Smoke gets in our eyes

Wild fires are all too common here. It's dry and hot, and the occasional "dry" thunderstorm comes through with lightning strikes causing the fires. Smoke will fill the air, sometimes so thick my eyes burn, I sneeze and cough, and can't see four miles across the valley. "Controlled burns" are also common - the forest service's attempt to burn off dead fall and underbrush so that when a lightning strike ignites trees, the fire has less fuel to burn and so causes less damage. Either way - natural start or man made - smoke is the result. So much for the pristine beauty of the landscape.

The smoke is so common in the summer, I've learned, that I end up continuing my running because waiting it out isn't realistic. I try to find a trail where there's less smoke and lots of water for the girls, but it's hard. Yesterday we went to East Fork Lake Fork (such a strange name for a river) where the smoke was thick. In a couple of the photos, the background is obscured as if a thick ocean fog just rolled in. The girls and I ran about nine miles.

There was, at least, lots of wild water on this route.

Every chance they got, the girls were belly deep into the river. This gives them "skinny legs" which look so comical on these big fluffy girls. Meadow particularly looks ridiculous, like a dog on stilts, because her woolly coat normally makes her appear stocky and sturdy. The few times either of them get bathed (an example being after they were "skunked" at the dude ranch in BC last September) produce gales of laughter because of their drowned rat appearance.

The pink flowers: Lewis monkeyflower.