Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hiking Badge

Mama says it is very hard for her to update my blog since she can't take pictures when we are out because I require both hands and all her attention when we hike, but we did finish the hiking challenge and I got my first hiking badge!

My badge on my backpack

In other news we are having our first snow of the season and it is a doozy. Mama says the first snow is supposed to be a dusting that melts by evening. Not this year! There was a foot of snow at 8 am and it is still snowing. The leaves are still on some of the trees and they are not happy.

Unhappy maple tree

Mr. Maple lost a limb overnight which I thought was great fun and dragged across the backyard. Mama has been going out and shaking the branches she can reach to try to knock some of the snow off the trees which still have leaves. I follow her around but then get grumpy when the trees drop big blobs of snow on me. Mama says, "Quit following me then!" but I HAVE to follow Mama at all times to make sure she is safe and not planning to run away.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

County Hiking Challenge Hikes 5, 6 & 7

Mama and I did three more hikes, but since she only took one picture on Hike 5 because I was in a mood that day and was being reactive about EVERYTHING and no pictures on Hike 6 because of bikes we figured there was no reason to post them as individual hikes.  So, here they are:

Hike 5

Mama and I did this hike last Sunday.  It was at a place Mama hadn't visited in a long time because the part of this preserve that Merlin liked best went through ravines and so his stroller couldn't go there.  He'd get disappointed when she wouldn't take the turn to the ravines so she stopped going there all together.  The hike was supposed to be around the non-ravine loop, but someone messed with the trail markers and made it so it looked like you were supposed to go through the ravines.  Mama knew the preserve well enough to know it wasn't really the hike, but she wanted to take the ravine part anyway so we did but it did explain all the confused people we met early on in our hike who were asking us where the parking lot was.  It was great that we did do the ravine because I got to see two deer up really close! The first one I saw was only about 8 feet away and the second was about 10 feet away. Mama got a picture of the second deer before I got hysterical.

Official Hike: 3.1 miles
Our Hike: 4.9 miles
Bikes: 2

Hike 6

Mama and I took this hike yesterday. There was a silly sports event on TV that afternoon so Mama thought that, even though she knew that this hike was always jam packed with bikes, there might be fewer bikes out because of the game. (As an aside, Mama was watching TV the other night and the guy was saying how the big evolutionary leap that humans made was when they developed a desire to be part of a group that was larger than their own gene pool. This, he said, was shown in modern life by how much people love watching professional team sports. Mama turned to me and said, "Well, I guess I skipped that evolutionary leap.") Anyway, Mama was WAAAAY wrong! Even before we got to the trail we saw 13 bikes. By the time we had finished the very short hike we had encountered 38!!!

Official Hike: 1.8 miles
Bikes 38

Hike 7

Today, because the weather was so nice we took another hike. Mama had never been to this part of a big preserve before so she didn't know what we'd see, but she hoped that another silly game would make it less crowded.  We think maybe this time it worked because we saw very few people. Mama and I don't understand why people wouldn't be out on such a nice day. Better for us though!  It was a very nice combination of woods and prairie with mowed trails and gravel trails. We did the official hike, two side trails and part of the other half of the preserve which Mama had been to before.
We saw two praying mantises. 
This one is the one that didn't scare me and make me jump straight up in the air. 

The gravel trail through the woods. You can see how sunny and nice it was today.

Mowed trail with boardwalk

When we got  about 1/3 of the way through the upper half of the preserve I told Mama I'd had enough and wanted to go home. She said it would be silly to turn back and follow our trail home since we were only about 50 feet from a loop back, so I let her convince me to continue walking around the loop.  I didn't let her take the big loop though and insisted we take the short loop back.


Just before we got back to the connecting trail we came across this guy.  Mama says she's seen bigger earthworms. He was so tiny I didn't see him at all. Even when Mama stopped to take his picture I couldn't tell what she was looking at and almost stepped on him three times.

