I loaded up Maya and Bella and we headed out to Pleasant Grove for Bella's first hike and indeed, her first outing since she had arrived. She was not the worst dog I've ever taken on a first hike, but she was all over the place, beside herself with excitement. That actually benefited me because the constant manipulation of two leashes with one of them always changing directions was a great way to stretch sore muscles in my arms and back.
Bella really enjoyed herself. She played in the water, she jumped on Maya, she rolled in the grass, and she even helped a bit in pulling me uphill. The best thing about her on a leash was the fact that she was always watching me. If she was beside me or behind me I could reach out my hand and she'd give me a touch with her nose or tongue to check in. She still doesn't really like being touched over the top of her head, but we are finding other ways to make contact and stay in touch.
We covered five miles, which was enough for Maya and me, but Bella would have gone another five if given the chance. It was hot starting out and even hotter by the time we finished, but we were mostly in the shade and we had four water crossings to give the dogs a good chance to cool off.
We made a trip to town in the afternoon, ran some errands, and had a couple beers and an early dinner. We were back home in time for Clay to drop me and the canoe in the river about 6:30 p.m. for an evening float trip. I've been wanting to try an evening float, and I assumed I'd be the only one out there. There were a number of vehicles at the Crofton boat ramp, however, including four kayakers who were putting in just as I got there. They were fishing rather casually as well as floating, and I was paddling because I wanted to make to Palmyra before dark. I soon passed them and that was the last I saw of them, or anyone else.
It wasn't the best time for wildlife viewing, but I did see multiple deer coming down from the woods for a cool evening drink. I saw a few green herons as well, but that was about it. Several times I saw something swimming across the river just under the water, but I was too far away to even venture a guess as to what they might have been.
The river was low but I still managed to get over, around, and through most the rocks, low spots, and obstacles, although once I had to hop out and pull the canoe to deeper water. It's about a 2.5 hour trip, so I paddled most of the way and made it to the Palmyra boat ramp while there was still usable light even though the sun had set. Clay picked me up and we then drove through downtown Palmyra picking off all the Pokemon Go creatures that were available. Judge me if you will, but it was kind of fun and I was surprised to see several other vehicles cruising around the two streets in the village who were obviously doing the same thing. I don't plan to take it up seriously, but the app was a free download and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It's an interesting blend of the real world and the gaming world made possible by technology.