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Monday, June 9, 2003

Don't miss the adventures of the biking priest as he raises money for Project Rachel.

"Ione, WA to Sandpoint, ID

This day promises to be a little wet, with rain as we load up in Metaline Falls. In Ione it is no better and I ride for the first 20 miles in rain. The rain does not keep down the dogs on the Kalispell Indian Reservation, dogs without leashes. I am chased by several packs of them and find I can hit 25 miles per hour within three pedal strokes with a little shot of adrenaline. After about 50 miles, with dry roads,
we arrive in Newport, WA where we drop by to see Fr. Ed Marier, who had arranged our time with the Kinneys. We say hello and have lunch over at Subway, chatting about Gonzaga and other issues of the Pacific Northwest. With about 35 miles to go, we take our leave and head out, through Priest River and slowly making our way to Sandpoint. We arrive across the Lake Pend Oreille across the bridge from the south. It is truly a gorgeous lake. We arrive in time to wash up and get ready for the Saturday vigil Mass at St. Joseph's."

Major digression about dogs in packs: I grew up in the country. I remember my father coming home one winter day and telling us that a pack of dogs was loose in the valley. Our kitchen window overlooked a hillside that was criss-crossed with deer runs. From that time on, several days a week we could see a frightened deer racing on the path being chased by a motley crew of dogs who had, indeed, formed into a pack. The dogs were all sizes, from a relatively small beagle on up, chasing deer in a single file as we watched from the safe confines of our kitchen. From the point of view of the dogs, it looked like they thought it was a great big old fun game. Didn't look that way from the POV of the deer, though.

My father told us once that when he was little, his father raised sheep. One day when they went out to the pen, all twenty sheep were dead. They appeared to have been attacked by a pack of wild animals, probably dogs. None of them had been eaten. They had all just been killed, mostly by having their throats torn. My grandfather grabbed his 22, told my dad he could come along, and drove to a farm across the way. He asked to look at the dogs. The dogs, three of them, on inspection had blood on their fur and around their mouths. Seeing this, my grandfather raised his gun and shot them one by one. Didn't ask their owner.

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