In October, we took Ray to Mt. Nemo* Conservation area which is a relatively short drive away.
Our Conservation areas are generally well supported however, it is our preference to go during the week as we tend to see very few other people which, from our perspective, makes it much more enjoyable! On this occasion, we did happen to go on a weekend which, although we had not thought about it, was also a holiday weekend!
We knew it was not such a good idea when we had to park in an “overflow parking” area. We knew it was not such a good idea when we saw rather formally dressed young women trying to handle the trails wearing high heel shoes! We knew it was not such a good idea when we saw a group of teens looking suspiciously guilty about something!
We were there however, and so took Ray on one of the trails. Ray, as expected, was just focused on the various scents that interested him, and left quite a few of his own. We, on the other hand, were constantly trying to avoid “traffic jams”, and dogs that were marginally under control, as well as small children.
We had taken a backpack so that we could spend the day there and, at around lunch time, we started to look for an appropriate place to eat. Normally, we would sit on the edge of the trail but, with all the “traffic” at this time, we left the trail and found some rocks to sit on!
During our lunch, we were interrupted by a group who were geocaching. I wonder why it didn’t enter their heads to come back later, or to even say “Excuse me. Our GPS is telling us that there is a geocache in this immediate area. Would you mind if we tried to find it?”
We finished our lunch and packed up right away so that we could move on. Ray is a pleasure to watch in this kind of environment as he is obviously so happy sniffing everything in sight and generally exploring every inch of the trail. One moment he is slowing us down as he investigates something but, a moment later, is pulling us along to some new area of interest.
He now exercises a little self-control when the trail climbs up or down over piles of volcanic boulders. Being pulled up a 15ft pile of boulders is not unpleasant as long as I can keep a good footing, but being pulled down them is reckless, and images of an impending catastrophe are on my mind. It is much less stressful when Ray exercises some self-control!
We had a great day. Not only did we enjoy the area, despite the crowds, but it is always a pleasure to have a happy Ray trotting along beside us! Needless to say, he dozed off in the car and, when we were home, went straight to sleep on one of his beds. Life is good!
*See “Mt. Nemo” – June 6, 2015