Sunday, April 26, 2015

First Backpack Hike

Mama bought me something called a backpack. I wasn't so sure about it when she was fitting it on me, but today she had me put it on and we went for a hike.

 What is this and why are you doing this to me?

I didn't carry anything in it at first, but a couple hours into the hike it started to warm up so Mama put her gloves and hat in it. Then our poop bag holder ran out of poop bags so Mama put that in it too. She says that in the future I will be carrying my own water and a treat or two in it. As we hiked I realized it wasn't so bad to be carrying a pack. Some people even said, "Cool backpack!" to me when they saw me.

I look cool in my pack

The pack came in handy for Mama too because, as much as I love hiking I HATE bicycles, so Mama said this was a dual purpose hike. It was a "Learn to Carry Your Backpack" hike and a "Positive Reinforcement and Swamping" training session on bicycle behavior. Because the pack is built on a lifting harness Mama could grab the handle and say, "Don't you dare..." when we saw bikes and even if I exploded I couldn't get at the bikes because she had me by the back, collar and head harness all at once. (Talk about prepared! She takes all the fun out of everything.) Most bikers were very understanding and some even got off their bikes to talk to me or walk them back past me so I could see they weren't so evil. One family was taking a break in an overlook where we were and when it was time to get back on their bikes the dad said, "Okay everyone! Back in your cars! Vroom Vroom! We are driving in cars. There are no bicycles here. Right?" This made Mama laugh.

Of course there is always one jerk in a crowd of good people and that was a woman early on who yelled at Mama and came storming back at us when Mama said, "He can't learn if he isn't exposed to the stimulus." and yelled that she was going to call the police because it was illegal for Mama to have me on the trails. Mama, amazingly enough, didn't say what first popped into her head because there were children within earshot, (She told me what it was, but I won't tell you because it was not nice at all and contained two very bad swears. Mama says that if people knew how much and what goes on in her head in a split second they would probably be very, very scared.) but she did say, "He is a rescue and has issues. Obviously not as many issues as you have, but, well..." and the woman stormed off.

Mama didn't take many photos because she didn't want to take her mind off watching for bikes and how I was reacting, but when she saw a sandhill crane (one of her favorites) she had to take a couple pictures.

He is banded. Mama e-mailed his bands to crane researchers so they will know where he is.

Anyway, after 3 hours of walking and seeing bikes and working on keeping my cool I started to get the hang of it and by hour 4 I was doing well about 90 percent of the time. Around hour 5 Mama said I either really understood the idea or I was so darn tired I couldn't care anymore.

When we were almost home we stopped at a place called the Dog 'N Suds and Mama got a root beer float (which I can't have any of because I am allergic to all things dairy  -- NO FAIR!!) and french fries (which I got half of because I'm not allergic to potatoes) and a half a Milkbone which I didn't share with Mama, so there! By hour 6 we were walking past my friend Rosy's house and I tried to get Mama to go ring the doorbell to see if she wanted to come out and play, but Mama said, absolutely no playdates after a 6 hour hike.

Miles hiked: 13.8