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hello from sunny california . . .

Aug. 15, 2015, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 4841
Joined: May 19, 2003

well , one week down , eleven more to go . . .

i'm down here in santa rosa taking the 3 month " immersion course " at the michael ellis school for dog trainers ( google it ) , and aside from all the shit i'm learning about training dogs and people , i'm learning some other stuff too .

first of all , there are too many rats in this box , and i don't mean that as disparaging to the rats ( people ) themselves at all . it's just that every where you go , at pretty much any time , there are people . having lived in whistler for the majority of my life where you can go be alone pretty easily at any time , the fact that there are 10 times more people in an area half the size of BC just means there is less space between people .

the water situation is real . the school is in the outskirts of town , like say abbotsford is to vancouver ( but only 3 miles from downtown ) so it is primarily agricultural land . i don't know how anything grows ! everything is brown , the ground is rock hard and cracked open dry like i've never seen before . we are on a well here , and every morning when i turn the tap on ( i'm first up in the morning ) , there is a 5 second delay before any water comes out . it just brings a stark reality to mind that one day water might not come out at all .

there is a creek nearby that has some stagnant water at one end of it . i can't even figure where that water would / could have come from in the first place as the hills are miles away and there sure don't have any snow on them , and probably never do . there is evidence of high water way above the creek bed , but it must have been a hell of an event for it to have placed debris where i'm seeing it now . . . i wonder when the last time they had enough water to do that ?

land access issues . growing up in BC you never even think about where you can't go . . . you just go . if you want to bushwhack or build trail , you find a spot that someone hasn't been , and have at 'er . down here , every patch is spoken for , and the ones that aren't are so " protected " , that yer looking at jail time if you think of doing something on it .

people and cultures . there are folks down here i've never seen before , specifically spanish speaking who i presume are of mexican descent . for a total white boy from a total whitebread upbringing , growing up in whistler , some of these folk can look pretty intimidating , but i've learned that ain't the case . i've got my 'cross / commuter bike down here with me and have been doing some exploratory rides around on the bike routes . most of these folks are friendly and freely offer advice and directions when asked . the novelty of having a dog in a trailer behind helps to break the ice . . .

i do have a mountain bike with me as well , but haven't had time to check anything out yet . the schooling is pretty intense and when you are not in class ( 10 - 5 , mon - fri ) i am working with the dog practicing what i've learned .

the ocean is not far away , about 25 minutes to bodega bay and for me , the novelty of going to the beach and wiggle my toes in the sand outweighs the appeal of riding in this heat .

will post updates . . .

ps . if you want to do some training with your dog , i'll be opening my own school when i get back . it will be primarily positive , reward based training and while i do work with purely " pet " owners , my main area of interest is people who want to actually do things with their dogs . . . like ride bikes !

Aug. 15, 2015, 9:34 a.m.
Posts: 298
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

yup hit the nail on the head about too many people.. theyre also the worst drivers ive ever come across (self righteous entitled fucktard comes to mind as an adjective) I didnt mind northern california but all the towns had a pretty run down feel to them.. that and the gas pumps with tvs wtf.
strange place.

Ha Ha! Made you look.

Aug. 15, 2015, 10:23 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

3 Words. Santa Barbara, baby!

Aug. 15, 2015, 11:18 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 31, 2008

Also the poison oak at the side of many trails down there is a huge pain in the ass!

That sick rogue trail you come across in an open space preserve has a very real chance of leading to a cartel run grow op. Javier won't be happy to see you!

Yes, there are way too many people there!

Aug. 15, 2015, 11:52 a.m.
Posts: 335
Joined: Nov. 20, 2010

Love the idea of training dogs how to 'do things'. I take that as how to live in human society, and not just to listen to their handler.

Problem is, as with most dogs, it's the owner, not the dog.

Aug. 15, 2015, 12:42 p.m.
Posts: 15437
Joined: Dec. 30, 2002

Mess with the hippies and their heads; ask when someones going to build a desalinization plant to alleviate this shit. Wtf good is silicon valley? Blame the lack of rainfall on weather modification to keep the radiated jet stream away from Cali and the west coast.

