Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hiking and dogs near Santa Fe

Lovely hike this morning, repeating the one of 2 days ago but earlier, just after sunrise, had coffee and breakfast after the dawn (see pic). It still got too warm for long-sleeve T after a while (though nice in the shade coming down the western slope of the hill). About 3 miles along ridges and valleys and down hills, past where the village of Trenza may someday be. The desert is so green from all the rain, it is almost a different place. Yesterday morning the rain, which is sometimes morning and sometimes afternoon, was threatening and it was still very wet from the rain of the previous afternoon and evening, so we took two shorter walks of about a mile, still getting a little wet and muddy, the dogs needing to be toweled off before coming into the small house and lying on “their” couch. The rain is much needed for some relief from the long droughts, and has usually been only part of the day, leaving us time to hike.

But that mud, from the trail, was nothing like yesterday afternoon, at least not for Fry. Despite the foggy, overcast morning, it cleared up and about 3 we took off along the ridge, around it, and down to just above the Cowboy Shack, where we head left for home across the valley. Well, at least Maggie and I did. Maggie had been drinking from the little canvas dog water bowl each time we stopped and I took some water, but not Fry. He was too good for that! Or maybe he had something else in mind. When we got to that turn, Maggie and I drank and went left while Fry trotted off to the right. He knew where he was going, and I did too, but there was nothing I could do about it. Down a little bit to the right, just before the Cowboy Shack, is a windmill-fed water tank; for cattle in the old days, now mostly horses. And, in the past, for dogs when we went further than there was water in the pack. Fortunately, Maggie has never done that, but Fry remembered.

So Maggie and I headed off and figured Fry eventually would catch up, which he eventually did (although not before I wondered if he might not find us, silly me, and I’d have to drive down and see if he was waiting near the closest road). And covered in mud, over all his legs, butt, and belly (pic). The water tank often overflows with mud around it at all the access points, especially when it’s been raining, which it has. It was a nice walk back, but back at the house I had to hook up the hose (and get something
on my arm from the grass that caused it to itch, but seemed to wash off) and hose him down. And then rub him down from a bucket to get the places I missed or couldn’t get too. And then he had to sit out on the deck for a couple of hours (in the shade, with a water bowl, and he likes it anyway) getting mostly dry before being toweled off and let in. What are the odds he learned a lesson? I wouldn’t bet on it! He didn’t take any water when Maggie and I did on this morning’s shorter hike, but fortunately (for me) there was no water tank, and he loaded up when he got home. If it stays clear, we might go on a hike that takes us by a different water tank this afternoon, so we’ll see…

In any case, the desert around Santa Fe is always beautiful, and maybe more so from all the rain (although fewer sunsets). The town is great; have had several lunches with friends (or sometimes alone) at favorite venues. Enough time for reading, writing, naps, and just enjoying the views. Sigh. Terrific!

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