes to get a better view

"What's over there"

"Gotta check it out"

I was surprised he ventured into this rather dark and tight space

"Look at this section!"

So much to take in

Another building and D'light is happy to check it out

Moving on...
"What happened here?"


"Nothing worth exploring in that mess"

This was popular spot as D'light wanted to keep going back to explore the area

One more structure to check out

"No critters"

Time to go check out the 700+ acres!