See the black strap on the left? That's my leash. That is how tiny this guy was!

Official Hike: 1.9 miles
Our Hike: 6.5 miles
Bikes: 8

September Vacation

I never got around to posting my late September vacation to Wisconsin. It was GREAT because my cousins Bexley and Noodles were up there too and I got to play play play with them as well as swim, take boat rides, chew on a marrow bone as big as Mama's forearm, menace Mama's nephew whenever he didn't put his long hair up, run in the woods and bark at things in the middle of the night.

Here are some photos from the trip.

Me and Noodles taking a boat ride

Me and Bexley playing tug

Me, Noodles and Bexley playing keep-away

Mama thought it was funny how we are blurry in all the photos

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

County Hiking Challenge Hike Number 4

Mama had the day off today so we went for a hike.  I wore my bandanna again, and, as this was going to be a longer hike, my backpack too.  Mama says I look like I should be hiking out in the Canyonlands with my bandanna and pack.

I don't know why it looks like I have a peg leg in this picture

We went on Merlin's favorite river hike.  Mama and I have not taken that hike because that trail is always packed with bikes on the weekend, but since we were going in the middle of the day on a work day Mama figured there'd be fewer bikes.  She was right, but there were still an awful lot.

We hiked along the river and through the woods and despite the bikes I had fun. Right when we started I accidentally stepped on a frog and was very surprised when it hopped out from under my foot.  Then I spotted a snake and this one didn't lift its head but rather slithered off into the grass and I followed it (from a safe distance). I also got to go wading in the river and was so excited that Mama almost went swimming in the river but managed to catch her balance on the slimy mud shore somehow.

Wading by where some trees fell in to the river and made a calm spot

We got to what Mama said was Merlin's favorite bench and sat down for a rest and to enjoy the view.  Some dog was barking on the other side of the river, but I didn't bark back.

The view from Merlin's bench

Then after a bit we kept hiking until we got to what Mama says is Boo's bench. When Boo was alive there wasn't a bench there, but Boo always stopped at this same spot every time they hiked this trail.  After Boo died Mama called the forest preserve people to find out how much it would cost to install a bench there. She got transferred into someone's voicemail and she left a message. Nobody ever got back to her about how she could donate the money for a bench, but when she went hiking with Merlin the first time on that trail, there was a bench right where she had wanted to install one!  So, she calls it Boo's Bench.

Standing on Boo's Bench and enjoying the view

When we got to the end of the hike Mama took me down below a bridge for some skinny-dipping. Well, I went skinny-dipping, Mama stayed dressed and on shore.

Our stuff on the backpack tree

On our return hike a woman on a bike passed us and I lunged and barked at her. She stopped and called out to Mama, "Are you on a counter conditioning walk today?" Mama said yes we were and the lady asked if she could help. Mama said sure. The lady was a vet tech with a reactive German shepherd and she said said she wished more people would stop and help her when she was out with him. The lady got off her bike and came over and said hi to me. Mama gave her some treats and she gave some to me. Then she walked her bike by me and handed me treats then she straddled her bike and walked past me and handed me treats, which was a bit unnerving but fun. Then she got on the bike and pedaled slowly past me and tossed treats, which was odd, but yummy. Then she stopped and dropped some treats by her wheel which I went and got. Then she leaned over and pet me while straddling her bike and I liked that. Then she biked off and I was fine. Then about 1 minute later she came back and passed me again and I lunged and barked at her. Mama called me an idiot and the woman said, "Well you did say it was a work in progress. Good luck!" and she rode off.

When we got to Merlin's Bench I wanted to go sit down again. There was a man down by the bench playing the weirdest game of fetch. He had a stick in his hand and he act like he was going to throw it in the river for me and wanted me to be sure I saw where it went. I'd get all psyched up and ready to jump in the water and fetch it, but then he wouldn't throw it. He just stand there with it for awhile and then he'd pretend like he was going to throw it again. I watched him for the longest time, but he never threw that stick. Mama said he wasn't playing fetch, he was fly fishing.

