Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday Walk

Heading up the trail

Today'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?

Last one to the stick is a rotten dog!

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?


I'M the king of the castle!

Yes, sir!

Winter runoff and salmonberry blooms made for a picturesque walk:


Salmonberry blossoms

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.

Snack time!

Of course, one dog's throw toy is another dog's snack:

Nom, nom, nom

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:


Just look at these faces!:

I wuv you

You okay, little buddy?


Serious face

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.

Homeward bound


Anonymous said...

That picture of Drew and Jazzy is just priceless.
I felt so bad for Donna and Pebbles. I guess we forget how overwhelming our large crew can be to a new dog and owner.


Janice Gillett said...

It is so neat to see all these dogs having a blast threw some of the most beautiful trails i have ever seen. Your living in my eye candy

Black Jack's Carol said...

Wow! Wonderful pictures here, and what a great walk. That picture of Drew on the wood carving is priceless. Love the happy-face expressions in so many of the photos. (I'm off this morning to pick up the book you sent when the 7/11 opens at seven. It has been waiting for me, but a crazy time lately, and couldn't go get it. Thanks so-o-o much - I'm really looking forward to reading it!)

Anonymous said...

Awwwww, Drew and his little sidekick Jazzy are just so adorable.

Great photography Jean!


Alphamutt said...

Jean, who is the beautiful black and tan, husky X GSD maybe.... dog in the foreground of the photo titled "Last one to the stick is a rotten dog"?

I'm sitting here sobbing because that sweet dog is an exact replica of my MacKenzie.

What I wouldn't do for just another hour with my beautiful, complicated, damaged, loyal and loving girl.

Jean said...

Alphamutt, that is Tess (also called Tess the Pest), who is Else's youngest dog. She is much smaller than Mackenzie was, but certainly similar in colour and build. Probably GSD cross, but as a rescue dog the ancestry is unknown of course.
You did so very much for your Mackenzie, and loved her so very much. It will take a long, long time for the pain to ease to the point where you can think of her without hurting deeply. Grief doesn't disappear, but it does change to something we can handle over time. Know that her spirit is still with you, and always will be.