|These first two pictures show Toquima|
and Maya at one of the partly intact
chimneys at all home sites along the trail.
Samantha got me off to an early start by waking me up at 4:30 a.m. I worked the dogs out slowly and got them fed as quietly as possible so Clay could sleep. I started laundry and started unloading Christmas gifts. We ate Christmas leftovers for breakfast and I got together a box of stuff to ship off. Then I loaded up Maya and Toquima and we headed off to Mint Springs Valley Park out near Crozet.
|The first half mile of the hike was all uphill. I|
stopped at this sign post and sat for a bit.
I had been there with Maya once before but we had only done a short walk. Today we hiked seven miles and covered all the trails at the park, some of them more than once. It was raining when we left home, but the sun was out in Crozet and it was unseasonably warm for this time of year.
Toquima is a very good hiking companion, friendly with people and dogs, which is good because there were quite a few folks out today taking advantage of the warm weather. When we finished the hike, we stopped in Crozet to visit Daphne and Mary Jane. Then we stopped in Charlottesville on the way home to deliver the well-exercised Toquima back to his home. Maya and I were invited in for a beer. I had one, she did not, but Maya seemed very excited about seeing where Toquima lived.
We still made it back home with enough daylight to give Theo, Xochi, Max, and Trooper a romp in the pasture. Theo played ball. Xochi ran after him and would retrieve her own ball on a shorter throw. Max dropped his stick and exchanged it for a ball. He hung around the rest of us mostly, and he didn't chase his tail at all, but he didn't really engage in play with the other dogs either. Trooper did his thing running along the front fence. It irritates me that that is all he wants to do out there, but I gave up trying to change that behavior long ago.
|These two walked really well together.|
Even Gigi joined us in the pasture today. She doesn't play ball and doesn't really play with the other dogs, but she occasionally sprints past them, maybe hoping someone will chase her? Xochi hasn't ever had much opportunity to interact with Gigi and she tried to get acquainted and initiate some play, but she's really too much of a puppy for Gigi to be very interested in her.
|Our seven mile route.|
In the evening I fed the dogs, did some more laundry, talked to my mother, and sat down with a beer to do this blog post after talking myself out of going out for the evening. It wasn't the busiest day I've ever had, but it was a big improvement over Do Nothing Monday.
|The sun was out for a while today, but the wind came up and the clouds moved in again.|
Still, the Blue Ridge is always pretty.
|A brief visit with Daphne was our first stop|
on the way home after the hike.
|Xochie (foreground) and Theo playing ball.|
|Theo with ball, Max is also carrying one now.|
|Xochi trying to get acquainted with Gigi.|
|Max, acting near normal|
|Xochi still trying to play with Gigi.|
|A nice Gigi pose with landscape.|
|I used a flash for the dog pictures but they are still blurry because the sun was going down.|
|Vince came out to the pasture at the end|
to mark the new powerline pole in the
pasture and help herd up Trooper.
|Trooper was the last to come in, as usual.|