Or is it nine? Mommy and I took the longest hike on the county challenge today. It was 3.9 miles long and counted for two hikes. This means we have done six actual hikes, but have credit for doing 9 hikes now. Mommy chose to do this hike today because it was cool and overcast with a little breeze. We have done this hike when it was warm out and I get very overheated and we have also done it when it is cold out and Mommy has nearly frozen because of the wind that hits the trail. Today seemed like the perfect day. The hike goes through sedge meadows and by oak forests and up and down moraines. Unfortunately on one side of a large chunk of the hike is some ugly "more money than common sense" mcmansions with big expanses of lawn and no trees. This is why the wind whips onto the trail, there is nothing to slow it down when it goes through the ugly houses.
Mommy and I don't understand why people would want to have nothing around their house except sod. If they were out playing croquet or polo or golf on their lawns it might make sense, but they never are. Mommy said if she had to live in a place like that that had all that bare space and no trees she would dig up 1/4 of her lawn for a veggie garden and then put in a great big pond in the middle of what was left and surround it with wild and domestic flowers and grasses with a little flagstone sitting area by the water. She says the neighbors would hate her.
Anyway, Mommy was right and it was the perfect weather to hike this trail and I got to hike the last 1/2 mile without my boot on. It felt kind of weird at first and I kept looking down at my foot to see what was biting me, but after awhile I got used to it, and when Mommy checked my foot afterwards there were no sore spots! Mommy says I can try 3/4 of a mile barefoot next weekend if we hike. It was a fun hike and we saw lots of birds and squirrels and I found a chipmunk hole and I saw two deer! I was perfect and quietly watched when it was one deer, but when the second came out of the woods I lost it and started jumping around and barking. It was waaaay too exciting. I also saw two CATS being walked on leashes at the trailhead! That was very strange. Unfortunately when we got back to the trailhead we saw the cats' mom walking around with empty leashes. She said the cats had both managed to slip their leads and vanished when she got distracted by a neighbor and wasn't paying attention to them. Mommy asked me where the kitties were, and I looked around and sniffed and stuff, but didn't find them. We hope she finds them before dusk because one thing we saw an awful lot of on the trail was coyote poop.