At the end of the hike Mama and I met an 8 week old chocolate Labrador puppy. We spent about 15 minutes sniffing and playing and Mama talked to the puppy's mama and grandma (this was their first ever dog). The puppy tried to eat my tail, but I didn't mind. Finally I decided I'd had enough puppy and told Mama it was time to get going and Mama and I walked back to the car while the puppy went on her first ever hike.

Total Miles Hiked: 5.5

Bikes Seen: 35

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

County Hiking Challenge Number 3

Mama and I took our third county hiking challenge. Mama and I tried something new. One of Mama's friends is really into essential oils and aromatherapy and she gave us some drops that are supposed to help PTSD and stuff. Mama put a little on a bandanna and I wore it for the hike.  

 Rockin' my bandanna

We saw some bikes right away and I sat right down and watched them pass without any anxiety at all.  Mama was very happy.

We saw lots of horses on this hike. I remembered that they weren't scary and that I was supposed to sit down and quietly watch them pass and again, Mama was very happy. In total we saw 10 horses and I was perfect for all but one. That one smelled weird, kind of like a bike. I jumped around and huffed at it. Mama said that there was a definite smell of gun oil on that horse and she though either the rider was carrying a gun (illegal on the trails) or he had cleaned his tack or coated the horse's hooves with gun oil, which would have been a weird thing to do.

There were lots of other people out at this preserve because it was such a nice day. Most were walking or fishing or boating on the lake, but one group seemed to be planning to stay.

We've never seen quite such an elaborate setup for a group of 6 people

When we were halfway around the assigned hike Mama wanted to take a side trail, I pretended like I was going to do it with her, but then just circled around the attaching trail and back to the main one. Mama said I could have just said no and not pretended like that.  When we were almost at the end of the trail I told Mama I wanted to take the trail over the bridge, so we did. We walked that trail for awhile and saw a new trail Mama had never tried before. It was labeled "Green Trail" and was mowed grass so we started up it. A short distance along it it came to a T. There were no signs marking which way we were supposed to go so I chose left. It was the wrong way. Left ended up taking us on a twisty trail to the shelters where people were having birthday parties. We walked around the shelters and eventually got back to the main trail and followed it back to the bridge. We did find the exit of the Green Trail about a 1/4 mile before the bridge. Mama says maybe we'll go back another time and turn right this time.

As we hiked I saw more bikes, and some didn't bother me while others did, but even with the ones that did I didn't remain paranoid afterwards and only Mama kept checking behind us for more bikes. Right at the end though we got passed from behind without any warning by three bikes, one of which was really scary because it had two people on it and three wheels. I lost it then and then became paranoid for the rest of the hike because I didn't know such monstrous bikes existed. At the next bench we got to I wanted to take a sit down oand gather my thoughts before we finished the hike.

Is that awful bike going to come back?

Mama noticed our shadow and took a picture.

Miles Hiked: 4.6

Bikes Seen: 20.5

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hiking Challenge Number Two

Mama and I took our second challenge hike for Labor Day.  It started off overcast and 75 degrees so it seemed like it was going to be a nice hiking day.

See. Overcast.

We spotted a tiny snapping turtle on the side of the trail.  Mama discovered I am not a fan of all reptiles, not just snakes. I didn't go flying when I saw him, but I also didn't get any closer than 3 feet from him. I didn't want my nose to get bitten.

 Tiny, but ferocious

As we kept hiking it kept getting warmer and warmer and sunnier and sunnier and I got hotter and hotter. I stopped at almost every bench for a water break and Mama said I was going to run out of water before the hike was over at that rate.  And there were SO MANY bikes it was crazy! There is a long boardwalk at this hike and we got passed by 8 bikes at once when we were in the middle of it. One little brat on a bike purposely steered towards me too and Mama wanted to kick him (preferably off the boardwalk) when he came close enough for her to do so, but she said that she'd probably end up in the people pound if she did that.

