Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Monthly Diary for August, 2013

August was a fun month.  As I talked about last month I got a STROLLER for my birthday so that Mommy and I could take longer hikes.  We took a few hikes at home and I quickly figured out that I could hike until I was tired and then get in and ride and nap and then get out when I was rested up again so I could get all the good sniffs in.

Then Mommy and I went on vacation in Wisconsin for a week and a bit.  Mommy packed one small suitcase, a bag of books, her camera, her laptop, and an ice chest of food for herself which took up the passenger seat footwell and 1/2 the front passenger seat and then she packed my stroller, a suitcase of toys, food bowls, meds, and leashes, an ice chest with my yogurt and cheeses for my meds, my life vest, my big tin of food, a smaller tin of treats, my travel bed, and a jug of water for the drive, which took up the whole back of the car, the backseat passenger side footwell and the other half of the front passenger seat.  She said traveling with me now is like traveling with a toddler.

Anyway we got to Wisconsin and we had a lot of fun.  We spent most mornings and late afternoons sunning on the dock and trying to swim in the lake (it was far colder than normal so neither Mommy nor I swam for long most days.)

Lounging on the dock

We also took a lot of pedal boat rides.  The first couple were relatively short, then Mommy expanded how far she pedaled each day until one day we pedaled around the big 1/2 of the lake (about 2.5 miles) and then the next day we pedaled around the whole lake (about 3 miles).  When I say "we" I mean Mommy pedals and I captain.  I love riding in the pedal boat because you get to see and sniff so many things without having to work at all, unless you are Mommy that is.  We met some friends on the lake on the day we went around the big half. They brought their boat over to us and one said, "We saw a woman with a big dog in a pedal boat and knew there was only one person that could be!"

 Me being captain of the pedal boat

 Going through the tunnel that connects the big and little parts of the lake.
What made that little wake?


We also took three hikes with my stroller.  The first hike we took was a four miles into town and four miles back hike.  I hiked the first mile or so and then I rode in the stroller.  When we got to town Mommy stopped and refilled our water and I went swimming in the big lake in town and then I rode back.  I got out to swim in the small lake I like to swim in and then walked some and then got back in the stroller.  On the walk to and from town there is a GREAT BIG hill that is the bane of walkers, bikers, rollerbladers and joggers.  Many bike riders and rollerbladers are afraid to go down the hill because it is so long and steep (It is at at least a 45 degree angle but Mommy thinks it is more of a 50 degree angle) and not many bikers, bladers or joggers get up to the top coming up the other way without stopping.  When we got to the bottom of the hill Mommy said, "Okay, time to hop out and walk." I looked at the hill and said, "No thanks, I'd prefer to ride." Mommy said, "No really, get out." I said, "Make me." and Mommy pushed me in the stroller all the way to the top.  Half way up she had to change how she was pushing it and when she got to the very top she stopped and drank about 1/2 my water. She really needs to get herself in better shape if we are going to be out hiking.  We both took an hour nap when we got home.

The other two hikes were down the Bearskin State Park Trail. One at the top of the trail and one at the bottom of the trail.  The top of the trail was uneventful. I hiked, I rode, I got out and swam in my favorite swimming spots. It was fun and we were quite the talk of the trail. Even though it is a tourist area people up there tend to keep their big dogs in backyard kennels and only take them out during hunting season, so seeing a big "huntin' dog" riding in a stroller was baffling for a lot of them.  Mommy took a picture of me at the trailhead sign and then she remembered she had taken almost the same picture of me 10 years ago.  Here they are

Me in August, 2013

Me in August, 2003

As long as we were in town Mommy decided to stop and get some fudge to take back for our neighbor who was taking in our mail.  Mommy parked me in my stroller in front of the fudge store.  There is a great big window there where you can look in at the high school kid who has the job of stirring the giant vat of whatever fudge they are making at the time.  Mommy figured she could see the stroller and he would watch me while she was in the store.  He did more than that. He called all the other kids over to come see me.  People walking down the sidewalk also stopped to look at me too.  As I said, they aren't used to that kind of thing.  When Mommy left the store she said to the kid at the vat, "Yes, I'm crazy." and another boy who worked there and was leaving at the same time said to Mommy, "I think that thing is GREAT!!"

When we did the lower half of the trail I walked about the first mile and then I rode.  This trail is an old railroad line and the lower half is full of trestles as the Bearskin Creek zigzags back and forth under it.

 Bearskin Creek

When we would get to the center of each trestle I would bark and Mommy would stop and turn the stroller so that I could look out over the water.  When we got past the really long trestle I sat up and barked which is how I say I want to walk.  Mommy stopped and let me out and I immediately went down the bank and jumped into the creek.  This seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turns out that the creek is VERY muddy in the shallows and I sank up to my hips in the goo.  Mommy had to help pull me out.  The creek is also very high in iron so when Mommy finally got me out I was coated in black mud and smelled like a sewer pipe.  

The goo is so deep in places that somewhere under there covered by about 20 feet of mud is a steam engine, two railroad cars and the crane that was brought in to pull them back onto the track after they derailed.

I walked a little way and then Mommy shoved me into a cleaner section of the creek to try to rinse me off a bit. It didn't really help.  When I got tired and wanted back in the stroller Mommy got covered in the goo too helping me in.  So we finished the hike with both of us coated in creek goo and stinking like a sewer.  When we got back to the trailhead Mommy rinsed us both off under the water pump that was there, but it too had a high iron content so, while it got the worst of the goo off us it didn't do much for the smell.  Mommy covered the back seat with the car blanket and car towel in hopes they would protect the interior from the goo.  When we got back to the house Mommy had to give me a bath, give herself a bath, wash everything she was wearing (including her underwear), the towel, blanket and back seat cover and the stroller and we both still smelled a bit like rusty iron for a couple days after that.

All in all it was a great vacation!

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