a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Head for the Hills

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Head for the Hills

SUMMARY: Short hike with the dogs instead of agility
We're taking this weekend off from agility. There's a CPE trial going on, at which Boost's younger half-sister Quas ("kass") just finished her C-ATCH (championship). We're not going much CPE these days, as much as I enjoy my CPE weekends. I am working hard at cutting back on agility, and on enjoying my weekends reclaiming the life I used to have.

So, in that vein, when today broke sunny, clear, and cool, I scooted around doing various chores and errands (recycling: check! bank: check! (bank--check--ha ha?) flu shot: check! (H1N1 shot not available yet) basic blood test: check!) and then headed for Santa Teresa County Park again.

This time around, instead of starting out close to sea level and climbing 1000 feet, I drove up to the parking area in the middle of the park and we did a couple of loops for about 4 miles with cumulative elevation gain (and drop) of maybe 700 feet.

The weather was gorgeous, this park is basically right in the middle of our urban area with gorgeous views, and yet the trails were nearly abandoned. In our 2 hours there, I saw exactly 3 other hikers (and they all had dogs! what does that tell you about dog owners?) and maybe a dozen bikers. The parking lot with MUTT MVR is virtually empty.

Admittedly, climbing 200 feet up a trail in the direct sun was pretty warm, and everyone wanted a drink when we came to a good resting point. Me, of course, using my Salinas/Monterey Agility Racing Team agility water bottle.

Most of the hillsides were monochromatic golden, summer-dry mostly nonnative grasses and thistles. But that just made the splashes of color more brilliant and the seedheads more attractive.

Dogs had to be on leashes, and for a lot of our hike, this diagram was a pretty accurate depiction.

We had a lovely hike, which tired out the merle girls for approximately the 30 minutes (with stops) that it took to get home again. Ah, well. 

And since I don't want to upload and describe all the photos twice, go here to see the complete set of photos from today.


  1. Fun hike! I kinda liked the self portrait of you and the dogs on the trail..well...actually of your knees and the dogs on the trail, interesting composition!

  2. Sometimes the accidents turn out pretty good. That is why I posted it, rather than dumping it like most of the others. :-)

  3. Man I just love that scenery. Long before Walter was even a glint in his mother's eyes, I tried to paint my living room that colour (dead grass -- er, I mean wheat?) but it turned out a ghastly yellow. Then I got Walter and he turned out to be the exact colour I had wanted on my living room walls. :)

    Love that dogs-on-leash sign - hilarious!!

  4. I had the same trouble trying to paint my walls tannish. I must've gone through a dozen sample jars (fortunately I could get them) before I found something that was close enough.

  5. Great hike! Just love hiking this time of year. So what do you carry all the water and bowls with?

  6. The bowl is one of those soft fold-up dog bowls with a clip, so for shorter hikes I can just clip it to a belt loop and carry a liter bottle of water in a holder also on my belt. When I'm carrying more water, I just toss it into a small backpack (which you can see lying on the ground under Tika in the drinking photo.) I use my water bottles from hiking/backpacking.