Heading up the trailToday's hike is nicknamed "The Pond Walk" (for reasons which shall soon become obvious), though it is really the Maple Mountain end of the escarpment, which runs from Maple Bay to Duncan and provides both shady walks and, in some parts (though we didn't travel that section today), beautiful views.
We met, as usual, at Lito's Cafe where a new member, Donna, was introduced to us. The drive from Crofton to the escarpment takes only a few minutes, and soon the dogs were tumbling out of the cars greeting each other with joyous barks as they tore back and forth along the trailhead.
The dogs must have been saving up energy for the past several days, as the unusually unruly crew of 18 dogs managed to totally intimidate the newcomer and send her and her dog, Pebbles, running for the hills - or at least back to their car. Poor Pebbles, poor Donna - we shall introduce you to the motley crew in smaller numbers next time.
So, Pebbles and Donna homeward bound, the 18 remaining dogs and their six humans headed up the trail. That's UP the trail - we all agreed that the recent earthquakes that led to tsunami warnings for our island must have altered the mountain, making the trail much steeper and longer than we remembered.
A short distance in, we made our first stop - The Pond. I was tempted to call this post "Drew's Walk", because Drew was the number one camera hound today:
C'mon, throw the stick!
I got it! I got it!
Where'd it go?
And it's Drew by a nose....
I told ya I'd get it!
I luvs the water!
After a rousing game of "Fetch the Stick and Soak the People", we continued up the trail. Recent winds had brought down lots of deadfall, though some of the felling was by chainsaw not wind. We came across this interesting evidence of human hands at work - a wood carving? a dog house? - to which Drew soon laid claim.
What's in here?
NOW LISTEN UP.....
I'M the king of the castle!
Winter runoff and salmonberry blooms made for a picturesque walk:
Up, up, up the trail some more until we reached today's turnaround point - a fork in the road where a large cairn is located. There, the dogs had their treats while the people caught their breath.
Nom, nom, nom
Of course, one dog's throw toy is another dog's snack:
Did I forget to put ketchup on this?
Oh ratz, it just don't taste the same wiv out ketchup!
Watching Drew and Jazzy was a treat:
I wuv you
Just look at these faces!:
You okay, little buddy?
Would ya get that camera outta mah face?!
Then back down the trail (thank goodness, downhill at last!), back to the cars and home for a well-deserved rest.