The hike ended up right before a park, but Mama said, let's go see what the park is like.

The end of the hike

It was a nice park with more trails and a great big tree house for little kids to play in. A girl came down from the treehouse to see me, but when she realized how big I was she changed her mind. There were also these statues.


On our way back to the trailhead we came across a little boy who was whining to his father about how hot and tired and thirsty he was. The father pointed out that he had been given the option of carrying a bottle of water and chose not to. Then he pointed to me and said, "See even the dog knew he should carry water." The boy then asked Mama if he could have some of my water but Mama said, "We've both been drinking out of both bottles. I don't think it would be a good idea." and the father agreed.  Then we saw a small dog being carried by his human and I thought, "Wait, dogs can get CARRIED on hikes?" and I told Mama I wanted her to carry me. She said I was too big and I had to keep walking, so I lay down in the shade and refused to move. After about fifteen minutes I realized Mama wasn't going to give in and carry me so I got up and continued hiking.

Carry me

When we got back to the trailhead Mama pumped some water for me. I had her fill my bowl four times. That was a lot of pumping. 

 Cold well water, mmmm

The thermometer in the car said it was 86 degrees out, but I think it was hotter. Mama says that it felt hotter because it was humid too. When we got home I was still hot and tired so Mama got Merlin's old wading pool out of the yard shed and filled it for me. I had a lot of fun splashing around in it and felt much better after that. Mama says she'll get the outside water fixed for me next summer so she doesn't have to haul 5 gallon buckets of water out to fill the pool.

Total miles hiked: 4.2
Bikes seen: 21

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My First Birthday With Mama

When Mama adopted me they told her I was about 1 1/2 years old and gave me a random birthday six months after my adoption day. When we went to the vet for the first time a couple days later the vet agreed on the age and gave me a different birthday six months after the vet visit. Mama said she was never going to remember either random day in August so she decided my birthday would be September 1st.

I got to pick my walk that morning and we went extra long. Then I got spaghetti for lunch and a WHOLE McDonald's hamburger for dinner!!


I also got a brand new squeaky ball. It took me over an hour to tear the squeaker out.

Birthdays sure are fun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

County Hiking Challenge Hike One

So it seems that Mama has a tradition of participating in her county's fall hiking challenge. She says when we finish I'll get the first badge for my backpack.  We went to a trail I'd never hiked before, but Mama had with my predecessor, Merlin. It is a short 1.6 mile hike around and over a creek. Mama chose it because we didn't have a whole lot of time since she had spent most of the day working in her garden instead of paying attention to me.

 Here is the creek

The hike was supposed to start at one parking lot, but when we got there there was a birthday party being held there complete with bouncy house and all the parking spaces were taken, so we went to the next lot and took a side trail to the main trail so we got a little bit more hike in.

Almost immediately after we started hiking three bikes approached us. I was scared but didn't lose it. Then a little later another bike passed us from behind without warning and I did lose it. Then we got passed by that same bike again a short time later and once again after that, but this time the lady on the bike warned us she was coming. Mama thought it must be boring to ride a bike around the same 1.6 mile loop over and over, but she guesses the rider knows exactly how many miles she rode if she does that.  Because I saw the bike so many times I was convinced it was after me and I became very paranoid. If I think bikes are after me I start searching for something high, like a bench, table, wall or stairs that I can climb up on. Mama calls it the Original Dalek Defense. So I found a bench and had a short sit down and ate some treats until I felt more relaxed and we finished our hike.

