Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seven Hollows Hike

Last Saturday Gary, Leah, Katie, Louie and I drove to Petit Jean State Park to hike the Seven Hollows Trail. As we were driving along the top of the mountain we noticed some people dressed in costumes with lots of old timey tents and tepees set up in the background. We found out it was a pioneer days celebration and we decided to check it out before our hike. There were so many fascinating things to see. I wish I had gotten some photos, but Gary and I were bombarded the entire time we were there with questions about Katie and Louie. The double trouble team was extraordinarily well behaved considering they had not yet had a walk. They graciously allowed people to fawn all over them and even showed off a few of their tricks. After visiting with lots of people we jumped back in the car for the short drive to our trailhead.

Katie is ready to go!
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Katie and Louie have been training with their backpacks for a month now. This was their first time to use them on a real hike. With proper conditioning dogs are supposed to be able to carry up to 30% of their body weight which would be 37 pounds for Louie and 33 pounds for Katie. We won't ever ask our Newfs to carry that much weight. We just want them to carry a little water, dog treats and a few drool towels. For this hike Louie carried 10 pounds and Katie carried 7. (I did get Katie's pack properly balanced before we got too far down the trail.)
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Gary, Leah & the Newfs pose in front of a BIG boulder
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Katie carried her pack the whole 4 1/2 miles without even noticing that she had it on. Louie only carried his 1/3 of the way before we decided to put his pack into Gary's backpack. Louie is conditioned to easily carry 10 pounds, but we were worried that he might get too hot with it on the whole way. The temperature was unseasonably warm at 65 degrees and Louie is very heat sensitive. Louie stayed cool by jumping into the streams along the trail. It reminded me of the Siberians, Lincoln and Scarlett, who always used to do that.
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One of my favorite places on earth is this natural stone bridge. We had a nice meditation and snack here. The Newfs got a good rest although Louie protested a bit because he wanted to keep hiking until he couldn't go any longer. Maybe that fired up enthusiasm is what made him so hot.
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Impressive U shaped flooger by Katie
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Katie Sue heads down the trail
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At the halfway point we hiked into this little box canyon. During the wet season there is a waterfall here. It was barely running last Saturday, but it still made a pleasant sound as it echoed off the rocks.
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Me & my Sissy
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We hiked the last mile and a half of the trail during twilight. We barely made it back to the car before dark because of all of the dawdling we did along the trail. It was a beautiful day spent with four of my very best friends. Life is good :-)

1 comment:

Mary said...

This looks like a lot of fun and such great weather! With snow on the ground here and no more shows until mid-January, I am looking forward to hiking next weekend myself.

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