Thursday, August 27, 2015

herbie goes hiking

On Sunday, H was eager to get out on his road bike (his work schedule has been pretty frantic lately and he hasn't been able to ride as much as he would like) so Herbie and I went up to Millcreek Canyon for a hike.  We had never really been able to take B hiking because she didn't care for other dogs; I was interested to see how Herbie might do.  Millcreek Canyon is off-leash on odd-numbered days, so I knew there would be lots of dogs all over the place.  Since Herbie is both part basset hound and also new, I would be keeping him on-leash so he wouldn't run off.

Hiking is thirsty work 

I decided to go up Bowman Fork for this first hiking foray.  The trail, while steeper in spots than I recalled, is hard-packed dirt, very comfortable for walking, and mostly shaded, at least as far as we were going to go.  There is also a nice stream along the trail for much of the way although I brought a water bottle and collapsible bowl for Herbie.  B used to be fussy about where she drank and I didn't know if he would be too.

View from White Fir Pass

We got started a little after 8:00 a.m., parking in the small lot across from the road to the Terraces picnic area.  We started meeting dogs right away.  I was a little nervous about it at first, not really knowing how Herbie would react, but he was overjoyed to meet everyone - both people and dogs.  Big dogs, little dogs ... he liked them all, trading sniffs to say hello and then continuing to tow me up the trail.  The only times that he didn't seem entirely at ease were when a pack of five dogs were interested in him all at once and then, later, when a less-friendly dog showed her teeth to him.  But there was no growling or snarling or fighting, which was great.

Ready to keep hiking

We stopped at what I think is White Fir Pass.  I'm not sure how far that pass is exactly: I didn't bring the GPS and the guidebook says it's only 1.5 miles from the trailhead, but it felt further than that.  Herbie happily had some water and dog biscuits and then we headed back down, making more dog friends as we went.  We ended up meeting some 35 different dogs all told.

This is such a dorky photo - I love it

The hike took us about 2.5 hours.  Herbie would have kept going for miles further - we do need to do some leash training because he does pull a bit, especially when he wants to go see another dog - but as we perched in the back of the car for my post-hike beer, he sat calmly, and then laid down, and then put his head down.  And by the time we were headed out of the canyon, he was sound asleep.  He seems to adhere to Newton's First Law: Herbie in motion stays in motion, but Herbie at rest stays at rest.

Crashed for the car ride home

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