Collecting myself on a bench

When we were almost at the end of the hike mama spotted something on the trail ahead of us and said, "Ooh look, Zorro. A snake!" I wasn't interested until we were almost to it and it went into the grass. I saw the grass moving and went to investigate and just as I was leaning in to sniff the snake the snake raised its head up. Well that scared me so much I jumped three feet straight up, turned in mid-air and hit the ground running. I ran to the other side of the trail and hid behind Mama who had the nerve to laugh at me. She said it was only a garter snake and was nothing to be afraid of. I didn't think it was nice to laugh at me even if it was a harmless snake.

Miles hiked: 1.9
Bikes seen: 4 (or 6 depending on how you count it)
Total Meltdowns: 1 (or 1.5 if you count needing to sit on something high or 2.5 if you also count freaking out over a garter snake)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Vacations Are Fun!

I've decided that vacations are fun.  Mama packed up the car last week and I was a little nervous because I half remembered going to the kennel, but after some coaxing I got in the car and off we drove.  We went up to Wisconsin again and Grandma and Grandpa were there for the first day and Mama's oldest brother visited and helped Mama put the dreaded scupper and a big blocky boat into the water. The next day Grandma and Grandpa left and it was only me and Mama.  Boy did we have fun! It was too windy and rainy for most of the vacation for Mama to try to get me into the scupper which I wasn't sorry about at all. We did try the blocky boat which Mama says is a peddleboat.

I wasn't sure if I liked the peddleboat or not at first

Then I realized it was a good way to see the lake

Then I found it was very comfortable if you lie down in it. 

What am I looking at so intently you ask?

A loon! He wonders why I'm looking at him.

I thought the peddleboat was so fun after a couple rides that one night at midnight, after I got Mama up so I could go poop because I'd gotten into Grandpa's birdseed and eaten about two cups worth, I took Mama down to the dock to try to get her to take me out in it.  Mama said she wasn't going to take me for a boat ride at midnight when she was only wearing a bathrobe. Spoilsport.

Because it rained so much Mama and I spent a lot of time walking in Mama's property. It is a big hunk of woods surrounded by roads. Mama said I could run free in it, but I must not run onto the road. The first hike we took I was very good and didn't run out onto the roads. I did find the swamp and made Mama wade through it after me and then I found the peat bog and made her hop from hummock to hummock after me. She missed at one point and went in up to her knees and she said, "Zorro, some day a thousand years from now they are going to find me as a bog mummy and wonder why I have a long leash wrapped around my waist."

The second hike I wasn't so good. When we got to one side of the property I ran off onto the road and took off to try to find a drink. Mama had to walk down the road calling for me. After a few calls I came trotting back to her down the middle of the road. Mama said that was very bad and dangerous and took me back to the woods. We tromped around some more and then I decided I was done and wanted to go back to the house so I ran out onto the road to go there. Mama said I was very lucky that both the mini van and the mailman stopped their cars to let me cross the road. Then I got put on a leash and walked home in disgrace. And Mama said no more off leash running for me for the rest of vacation. Mean.

One rainy morning Mama took me to a place called "the butcher" and bought a special treat for me. She put it in the fridge and said I'd get it later in the day. Then later in the day she set up my crate, which I was NOT happy about, but when I got in she gave me a wonderful thing called a marrow bone. Oh my. It was so good that while Mama was gone I alternated between howling and chewing on the bone. Then when Mama came home she took the bone and said it was for crate or outside only and went outside with it. I was so excited when she gave it back to me I couldn't even settle down to eat it.  Here is a movie of me with the bone:

When it wasn't raining I got to swim and play in the water.  Here is a movie of me diving:

At the end of our vacation Mama's middle brother came over with his dog, Missy, and Mama's niece and nephew and their dog, Noodles. Missy is very old so she stayed in the house and I only got to sniff noses with her on leash when they were leaving but Noodles and I had a great time running around and I even showed her how to dive off the dock. She sank like a stone when she tried the first time and the second time she chose the absolute worst place to dive from and got tangled in some boat lines. Mama untangled her and Noodles decided I could be the dock diver and she'd swim from shore after that.  That night I wanted to sleep on the couch, but Grandma has a "no dogs on the couch" rule so I wasn't allowed to. So I went to bed early by myself, which I never do. Mama said it was a good thing vacation was almost over because I might not last many more days.

