Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekend walking

Saturday was a beautiful day so I took Maya and Sparky out for a hike.  It was the first time Sparky has been out in a while and he had his usual Sparky enthusiasm so we went for five miles.  There was still a lot of snow and still a lot of trail where we were the first non-wildlife footprints.

Sparky sets a good pace, but he's the dog who is most tuned in to my needs and abilities on the trails.  He trots along as fast as he thinks I can go, and when we come to hills he slows down and even drops back to walk next to me.  It would actually be more helpful if he would pull when we are going uphill, but I appreciate the concern anyway.

We had a good walk and it's the longest distance I had gone since we had the snow.  It's melting, but there's still plenty of it out there and it makes for slow going where it's still fairly deep.

Maya on the snowy bank of the Rivanna River.

Sparky and a holly bush

Max and Maya were pretty good about giving me an assist
on uphill portions of the trail.
Max, blazing a trail through untouched
Clay is out of town and I had no obligations that I could remember on Sunday, so I made myself a nice big breakfast and then hit the trails with Max and Maya.  It was warming up nicely by noon and the snow was melting, but it will take a while before it's gone.  There was snow and there was mud and there was some slushy mud in between.  We still found portions of the trail system where we were making the first footprints in the snow.  I had both dogs double leashed today.  They don't really mind and it gives me a little more control and a lot more sense of safety.  The three of us did over four miles and then came home to take a break.

After Maya and I had rested up and drank some water, we went out for a second Sunday hike, this time with Trooper.  He had not been out in a while and was very anxious to go.  We covered another four miles or so, making a total of about 8.5 for Maya and me for the day.  Walking in snow and mud is tougher on the dogs too, and Trooper crashed on his bed after we got home and had dinner.  I think we will all sleep soundly tonight.
Trooper spotting deer.  He's interested but
he doesn't try to drag me after them the way
the Max and Maya do.
I can usually step across this little stream
but the snow melt was making it higher
and faster.  We crossed it several times
today and it was noticeably higher at each
crossing. My feet were soaked by the end
of the walk. 

Trooper and Maya on a snow-free portion of the trail.

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