Sunday, October 27, 2013

County Hiking Challenge Hike 10/14

This week we hiked another trail we rarely go to. The only reason for this is that the trail is relatively short and on the other side of the county. It is a nice little hike, but for just a short hike day it is a little too far away. Mommy and I like when it is on the county challenge because it means we HAVE to go do it.

The hike starts off with you going down a hill and seeing what looks like a small lake.
It isn't a small lake, it is actually a good sized reservoir with multiple islands in it so that you get the illusion of seeing complete shoreline.

 Since we haven't hiked here in a few years this is what Mommy saw every time she looked to see what I was doing. Sniffing and peeing, that is what I was doing.

You turn a corner on the trail and the reservoir looks completely different.

On the other side of the trail is restored tallgrass prairie and woods. We have been rather disappointed with the colors this year. Many trees just decided to go brown and drop their leaves this fall rather than give us the golds, reds and oranges we expect.

  Another turn in the trail and the reservoir changes again.

 Mommy likes the big rock peeking out from the water at this point.

The official trail is a straight line trail, but there is a nice loop after the end of the trail, so we ignored the instructions.

I had walked .9 miles by the time we hit the end of the official trail so I asked to ride.  Mommy helped me in and we crossed the street that divides the straight line trail from the loop and off we went. This trail is in an area where a lot of immigrants live, so a lot of people who passed us on the trail started talking animatedly to each other and looking at us, but since they were speaking Korean and Japanese and Russian and Polish and Mommy and I don't speak those languages, we didn't know if they were saying nice things or mean things about us.

There were so many good smells I decided I needed to ride sitting up rather than lying down to try to take them all in.

The loop circles through more restored tallgrass prairie, but none of Mommy's pictures came out showing what it was like since most of the grasses had gone dormant already. So you will have to use your imagination and picture dried brown grasses 4 - 6 feet tall on either side of the trail. I rode for about a 1/2 mile and then I decided I couldn't take not sniffing every blade of grass, so I barked to get out, and then became impatient while Mommy was detaching the front wheel and tried to jump out. I got tangled in Mommy and the wheel and my leash got tangled too. Luckily Mommy caught me so I didn't fall over, but it took some time for Mommy to get me balanced and untangled so we could continue the hike.

 Mommy spotted this big wasp's nest.  It was already abandoned for winter. I wonder where the new queens moved to.

She also spotted this nest. It was only about 3 inches in diameter and packed nicely in that clump of branches in a small tree. We think it might be a rose-breasted grosbeak's nest.

There is a big section of preserve that is blocked off with barbwire fencing and has no trespassing restoration in progress signs on it. We don't know if this area will ever open to the public or if it contains too many endangered species to be opened up.

I hiked for another mile and then I decided I wanted to ride. I rode until we were about a quarter mile from the car and then started barking that I wanted out. Mommy made me ride a little farther because it wasn't a very good stopping spot. But I got to get out and walk the last part.

It is milkweed season. I kept getting the seeds stuck on my nose and Mommy kept laughing at me.

Just before we got to the car we got stopped by a woman with a Russian accent who wanted to know where Mommy got my stroller. She told Mommy she had bought one for her big dog who has knee issues, but it was almost impossible to get the dog in and out of it so she returned it. Mommy told her that she got it on Amazon, but that all the strollers were sold out in days and, since it seems to be an import, she wasn't sure when more might be available, but she told her the keywords to use to find it.

Total miles hiked by me: 2.1. Total miles riding: 1.4. Total miles hiked: 3.5.


KB Bear said...

I think the county hiking challenge is a great idea - because it gets you out on trails that you normally don't see. I did a similar thing waaaay back when K was a puppy, where I tried to hike every major trail in the area with her over one season. It was fun, like your outings are!

I am so impressed with how well the stroller has worked out for you. It seems like you're walking a lot, Merlin, but the stroller gives you breaks when you get tired. That's awesome!

I love the photo of you sitting up and sniffing from the stroller!

Johann The Dog said...

Pawsome!!! What a great hike!