If dogs aren't supposed to be on the couch, why was this section made in exactly the right shape for me?

The next day Mama cleaned up and packed and I helped by uncleaning up and unpacking and we went for a very short very choppy peddleboat ride and then Mama's middle brother and his wife came and helped Mama put the boat away and we went home.  I think vacations should last forever because they are much more fun than not vacations where I spend a lot more time in my crate and there aren't boats and marrow bones.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I had an accident Friday night, but I didn't tell Mama so she didn't notice what I'd done until Saturday morning. Then I had to go to the vet and get shaved and poked and I wasn't happy. The vet lady said I stabbed myself on something. Mama found a broken sapling behind the yard shed which she cut down.  I like to run behind the shed and jump over the compost bin every time I go outside and I guess I caught myself on that sapling.

The vet says I have to wear a t-shirt when Mama is home, but busy and the cone of shame when I am home alone. I'm not happy about that.


But the worst thing is NO SWIMMING for at least two weeks!!  But, but, but, I just learned how to swim this summer and it is the best thing in the world!! I HAVE TO go to the lake and swim!!

Epilogue:  Mama had a migraine this morning and I kept bothering the wound when she would nap so she made me wear the cone of shame while she was home. This is what she kept waking up to:


Monday, July 27, 2015

Grandma Sent Pictures!

Here are a few shots of me not getting in Mama's scupper.

I'll just sit here, thanks

Two feet in is enough

 Maybe I can just swim along with you instead

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Mama and I went up to Wisconsin last weekend. Grandma and Grandpa were there although none of my doggy cousins were. I had a great time with Mama being with me all day long and paying attention to me non-stop. First I learned how to jump off the dock! Everyone was very excited when I did it. Mama didn't get to witness my first dive because in order to show me that you CAN jump off the dock Mama had to jump off the dock herself and I jumped off right after her, but once I did it I decided it was fun. I also decided that the first spot I jumped off of was the ONLY spot I could jump off of. Mama and the grandparents thought that was very funny.

Ta da!!

I like retrieving my ducky, but not necessarily giving it to Mama after I bring it back to shore

On another day Mama and I got a ride into town from Grandma who was going to run errands and then we walked home. First we went along a hiking trail and then we walked down some roads. The trail was nice, but there were a lot of bikes. I was a little bit bad about them until about thirty boys on bikes came up the trail. Mama said it must have been a whole camp taking a trail ride. At first I was alert, then I was worried, then I snuggled into Mama for reassurance. After that huge pack of boys on bikes the ones in small groups we encountered didn't seem so bad. Right before we got home Grandma came by in the car and we rode the last 1/4 mile or so. 

Mama says she knows I wasn't a stray because I wandered off and got lost because I led Mama home from town (it is about four miles) without ever having been in town or on the roads we walked home on before Grandma drove us down them to the trail head and this was only my second visit to the Wisconsin house.

I took a break from hiking in a nice lake along the trail

I got to take a big boat ride around the lake which was fun. We stopped at the dock of some old family friends of Mama and the grandparents and while the humans talked I got pet by a nice girl. There was another girl on the dock, but she wasn't as nice because not only didn't she pet me, she didn't share her apple with me either.

