Wednesday, September 11, 2013

County Hiking Challenge Hikes 1 - 4 (5)

 Mommy and I started doing the county hiking challenge for this year.  We took our first hike on the Sunday before Labor Day.  It was supposed to be a woods hike, but the map was wrong and a lot of what was marked woods was not woods.  This was unfortunate because it was in the mid-eighties and Mommy was already grumpy because I came in from being outside for 20 minutes, ate my Sunday egg and then got up on the bed and pooped on the clean sheets she had just made the bed with that morning. I not only got the dog hair sheet I managed to pull the sheets and blankets down enough to get the dog hair sheet, the blanket, the top sheet the bottom sheet and one pillowcase.  Mommy ended up having to do two extra loads of laundry because of that and she didn't speak to me until the laundry was all done.  Anyway, Mommy thought maybe a hike would put her in a better mood, but it didn't, it just made her hot and grumpy and she took no pictures. It was a 3 mile hike, of which I hiked 1 mile and rode the other two.

Our second/third hike was on Labor Day.  Mommy woke up in a better mood (although she wouldn't let me on the bed in the middle of the night and insisted I sleep on my own bed) and it was cooler so we went and took one of the longer hikes. It was officially a 2.8 mile hike so it counts as two hikes, but we took a side trail to a pond and made it a 4.4 mile hike so it really WAS like two hikes.

The prairie sunflowers were out in force

I hiked the first .8 miles and then I decided I wanted to ride.  We met up with another dog in a stroller (a small basset hound in a medium stroller) hiking with his people and two younger dogs.  The basset's mom said, "We do love our old babies don't we." and Mommy agreed.

Here I am at the pond. 

We'd never hiked here in this spot before so I insisted on getting out of the stroller so I could get all the sniffs. I saw a frog on the shore and went to get a closer look, but the water went from ankle deep to over my back with no slope. I was surprised, but not upset by my accidental swim. 

Mommy was too busy laughing at me to get a picture of me in the water, but here I am after I got out. 
I'm thinking "Bad frog!"

I ended up walking about 2 miles and riding the other 2.4.

Our third/fourth hike was in a new forest preserve that we'd never been to. This preserve opened late last year and it is a nice one!  There isn't really a preserve entrance yet so you park at the forest preserve's operations department (where they keep the heavy equipment) parking lot and walk down a fire road to get to the trail.  It is a combination of gravel and paved and is a bit hilly.

 Here is the start of the hike. 

Mommy wants to come back again when color starts because she thinks those trees will be magnificent.  After you hike for about a mile you can take a grass path to a lake. It is a very nice view, but unfortunately the lake is too far away through a lot of swampy scrub to get down to the shore and swim.  Maybe that will change as they keep improving the preserve.

 The lake

Then if you keep going there is a mile and a bit more of the trail a big part of which is this serpentine boardwalk over marshland.

 It is a very long boardwalk

Then the trail suddenly stops, but there is a sign that says that the rest of the trail should be built some time next year.  They need to build an underpass under a busy road and then it will connect to one of my favorite preserves on the other side of the busy road.  Mommy hopes it is on time and I am still around to hike it at least once after it all connects.

As I promised Shawnee the Shepherd, I had Mommy take some movies of me walking so that she won't feel so bad about having a limp now.  All us older dogs walk a little funny.  Here they are:

Back view. 
You can see my back feet just sort of fall wherever they feel like.
Sometimes my legs will even cross

Side view
The legs just kind of fly out and plop down.
Mommy says she can tell I'm thinking "left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot."

Total miles 6. Hiked by me 1.5, ridden by me 4.5.

Our fourth/fifth hike was to the little lake where I did a lot of my rehab hiking after I had my toe amputated. This hike is all mowed trail so the stroller couldn't come along, but that's okay because the hike is only 1 mile long.

The hike goes under high tension power lines and next to an interstate

 But it has a very nice little lake in the middle

Mommy set her stopwatch on her phone and it took us 43 minutes 10 seconds to finish the hike with a little swim break in the middle. So Mommy figures I walk at just under 2 miles an hour these days.  We got back to the car just as it was starting to rain which was good.  Mommy gave me a bath in the rain when we got home, which was bad.

Total miles hiked: 1 with no stroller time at all.

1 comment:

ms fardoux said...

I always love the fall because it means hiking challenge posts!