Mommy was charging up the Merlin Cam which was taking FOREVER since we hadn't used it for a month, and she had finished packing up all our other stuff, water, treats etc. and I got impatient because I knew we were going hiking so I started to whine. Mommy said, "Don't whine at me, Argentina." which is her weird way of saying "Stop it." so I started barking at her instead. After 2 hours of waiting she gave up on the Merlin Cam and unplugged it and we took it off with an incomplete charge. Mommy thought it might stop half way through the hike so she took her camera along too, but the Merlin Cam made it through the whole hike and beyond.
We chose the third shortest hike on the County Hiking Challenge. It was only 1.7 miles, but Mommy didn't want me to overdo it the first time out. By the way, some of you have asked what the County Hiking Challenge is. What it is is the county we live in picks 12 trails in 12 different forest preserves in the county and it marks them with little signs. They range from 1 mile to almost 4 mile hikes and you have three months to hike 7 of the trails. Trails that are over 2 1/2 miles count as 2 hikes and usually Mommy and I do all of the hikes (except the bad ones that don't allow dogs on them). In the past we would do them in quadrants. We would divide the county into four parts and then do all the hikes in one quarter in one go, but, because of my back and now my toe, this year we are only doing one trail at a time. Pre-toe I did two of the longer hikes so I'm up to 5 hikes now because of the double hike bonus. If you do 7 or more hikes you earn a metal badge that you are supposed to nail to a hiking stick. Mommy has sewn all of mine on my backpack, even though I haven't been able to wear the pack since I broke those vertebrae a few years back. It is a fun program and a good way to see trails you may have missed.
Well back to today. We chose the 1.7 mile hike and off we went. I started out being very excited and pulling Mommy along, but about half way through I realized I was getting a little tired and my paw was hurting a bit. So I slowed down and walked with Mommy the rest of the way.
Me out in the lead and very happy to be on the trail again
This preserve has a combination of woods and prairie and lawns where people can picnic and even a playground for kids to play on. Mommy objects to lawns and playgrounds in forest preserves because she thinks kids should be hiking the trails and climbing trees and jumping off stumps and stuff if they are in a forest preserve and not sliding down plastic slides or sitting on sod. They can do that in their city parks, but I guess other humans don't think that way. Anyway here are some Merlin Cam shots of the hike:
WoodsPrairie turning into lawn
I saw lots of squirrels and chipmunks on this hike and two [Auntie Naomi, turn away] snakes. One of the snakes was right in the middle of the trail and Mommy tried to get a picture of it, but I decided to take the oportunity that arose when she was trying to get her camera out of her hip bag to knock her hand aside so I could grab some treats out of the treat bag. She wasn't very happy about that. She did take a picture of me trying to find the first snake after it slithered into the grass to hide.