My Life as Elska the Dog

The adventures of Elska the Dog, and Tonia and Gregg

The Flood of ’06! November 10, 2006

Filed under: The Gorge — elska @ 5:05 pm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you probably are aware the Pacific Northwest has been in a severe flood state since rains and warm temperatures have taken over the region since about last Friday. Take a look at some of these pictures, taken from some friends off of Highway 35, by Mt. Hood, just 30 miles south of our house.

Why did the salmon cross the road?

Highway 35 on the way to Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows ski areas. This is the road!!

Boulders over Hwy 35

 The White River Bridge completely take over by the slide! This bridge usually has about a 20 foot clearance below it.

White River Bridge

This is the Hood River, which may look like any other river, but it normally runs like a creek this high up the river.



Harvest Moon October 7, 2006

Filed under: Daily Life,Friends — elska @ 4:38 pm

Tonight is the Harvest Moon. I never knew what a Harvest Moon really was until I moved to Orchard and Vineyard country. A harvest moon happens only in Autumn and only once a year. It gets its name because during this time of the year, the moon rises about the exact time of sunset for three days, allowing farmers extra light to harvest their crops before winter sets in. With advanced farming techniques and electric lights, the Harvest Moon is not as important anymore, but nonetheless it’s worth watching. I watched the Harvest Moon last night come over the eastern hills of the Gorge and it was pretty amazing.

Wind River Cellars — one of my favorite clients and really quality, fun people — are having their Harvest Moon celebration tonight. I highly recommend making the trek up their dark, windy, gravel, forest road to the rolling vineyard above Husum for “live music gourmet food, dancing midgets and wine.” You’ll get to meet Joel and Kris, who are entertaining to say the least, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Mini, their pet pig (although it looks more like a hog). And if you can’t make it there tonight, at least go check out Joel’s Blog, where he will have you rolling on the floor in laughter from his twisted humor and daily wine visitor diatribe.

The Winemaker hard at work Mark Nielssen’s Painting of WRC


Breathtaking Rides October 6, 2006

Filed under: Outdoor,The Gorge — elska @ 5:32 am

It was mid-September and it’s still hot here in the Gorge! Mid-80s and Gregg and Tonia decided to go for a dusty mountain bike ride along the eastern ridge of the Hood River Valley, known as “Surveyor’s Ridge.” That’s all great — just leave me here at the house — AGAIN! Apparently they don’t think I can handle mountain bike rides anymore after I nearly collapsed after racing downhill for about 10 miles. So what if I passed out and could hardly walk the next day. I can do it again. Duh! I’m a dog.

Well, ok… I’m not giving you the whole story. I went off to Fido’s Fun Farm (it’s really Fido’s Fat Farm) about 6 months ago and chased the horses and cats around 20 acres for 2 weeks. What a party that was. I think I’m still recovering from that. I left with a bum back leg and since have not been allowed to go for long rides with mom and dad.

This is Mt. Hood to the south, which of course was under the highest sun of the day so you really can’t see it that well. But you get the gist. It’s pretty friggin’ cool. The Hood River Valley to the north rolls for miles with ripening orchards of apples, pears, and just harvested grape vines. In this pic, they’re above all of it.

The Two of Them

Apparently this was not the best ride by any means, due to the rocks and roots along the entire path. But I think T & G just told me that to make me feel like I didn’t miss out on anything. They said the views were nice, which they know I don’t care about because I just like chasing squirrels and varmints.

We are spoiled with some of the Gorge’s best mountain biking right outside our backdoor in White Salmon. That’s in Washington. Just 30 miles as the crow flies from Mt. Hood. But it’s all good — you can come over to Oregon and look across the Columbia River to Mt. Adams in Washington, and see another fabulous volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Range. Gregg’s bike needs a fixin, thankfully! So I’m gonna get some love!


Don’t say the “C” word

Filed under: Family — elska @ 3:53 am

My brother is 18 and got diagnosed with it last Spring. It kills half a million people each year, but it‘s not going to kill Scott because he is strong. Really. He’s strong, both in the head and in his boots. Strong and stubborn that Scott. And because he’s so stubborn, this beast of a disease is going to keep finding walls with Scott. It is going to try and annoy Scott for awhile and then give up. It will leave angrily, looking for its next victim. But it won’t find it in Scott. Being stubborn is saving his life. Who woulda thunk. 

 I can’t say what it is because Scott doesn’t like to say it. He says people treat him like he has it when they say it, and he hates that. I can totally respect that. Here’s all of us at the Leukemia Walk up in Olympia. Nancy’s friends in the WA Ecology Department put it on — what an amazing show of support! These people were so kind and giving — and they just work with Nancy! Scott is the tall one in front to the right of my Dad, in the gray sweatshirt. Nancy is kneeling between them and my grandma is in front in the cute little blue jogging outfit. She doesn’t job much, but she walks more than anyone I know! I’m in the lime green vest and the rest of the crew are friends from Ecology Dept. and Olympia.

Scott killing it with many supporters


Living with a 12,000 foot volcano

Filed under: Outdoor,The Gorge — elska @ 3:22 am

This is Mt. Adams, a 12,000 foot active volcano that sits just 20 miles north of us. G took this picture last fall just after getting new mountain bikes. Those bikes changed my life as a dog. I get to chase them everywhere. I just run. Nonstop. Run run run. And sometimes I run into varmints. Varmints are cool. They run too. And fast.  So, we explored some forest service roads within 20 minutes of the house, with views all over, but had to climb a tree to get this shot. Well, I didn’t climb it — that’s too much work. I chased varmints.



My life as a dog in White Salmon

Filed under: Dog Life,Outdoor,The Gorge — elska @ 3:20 am

Hi, my name is Elska. That’s me right there in that picture below. I belong to Tonia and Gregg. You’ll see more pictures of them soon, and hear from them most of the time, but I’m kicking off this story.

Me at home in the snow and on a hike

I wanted to create this blog because our families are so far away and removed from our lives…we really want you to see and understand why we are here in this beautiful place. I was running around the suburbs of Olympia, Washington, running the highways from house to house, never comfortable with the ‘burbs lifestyle. I saw friends locked up in kennels all day and chained up in backyards with nothing but some gravel and a bowl of water. Some of my friends had never been off-leash!! They were taken to these fenced-in dirt patches, called “dog parks”, where hundreds of dogs would run around and throw attitude all day. Screw dat! I was outta there!

I’ll spare you all the details in between, but basically Tonia came and rescued me from the crappy life in concrete, chain-linked kennels. Now I live in the country, off-leash, off-chain, and loving life. I pretty much rule my ‘hood here — kids and other dogs shiver as they pass, and the gas man is required to give me treats before getting near my house. I get fed twice a day, get to hang out on the down comforter every night, and get daily swims (with big sticks!)

Elska Bloggin’

For our friends in far away places such as Maine, Moscow (Russia!), Sun Valley, North Carolina, Perth Australia, Salt Lake City Utah, Seattle, Maui, Toronto, Whistler, London, Cozumel Mexico, San Francisco, Maryland, Spokane, Texas, and Virginia — some of you know my life. Many of you have chosen your current destinations for the same reason I have — lifestyle, love of the outdoors, appreciating every moment, and really good bones. So, though you may have never been here to White Salmon, in the Columbia River Gorge national scenic area, nestled between Oregon and Washington States, you know. You live it too. Love, sleep, run, eat, love, sleep, run ,eat…..