Mama spent a little time each day we were on vacation trying to get me to ride on something called a scupper. It is a kind of sea kayak that you sit on not in. I had to wear a life vest and Mama did too just to be safe in case I ever did get on it and out into the deep water. Mama kept telling me I'd like it if I tried it, but I didn't believe her. One day I kept showing Mama the big boat in case she forgot that that one existed and I liked it, but she said no I needed to learn to ride on her little boat. I did get to play a fun game where Mama sat in the scupper and I stepped on it and off it to get pieces of bread. On the last day I did put all four feet on it at the same time and Mama pushed the boat away from shore about 2 feet before I got worried and jumped off. Mama says maybe next time I'll actually ride it.  Grandma took pictures, but for some reason she won't share them with Mama so instead of pictures of me in my life vest NOT getting on the scupper, here are some pictures of the baby loons that we saw while out on a big boat ride.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Not the Adventure I Had Planned

The other day Mama packed up some suitcases and put my bed and a bag for me in the car and I was all excited because I thought we were going on an adventure to Wisconsin like we did before, but no. We drove in the right direction for a little bit and then Mama got out and took my stuff with her. Then she came and got me and we went into a big building that was an awful lot like The Pound. I trusted her and followed her through a room full of kennels to a lean-to with bigger cages and Mama me and the pound lady went in to one. Then Mama and the pound lady left. I waited patiently by the door of the cage for Mama to come back, BUT SHE DIDN'T!!! The pound lady came back and told me it wasn't a pound, but a kennel and Mama would be back in a few days. Then she took me to a kennel. I waited patiently for Mama to come back until it was dinner time and Mama ALWAYS comes back for dinner time, but she didn't. That is when I decided I needed to bark. And bark. And BARK! But Mama didn't come back for FOREVER.  The pound, um, kennel ladies were very nice to me and I got food and treats and my run in the lean-to was next to a border collie and we had fun playing Run Along the Fence, but when I was supposed to be having naptime in the kennel I was barking instead. After forever and ever (or maybe two nights and three days) when I was in the middle of playing Run Along the Fence with the border collie the kennel lady came and got me and brought me out into the big room and THERE WAS MAMA!!!! I ran right to her and jumped on her so hard I almost knocked her down and then I ran to the exit door and stood there poking at it with my nose to let her know I was ready to leave. Mama said she had driven to somewhere called North Carolina for something called a "wedding" and that, if I had been the good kind of dog who could wait patiently in a hotel room for 6 hours, I'd have gotten to come along and we'd have taken a vacation and gone hiking someplace called "The Appalachian Trail", but instead we had to do separate vacations and neither of us got to go hiking.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Day of Summer Hike

Mama has a tradition where if the first day of a season falls on a day off she takes an all day hike at the state park. This was supposed to be my first all day hike, but, because Mama made a wrong turn and accidentally skipped a 2 mile section of trail and I walk so fast (Mama says I hike like I have someplace to be and am on a tight schedule) our all day hike turned into a 3 hour hike, but it sure was fun!

Me hiking like I have someplace to be and am on a tight schedule.

 A heron

This frog was about the size of Mama's pinky nail and there were at least a dozen of them hopping across the trail. Mama told everyone who approached us in that area to watch their step!

We saw lots of other dogs and some joggers and bikes. I was very good with the joggers and only lost it totally with one bike and it was because she came up from behind us without warning. In the state parks the bikes are supposed to go only one way and we walked the opposite way so Mama could see the bikes coming and I wouldn't be surprised, but this woman thought she was more important than the rules. She almost lost a leg and Mama yelled, "Bike in wrong direction!" instead of saying, "Sorry." like she normally does. One lady who we saw twice at one loop commented that Mama and I were moving really really fast. Mama smiled and the woman said, "No seriously, you are going really fast." Mama thinks we hike at about 4 miles per hour, but we stop for lots of water breaks and I have to stop and sit every time I see a bike, for some joggers and some dogs too so that slows us down to about 2.5 miles an hour or so.

Another tradition Mama has is that, because the state park has so many parking lots she has let each dog have his own official lot and trailhead which she chooses as she hikes the first time with the new dog. This is the view from what will be my trailhead.

That lake in the distance is covered with waterlilies at the shore.

Me after I discovered that waterlilies, like duckweed, are not a solid surface.

Miles hiked: 7.5