Ahhh, summer hiking weather is here again! Well, almost. We were originally going to go up to Noble Knob again, but we most definitely would have run into snow (the nice lady at Wapiti Woolies told us that many people had come back from a disappointing hike at Noble, so we were glad we'd picked an alternate.) The Big Guy has been here before for mountain biking. I accused him of holding out on me because this is such an easy grade and so very pretty, especially this time of year while all the new growth is at its most brilliant green.
Both Otter and Zuli came along, and were quite happy about it. Otter just plain likes to GO, and my Zuzu is the best little hiker-pup in the whole world.
We met a mountain biker who told us that he'd heard Bigfoot near here earlier this year and that this particular area was a "hot spot" for sightings recently. I kept my eyes peeled, but this is the only Bigfoot I saw.
Otter is 11 years old now. It's already been a long time since we've been able to take Sheila with us, and it's hard to think of that time coming for our Buddy, too. He did great today, but did find his limit when we tried a strenuous side trail up to the beautiful falls. We hit an area of fresh dirt, not really muddy, but not very stable, either. Poor Buddy was ahead of me and couldn't get his footing in the dirt. I had a hand on his rump to keep him from sliding back into me (I wasn't all that stable myself, especially with my pack on.) We decided it wasn't a smart idea to keep pushing ahead, so we called it good. I was wondering if I was going to get hit from behind by a sliding Lab, but I turned around to see poor Buddy sitting in the dirt and crying, afraid to come back down. Broke my heart, he did. I stepped back up to him and once I had my hand on his collar, he wasn't afraid anymore and came down with me. I think his hard climbing days are behind him, but he's got some great hikes left in him yet, my sweet, sweet boy.