Glorious! We found this hike in the Best Hikes for Dogs book. Looked wonderful, not too hard to account for Cooper’s aging hips. Only 300 feet of elevation gain in 3.5 miles one-way. It look us about 45 minutes to get to the trailhead, but the drive is so incredibly beautiful through Hidden Valley that the time flew by.
I took loads of photos. There were 8 river crossings, which meant 16 opportunities for the pups to play in the water and for us to get our feet (and more) wet. Two of the crossings were crotch deep to me, so Darwin learned to swim!
After the first time, once he got the hang of things, he had a ton of fun the next three times, and was first down to the water whenever the opportunity arose. Kinda funny given that a year ago we had to carry him across any body of water, no matter how small, because he refused to get his delicate polka-dot toes wet.
Cooper happily lazed in the water.
We saw lots of rock. LOTS of pretty rock. Which means that we’ll be hauling rocks out of there for years to come. Of course David spotted a REALLY RED rock in the stream near the far terminus, and had to have it. So he scrambled down a steep hill and hauled it back out and I handled the dogs. Too funny, so predictable. Then, near the end, we stopped at Rock Crack Hill and found 3 more rocks to carry out. See where David’s pointing? He hid an especially comely rock in there to pick up the next time we pass through.
Part of the trail turned into a stream. No idea why. The stream turned into a boggy little lake. We ended up quite muddy. Good thing there were more stream crossings to wash off the mud.
Darwin likes to roll after getting wet, which is fine after a nice bath because it’s out in the grass. Unfortunately, no nice clean grass was available, and he ended up quite the dirt ball.
By the end of the hike Cooper was exhausted, so David had to pick him up and put him in the truck. When we got home he refused to get out of the truck, so David fashioned a ramp for him to walk down. Except for dinner, he has been laying on his sheepskin rug, all tuckered out, dreaming of sights, sounds, and scents of the day (I imagine).