Noticing Coincidences and Buster Might Be Sick (Idaho Road Trip)

I am eating shredded wheat every morning because seeing the hay bales outside my door reminded me of the cereal.  They look similar. I also bought  lava soap to use. The environment has always had a direct effect on me. Here, Angus cattle appear as hunks of black lava in the field and I’m noticing weird parallels—like that I’m hanging out in what used to be Hemingway’s sanctuary, that the design of the Word press blog I am using is called a Hemmingway and that the password enabling one to use the internet at the Haley library is a Hemingway and that I fight depression like Hemmingway and painting all these black lava paintings about dissipation might not be the healthiest thing for me to focus on, despite them being beautiful, though.  When I get depressed and feel too isolated, I take Buster on a walk up the hill in civilization.

Buster and I continue to feed the animals in the morning.  This morning the horses galloped over to us when they saw us coming, the mule now kisses Buster good morning before eating his carrot, and we even now have a big brown llama eating a morning carrot.  We’ve made no headway with the sheep, however.  Then, I noticed Buster was peeing blood.

I drove him up to the Sun Valley vet right away with a urine sample.  I was told to return at 5:15PM for an exam with the veterinarian.  Since we were an hour and a half up the valley from Picabo, I decided to stay up in the Sun Valley area for the day.  To kill time, I happened to call an environmentalist activist friend who lives in Ketchum.  He mentioned that the Sockeye Salmon were spawning at Redfish lake and that I, as an artist painting dissipation, should go check it out.  He offered use of his kayak since there was no other way to see the spectacle.  Land access to the spawning grounds was closed.  While in the water, I was reminded to keep several car lengths away from the fish because it is a federal offense to disturb and endangered species with a $10,000 fine.

Buster and I continued up the valley, over the summit, with the borrowed kayak in back, to Redfish Lake.  At the turn of the century, Redfish Lake was covered completely with spawning sockeye salmon.  That is how the lake got its name.  Three years ago only one fish returned to spawn due to the construction of four dams on the Salmon river (Which need to be removed immediately). This fish is on the brink of extinction. There is something “fishy” with how the government is handling this situation that I have just learned about.

This year 500 fish returned, having completed a 10,000-mile-journey (through all four dams).  The only reason, my activist friend told me, these fish made it through the dams and river, however, was that the government release 25,000 farm-raised, genetically inferior salmon, at the same moment the baby indigenous sockeye salmon began their journey from Redfish Lake to the Pacific Ocean and back.  In this way natural predators preyed on the lesser-intelligent, hatchery-raised fish, which helped the indigenous fish survive the journey.  This is a very artificially propped up environment and it depressed me that this is as good as all these selfish millionaire and billionaires can do. I am sitting here at the Silver Creek General Store where world-class fly fishermen congregate and talk about what sports they all are.  It they were really sports, they’d help get those dams removed and care about the Sockeyed Salmon’s near extinction and learn how integral the Salmon are to the ecosystem and health of the forest by their carcasses providing nutrients to soil, trees and species. Talk about dissipation.  This is a perfect example.

Buster and I made it to the vet on time.  On the way back to the Vet, we passed the “Busterback” ranch. At the Vet, Buster had his belly shaven, and an ultra sound and x ray of his prostate taken.  We will get results from his needle biopsy this coming Tuesday.


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