Hope came rolling up our driveway in the form of a really big pickup truck on Monday.
Our hay guy, neighbor Randy who cuts and bales our hay with his brothers in exchange for half the take, came to help us get Constellation to his feet after about 72 hours of the llama being down. We're not close friends. Really, our only relationship is the business connection of haymaking. But when we asked, he came.
"That's what neighbors do," Randy said. It's the code of the country.
By David Horst firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I was pretty convinced that Hope is just a city in Arkansas -- a sucker bet for people who can't see the reality in front of their noses.
I had seized onto hope on Friday, when our llama Constellatione had shown signs of improvement after 14 hours of not having the strength to stand up on his own. And the last place he had gone down was out in the pasture, in the wind.
Cobbling together a hay manger, a few hay bales, my compact tractor and a pontoon boat-sized tarp, I erected a quick wind break around him, but he had to walk on his own.
Our llama vet -- actually our llama vet's daughter -- discovered an infection caused by an abscess tooth. She was instructing her intern about how llamas can develop abscesses, "Like this one," she said, as she felt along the llama's jaw. She gave him a shot of antibiotic that she said could turn his situation around in 24 hours.
The 2017 Heritage Paddle schedule is now available. New paddles for the upcoming season include a naturalist-led tour of Horicon Marsh May 6 and two days on the Upper Fox River May 20-21 that we're calling -- to please the censors -- the Three Good Dams Paddle. It will take us from the Princeton Dam to the White River Dam one day, and White River to the Berlin Dam the next. Old favorites will be back -- including two days in the Peshtigo Flowage June 24-25, the 16th annual Park to Park Paddle July 22, a Moonlight Paddle from De Pere to Green Bay Aug. 4 and the Appleton Locks Paddle on Appleton's Octoberfest Saturday, Sept. 30. See times and other details at www.wisconsinpaddlers.com.
He is unlike anyone else I know — a mountain man born to the wrong time and place, but comfortable at any time and in any place.
John Behnke is, above all, nonjudgmental. That’s a quality I value in a friend.
We met through a mutual friend and a mutual interest in kayaking. We’ve done more than a dozen multi-day trips together, including at least 10 wilderness paddle-camping trips to the Apostle Islands. If you can come through that kind of potential for getting on each other’s nerves, you’ve got yourself a friend.