Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Waiting in the Woods

Waiting in the Woods
Wondering why we are Here
Look! there's my Sharon!

Another Saturday in the woods. I'm told that Sharon was running a 50K race on the Laurel Highlands trail in Pennsylvania. All I know was it was a long ride (and nap) in the car. No camping and snuggling, but I did get my own bed in the motel.

Saturday morning we stood around in the street with other people and I get many pats from new friends. Then Sharon goes running off with half of them and without ME! Sigh - I like running. But then Dave drives me to a nice trail (more people and pats!) and we go for a run. It's hot in the woods and so am I, but the stream is too cold to sit in. Then we see Sharon! She looks hot and sweaty and doesn't share the snacks from the table. Then she runs off without me AGAIN! Sigh... This repeats a couple times and she looks hotter and grumpier each time. Finally, I get tired of waiting for her to politely share and I snarf one of her P&J sandwiches out of her hand - obviously she meant it for me, I just sped up the process. YUM!

After many waits, Sharon finally has had enough self-abuse (she walks real funny now) and rides with us back to the motel so I can eat my long overdue dinner. Too small as usual. Sunday, Dave walks off with his kayak and Sharon & I spend the afternoon napping in the shade. Not a bad way to spend a hot day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another Weekend, Another Run

Five Fingers, four toes
Six feet pad on forest paths
Four legs are faster

Another run in the woods on Saturday morning, at Great Seal State Park. I was all excited to have something new to sniff and chase, but did not see even mediocre seals, let alone great ones. Sigh... There was good mud to run through though the cold bath afterwards was a bit harsh.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Dolly!

I had a great weekend! It was a long one, so I got to spend lots of extra time with my favorite people, Sharon and Dave. And, we got to all go to a new place, Seneca Rocks and Dolly Sods in West Virginia.

It started on Friday. As usual, when we go out of town, Dave and Sharon scramble around the house creating these piles of stuff. Some of it smell really, really good, like my dog food and treats. But they won't let me have it, at least not yet.

Then they manage to stuff those piles into the car, taking care not to to put any in the backseat. That's where I sit! The whole thing, to myself. I'm a lucky dog. Dave and Sharon take turns driving. That's a good thing, because they drive and drive and drive. I nap. It's just like napping at home, except I move around alot more, mostly when Dave is driving curvy roads. I move around, and I'm not even trying to move around!

Finally, we stop (actually, we make lots of stops, but at this one, they unload some of the piles). Then we go into the tent. I like the tent. It's just like a dog den - we all crawl in and sleep in one big pile on the ground. I especially like sleeping in the middle. But Sharon sometimes complains - apparently, I kicked her in the face during one of my dreams. Sorry Sharon! But she just petted me then scooted me down by her feet. I like her feet - they smell and taste good. I know because I lick them! Then Sharon scooted me to the other side of Dave.

On Saturday, we hike up to the top of Seneca Rocks. There was alot of uphill walking. But I'm a strong hiker, so that was okay. Some of the people we met were panting a lot, but I didn't think it was that hot out. When we reached the top, you could see some nice views of the valley below. I met a nice boy who gave me treats. We could go up higher on the narrow rocks, but Dave and Sharon didn't want me going there. They said that I could fall off the rocks. I didn't think I would, but it's a long way down, so I listened to them and stayed close.

Next we drove to Spruce Knob. Sharon told me that it is the highest point in the state of West Virginia. I've already been to the highest point in New York. That was Mt. Marcy. I went hiking there last year with Dave and Sharon. I like climbing mountains!

We walk around the top of the mountain and I meet even more people. They all say that I'm a good dog and very pretty. I agree!

After that, we go to a small lake. We walk around the lake. Not much was going on, but there are lots of mud holes to walk through. I like mud holes because they cool my paws. Sharon doesn't like mud holes. I guess it's because she doesn't need to cool her feet since she has shoes on. Also, when we're done walking through mud holes, Sharon cools my belly and legs with water. She says she's giving me a bath, but it's better than baths at home because she's not using any of that stinky soap!

The next day is big hike day at Dolly Sods. We walk all day long - Dave and Sharon say we did 15.5 miles! I think I did alot more than that because I often ran back and forth on the trail. I had to run ahead and check out the trail, but then I came back to make sure Dave and Sharon didn't get lost. Sometimes I wish they were faster. Humans are slow pokes. Sometimes they run on the trail, but not today. After a while, I stopped running back to them. I just stopped at a place where I could see them and just waited for them to catch up.

The trail was very pretty - lots of shady trees, lots of hills, lots of rocks, LOTS of mud puddles, lots of open prairies, lots of rock hopping, and lots and lots of stream crossings. I got really wet and muddy. It was so much fun! There were 4 big river crossings and lots of smaller ones. On the 2 biggest, it got really deep in a couple of places, as in, any deeper, and I would have been swimming! And there was current, too! Sharon said that she should have brought my web harness (I'm wearing it in the photo at the top of the page) so she could keep a hand on me. She was worried that I would get swept away. At times, I worried about that, too! But, I'm a strong dog and made it across without any help.

I also perfected a new skill this weekend. Sharon now calls me Annie the Flycatcher! There were lots of flys and bugs on the trail. I think I caught and ate about half of them. At least that's what Sharon says! At first Dave and Sharon laughed when I caught a fly - I think they were impressed. But later, they seemed annoyed because I would always stop and seem more interested in catching flys than walking forward. Soon, I got really good at catching flys AND walking forward. I'm a smart dog!

And there were lots of things to sniff. I know I haven't been here before because there were smells that I didn't even recognize. We also saw other packs of people and dogs. Some of the dogs were carrying bags on their backs. Sharon says if we ever go backpacking, she would have me carry one of those packs.

At the end of our walk, I jumped into the car and took a nap while they drove back to camp for dinner. I love dinner, especially after long walks. I could have hiked more, but the backseat was calling my name and it was nice to lay down after walking for almost 7 hours.

The last day, we go to an area called Bear Rocks. I don't know why they call it that, since I didn't see any bears. But, then again, I'm not sure what a bear looks like. But Sharon didn't see any either. It was cooler here than at the campground. Good thing, because it was HOT at the campground.

I like this area. There are alot of dry rocks to go rock hopping on. I'm getting really good at rock hopping. Dave and Sharon seem to do it alot, especially at stream crossings and mud holes. I don't know why they bother, since it's just easier to walk in the stream and through the mud. I've tried rock hopping in streams, but I just end up in the water!

But here, the rocks are dry and it's easy to stay on top. Sharon and Dave take lots of pictures of the rocks, the short lopsided trees, the views below, and of me! I like to follow Dave and Sharon along the rocks and through the narrow paths in between the bushes. But, Sharon doesn't let me get to close to the edge of the big rocks. I'm not sure why not, since Dave goes there all the time to take pictures. I just want to see what he's taking pictures of.

Today's walk is short since it starts to rain - lots big fat rain drops. Soon, I'm all wet. I was hot, but not anymore. Suddenly, I don't like being wet. We all head back to the car and the backseat is now really screaming my name.

Soon after we are in the car, Dave points out the hail that is hitting the car. Sharon tells me that I wouldn't like hail. I'm only half listening because I'm napping again. Soon, Dave and Sharon are driving and driving again. After I wake up from my nap, we are home. And I get my dinner!

So, that was my weekend. Dave and Sharon say we have another trip coming up soon. I love trips with my people, so I can't wait!

(Sharon wants me to mention that you can see more photos from this trip; go here: 2010 Memorial Day - Seneca Rocks & Dolly Sods - Sharon - Picasa Web Albums)