Sometimes, we need a break from doggy things. The last several days off Travis and I have had off together all we’ve had time for was kennel chores: scooping, feeding, leveling the dog lot, draining the freezer, fixing chains, cleaning out the truck, organizing the gear shed…not to mention trying to get this website up and running! Needless to say between real work and dog work, we’ve stayed busy. So, when a good sunny day came along and our friends had some time off, we decided to go on a hike. But not just any hike — that would be far too easy. We embarked on a bushwhack.
We thought, stupidly, that it would be easier. To our credit, it probably was both easier and quicker than taking the hiking trails though we probably ended up with more scrapes and Devil’s Club’s stings doing it our way. Still, we had a good time. We set off from the local water tower up a partially beat in path. We gained elevation remarkably quickly. We just went up, up, up. Hiking like that felt good — though I’d been on two shorter hikes the day before (once to Boy Scout Lake, the other to Tonsina Bridge) so I was a little tired. Still, I had no trouble keeping up with the boys. There’s something about strenuous exercise and wading through tall grass that makes you feel as if there’s lightening in your blood.
The narrow path we started off on quickly ended. Bear scat was a common “trail” marker and we’d heard rumors of brown bear in the area. We kept joking with one another, pretending there were bears up ahead. All I could think of was Peter and the Wolf. I sure hoped we didn’t run into Mama Grizz. I’m sure she would have been less than thrilled and it would have made our outing more adventurous than we intended. Lucky for us, she stayed clear. It probably had something to do with the fact that we weren’t exactly quiet as we stomped and plodded our way through the thicket. But For all our work, we were rewarded phenomenal views of Seward and Resurrection bay. It was the first real time Travis and I had gotten to go out and have fun without the dogs in a long while and, in some ways, the peace and quiet was nice. Still, there’s nothing I enjoy more than hitting the trial with a couple dogs in tow on a nice long hike. Especially sled dogs. I’m convinced that free running your dogs is the single best thing you can do for training.
In the end, we had to run down the mountain and then walk/run a mile or so back to our cars in order to be on time for a birthday dinner. All-in-all, I’d say it was one of the best days off in awhile. I’d give it a ten out of ten. Anyways, now I’m tired so I’m going to go to bed…