a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Hiking Sans Dogs

Monday, July 05, 2004

Hiking Sans Dogs

Yesterday morning, took a lovely stroll through Alum Rock Park (go there to see some of my photos and a description of the park). Didn't take the dogs.

Without the dogs, our conversations revolved around such topics as:
  • Why isn't "iron" pronounced "EYE-ron" instead of "EYE-ern"?

  • If something made of metal is metallic, why isn't something made of iron considered to be ironic?

  • If we got poison oak despite being very careful, would it be ironic or just stupid?

  • Did Poe write The Raven in idyllic pedometer or some other form?

With the dogs, the conversations would have revolved around:
  • Watch out for the poison oak.

  • C'mon, that's enough sniffing.

  • No! Leave it!

  • Watch out for the poison oak!

  • Stop pulling! It's only a mountain lion!

  • Hang on, I have to pick up the dog's deposits.

  • Don't--DON'T--Oh, dagnabbit, that was poison oak!

In any event, this particular park doesn't allow dogs. Just as well. Single-file, we could barely avoid the poison oak on parts of the trail. But the view of the valley from the South Rim Trail was lovely, the weather was beautiful between 9 and 11 in the morning, and we certainly got our exercise.

Dogs are going stir crazy, though. Can hardly wait to see what they'll be like after I get back from London--

In the evening, I joined a group of agiliholics up at Power Paws Agility above Alum Rock Park for a big picnic. Most stayed for viewing the fireworks--from there, you can see every fireworks show from the south valley up the peninsula almost to San Francisco--but it was already 9:00 and I was tired and last year after the fireworks getting down the hill was a traffic nightmare. So I left early, just as the fireworks were starting. Caught glimpses of them around my as I tooled along the freeways.

And I got a lot of tooling in, because I forgot to take 101 south from 680, and parts of 87 were closed (which is why I should've taken 101) because in years past tons of dorks apparently started stopping along the freeway shoulders to watch fireworks. So there was a tremendous traffic jam at 87, which I wriggled past and went all the way out to 17 south to 85 south to home.

Tika was dashing in circles around the yard, barking pointedly at I'm not sure what. I'm wondering whether she was after the fireworks or the popping and rumbling noises; didn't look quite like chase-the-roof-rat-along-the-fence style barking. She does sometimes run around the yard barking at birds flying overhead, so who knows. Just needs something, anything, to do.

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