Also, since your from Whistler, be sure to tell them how shitty their riding is. I almost got in a fight with a Texan since he was talking aboot moab and I said, "north shore - should check it out". That was also well before 'Murica.

Also, shit talk Kesler.

protect tom mcdonald at all costs

Aug. 15, 2015, 10:03 p.m.
Posts: 3467
Joined: May 23, 2006

the ocean is not far away , about 25 minutes to bodega bay and for me , the novelty of going to the beach and wiggle my toes in the sand outweighs the appeal of riding in this heat .

Get thee out to Pt. Reyes National Seashore and ride/drive out to the coast.
Stand on top of Tomales bluff and watch the Great Whites breeding below just off the point.
Beer and local music at the Marshall Tavern in Marshall. Oyster stew at Seafood Tony's just south of Marshall.
Some of the most picturesque areas for road biking ever are right there in Sonoma Cty.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Aug. 15, 2015, 10:32 p.m.
Posts: 4740
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

California has the best and the worst of everything. Everything.

Aug. 16, 2015, 12:06 a.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Go to Oakland!

You're in the wet part of the state. Go down to San Jose.

Ride around Napa. Nice town. Riding the hills of San Fransisco might be fun too.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Aug. 16, 2015, 12:28 a.m.
Posts: 1624
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

plenty of good suggestions here. driving/riding along the coast provides some incredible ocean views, but you absolutely must go thru the avenue of the giants to see the trees.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

Aug. 16, 2015, 1:04 a.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Or Sequoia National Park for big trees…

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Aug. 16, 2015, 6:40 a.m.
Posts: 6449
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I like northern california but was happy to just drive through and skip most of the southern part of the state.

are you driving up the I-5 or are you taking the 101 along the coast on your way back North?

Driving up the coast is pretty spectacular but if you skip it and take the I-5, MAKE SURE to stop in Ashland, Oregon on your way home to ride and hang out for at least a couple of days. Best small city I've ever visited - great food, good coffee, lots of (counter) culture, tons of interesting stuff going on, super super friendly locals and great riding as well.

Aug. 16, 2015, 7:38 p.m.
Posts: 4841
Joined: May 19, 2003

thanks for all the tips boys . . .

i drove thru wash st on I-5 , then headed over to the coast as soon as i could . second day drove the length of oregon , then the third day made it to santa rosa before noon .

i plan on driving back up 101 on the way home . my wife is planning to come down for the trip back , so we'll slow it down a bit and stop to see some things .

thanks tung' for the tip about pt reyes . . . one of the other guys here went there yesterday and had a nice walk along a deserted beach .

i've managed a couple of stealth overnight spots out on the coast so far . well not so stealth actually as the best strategy seems to be park right there on the side of the road . apparently the state troopers ignore you unless you are an obvious problem , but the real guys on the lookout are the state park cops so as long as you stay out of the parks yer all good .

i actually saw a bust today at about 7.15 am . i arrived too early to get into the only free access state park beach ( goat rock , about 8 miles north of bodega bay ) so pulled into a parking lot where a suburban was parked . state park guys pull up , do a routine check and by the time it's all over about 30 minutes later all occupants of the vehicle , two males and a female , are all in handcuffs in the back of the state park cop truck .

had a beautiful day at the beach , perfect weather while back in santa rosa apparently it hit 105 .

as for dogs' doing " things " . . . yup , learning how to get along in society is big . i can train obedience , but my main thing is to develop a positive , mutually beneficial relationship between dog and handler(s) through the use of reward based training . the goal is to create engagement so the dog learns that learning is fun , that good things come from the handler . once that is achieved , easy things like come , down , sit , stay become simple behaviours among many others that are used to create rewardable moments , further strengthening the bond between dog and handler .

and yeah , it is as much about training the human as it is training the canine .

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