30 June 2008

Day Hikes

'Tis the season to hike. My skis are finally put away. Technically, I could probably continue to find patches to ski but I'm done with the season. My ice skates and sleds, my skijor lines, sleds, and other winter paraphernalia are packed away.

It's hot and I try and keep biking to the cooler hours of the day but as the snow melts out of the high country there is increasingly more and more places to hike. My first day hike of the season was a mild 9.5mile round trip hike before and evening shift at work. It's gorgeous and there is lot of water for happy dogs. My friend is training to hike the JT trail so she carries a 40lb pack mostly filled with spackle containers.

This weekend found me with another friend traipsing through a wildflower strewn meadow and then up the hillside. I don't know the mileage for this one because when the batteries in my camera dies the GPS was sacrificed and we weren't exactly following known routes the entire time. We flushed a sparrow from it's nest and bend down to see four beautiful thumbnail sized, pale blue eggs with brown splotches. we come across a deer skull with blue flowers blooming through the eye socket and we get wet and muddy. We had a lovely picnic lunch along a lakeside where two pooches swim and the Parental Pooch dips her toes (she's supposed to be a water dog but she'll only get in up to her ankles).

From L to R: Parental Dog, Summit, & Disreputable Dog

At some point in the afternoon while we are gaining altitude the Disreputable Dog suddenly keels over in the duff and has a seizure. I catch him before he hits the ground and hold him, leaving the other dogs to my friend. The whole thing lasts about 10 minutes and I am so focused on him that I don't notice the mosquitoes feasting on me. And then he's okay and we are a bit shaken. My friend recently lost a good dog friend and I, while having seen the DDog do this before, still find it jarring and a bit scary. We take this as a sign that we should turn around. We go slowly at first as the DDog is a bit wobbly on his legs but by the end of the hike his tail is in the air again and he is happy.

Deer skull, baby deer tracks, coke kiln, sparrow eggs

We stop, on our way home, at the little cabin owned by the Original Marlboro Man and gather some rhubarb for pies and make sure that the lawn has not dried out entirely. I come home to relieve my dad from caring for my mother and she and the Disreputable Dog sleep side by side the rest of the evening.


  1. How scary! I've never seen a dog have a seizure before. I don't know what I'd do in the circumstance. I'm glad he's ok and I hope your mom is doing better.

  2. The little cabin owned by Original Marlboro Man sounds interesting - I guess it's not your cabin though!

    Best wishes to your mom, and DD.

  3. P.S. Have you always had your comments set to AKDT? Guess I never noticed it before. I have my home page set for Anchorage weather, even though I haven't lived there in years!

  4. brigindo, hi! Nice to meet you. Yeah, the seizures are scary mostly because you just can't do anything about it and I wouldn't be able to carry the DDog even if I had to. Thanks for your wishes!

    silver fox, well, I think my blog is set to AKDT because I had that as my location and since I'm only temporarily in CO I haven't changed it. Maybe I should. As for the cabin - it's sorta mine...I can use it whenever as it's in the family.

  5. i love it. and i love that you will make a pie later too. or already have.

    and to answer your question my way a few days back: you better come, sister. the door is open.

  6. This post is beautiful. It has a strong sense of 'place' and makes me feel as if I've experienced a day in your world. I'm sorry about the seizure, though. The image of the DDog and your mother resting together is very moving.
    By the way, is the rhubarb part of a garden gone wild or is it native to that area?

  7. Poor DDog - it sounds terrifying. Is he OK now?

  8. jen, of course I did; strawberry-rhubarb pie. Yum! And I will take you up on that visiting. :)

    parlance, the rhubarb is actually one of the few hardy plants brought by the pioneers and it was probably brought over in the late 1800's along with a hardy variety of lilac and potatoes. This rhubarb dates from a garden at that time.

    cae, luckily yes. He sleeps a lot for a few days after a seizure but other then that is fine.

  9. I love the picture of the skull and wildflowers. I am heartily jealous that they have such fantastic hiking country around you.

    Anywhere good to row nearby? If so, I'm sorely tempted to pack my bags and cross the pond...


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