SUMMARY: A vacation day with the dogs.
There is nothing like being in the great outdoors with your dogs running freely off-leash. Wish we could enjoy that with greater regularity.
For various reasons, I got a late start this morning and arrived in Carmel around 12:30 on a beautiful day, perfect for a little hiking. Although check-in time at the Cypress Inn is 4:00, I figured it was worth dropping by early to see whether our room was ready. Yowza, it was, so we made ourselves comfy in our spacious room. (The fireplace is a bit of a fake--it's about 8" deep with a tiny flame and no way to adjust it.)
We then walked the half mile down to the beach (and it is *down*). The beach is over a mile long, and we walked up to one end and partway down to the other, then randomly encountered a friend who happened to be there at the same time we were, and strolled back towards the first end again.
We played some frisbee as we went, but I quickly tired of Tika catching it, running out into the surf and dropping it, and then Boost refusing to get anywhere near moving water in order to bring the frisbee home. Each time, we had to follow the frisbee down the beach as it appeared and disappeared in the waves, until finally it was close enough to the receding edge of the wave for boost to bravely get her feet wet and retrieve it.
Squillions of dogs of every size, shape, and color romped on the beach, off leash. At times when I put the frisbee away, Boost made attempts to do outruns on dogs chasing their own toys, but I kept moving along the beach and so she had to come along, too.
Tika liked exploring and running in and out of the surf, but Boost just wanted to play frisbee. Tika once again became so excited that she had to grab my feet for a while to get it out of her system. Boost, not so excited.
Per the pedometer, we got about 3.5 miles of walking between going to & from and the long walks along the clean, smooth sandy shore. Stopped in the hotel room for a little while to play with my computer: Wireless is listed as being available in the courtyard, but my room is close enough that I get it right here.
Realized to my dismay that I hadn't brought the card reader for my camera's memory card. So no way to upload photos, which means that one again I've missed the deadline for my 52 Weeks For Dogs. Crudola. THat's twice in 2.5 months; I think you're out if you miss 4. Just last week was so busy--
And I think I got a lot of nice photos today, but can't use them next week because them's the rules.
After that, we drove out Carmel Valley Road about 8 miles, through Carmel Valley, to a regional park that allows dogs off-leash. (Carmel Valley is different from carmel-by-the-sea. They just want you to know that.)
The weather remained perfect; sunny but just cool enough that I could walk as briskly as I wanted to and not work up too much of a sweat. I picked trails to walk that were mostly level, but did a little uphill and downhill. One branch of a trail descended abruptly via a series of a few dozen steps cut into the hillside, crossing a broad trail running the length of the valley. Boost apparently found THAT exciting--she blasted up and down the stairs and raced madly back and forth on the trail down in the valley. Not sure what sparked that excitement. OK, for Tika it's surf at the beach, for boost it's stairs in the woods.
Boost was quite happy to just run and explore in the park, unlike at the beach. She mostly used her hobby horse floppy puppy gait (picture those horses mounted in a rack on springs that you'd rock back and forth on--kind of like that) that's so unlike the focused, intense border collie working look.
After the first 25 minutes, I discovered that my pedometer had fallen from my belt and dangled from its leash, and had registered only .2 miles. I'm thinkin' it missed maybe a mile of hiking.
Not a lot of wildflowers yet, but a few here and there. The showiest display came along the Lupine Loop, where--surprise!--a field of lupies blued the scenery.
When we got back to the car about 20 minutes before sunset, we were approaching 8 miles on the pedometer total for the day (plus whatever it didn't count while loose). We then parked back at the hotel and raced to the beach for some glorious after-sunset sky colors, then back up the hill again to the hotel for a shower in a nice marble shower, dinner with the dogs at my side in the restaurant (in the dog section)--AHI tuna and some stuff, and a coconut creme brullee, yum!
I am VERY tired. Dogs are completely sacked out. Think I'll join them.