Friday, September 05, 2008

Busy Dog Day Ahead

SUMMARY: Practice, walking, hiking, practice, and lots of driving.

We're off on an excursion tomorrow!
(Click map for larger version)

I promised myself and the dogs that we'd do something fun involving lots of exercise this weekend. My original plan was to find some suckersfriends and go hiking with the dogs off-leash at Sunol Regional Wilderness out near Livermore, about a 30-mile drive. But it turns out that there's a fun match Saturday morning, and I really really want to get in extra practice with Boost, plus--Bonus!--it's at a fellow Bay Teamer's new digs and I really want to go see it; it gets rave reviews from others who've been there. That's 30 miles in the opposite direction from my original plan, in Ben Lomond.

(Hmm, note to self, no photos of Ben Lomond in Wikipedia. We should be able to fix THAT tomorrow, too.) It's a little town nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains. My hiking friend also lives near there, and I'd love to see her (oh, hmm again, I have a book that she wants to borrow...maybe I'll drop by for half a minute), but it occurred to me that there's a friend who lives on the beach in Aptos (near Santa Cruz) and I have a very long-overdue rain check to go walking on the beach with her, and since I'm planning on driving past there, I'd love to cash in that rain check. (Hmm, note to self, no photos of Aptos village in Wikipedia, either, just a beach. Can fix. Take cameras.)

I'm going south past Aptos instead of north back home because, at 3:00 in Hollister, a Bay Teamer who is a professional dog person is videotaping dogs doing weaves of various spacing (from above, side, front, and behind), to use in various presentations and possibly to argue for wider weave-pole spacing. And if you do that, you get to play free in the agility fields there. It's supposed to be very hot again tomorrow (record-breaking temps yesterday and today), but I don't mind doing a little practice in the heat, since there's no guarantee on temps for competitions.

I looked up off-leash areas, and there is nuthin'--absolutely NO THING--anywhere in the region that I can find. But Mt. Madonna County Park is between Aptos and Hollister, has 14 miles of trails, and allows dogs on leash. So after walking in Aptos, we'll pack up, drive east over the hills, and do that for a couple of hours.

Then on to eastern Hollister, do our weave pole thing and more practice. (Hmm, note to self, only photo of hollister on Wikipedia is the city hall. Guess I have to figure out where the "downtowns" are in all these smaller towns! Should be educational.) And finally home.

Of course, with the price of gas, this "free" practice isn't really free, but what the heck, we all love a road trip, and the dogs will get to go to four--count them, FOUR!--different places in one day. Should be a blast. (Hopefully not a blast furnace.)

MapQuest's estimates:

Total Estimated Driving Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Estimated Distance: 136.27 miles

Am I insane?

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