Sunday, October 14, 2012

6 July 2012 Hiking, Biking, and Relaxing

There was a new series of caches on the ANF so we headed off with the dogs for the a good walk and a few finds. It was a lot hotter on the trail than we had expected so I was glad we (Ali) had brought a lot of water for the dogs and we were able to spot some shady areas for them to rest. Today's walk was between five and six miles. Between Gwen's injury and her age, I am always nervous about pushing her too hard, but she did well on the trail and is still at an energy level where she wants to be with us on these long walks.

We track the number of caches they find with us through the travel bug tag for them. Today was a milestone as they joined us for their 900th cache. When they eventually reach 1,000 we'll make certain they get a golden dog treat container or some other way to mark the event. For today, they were just happy to be eating ripe blueberries near the pond that marked the half-way point of the journey. When our dog Toli lived with my parents she would forage in the large strawberry patch and the stand of raspberries looking for ripe berries, but Gwen and Eva are the first dogs I have seen that are voracious blueberry eaters. They will actually snap at ripe blueberries as the walk the trail.

I'm not certain if they are looking for the cache or more blueberries.

After our hike in the ANF, we dropped the dogs at home and headed off for a bike ride. It was a super afternoon to be out biking. With the mid-week holiday, the out-of-town visitors were light and the roads were quiet.

It was a perfect day to be along the river whether riding a bike or enjoying a swing.

Helleborine grows in such odd places making it tough to get a really good image. This bloom was one of several in a length along the road on our bike ride. This is one of the first areas where Ali spotted this orchid and a consistent place for us to spot the plant every year.

After our ride and a stop for water, we grabbed the dogs and headed fro Irvine Flats and some needed cache maintenance. The area has changed a lot since we first started placing caches here. The forest service has worked to remove the aliens and plant native plants in the area.

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