SUMMARY: I haven't been to this park in a long time.
I used to come to this park fairly often with Boost and Tika. The huge lawn area was perfect for frisbee, and then the trees along the sides were perfect for Tika to go exploring when she tired of the frisbee game. We'd walk all the way around the lawn, then up the hill for the view across southeast San Jose and out to the Mt. Hamilton observatory, then down the other side of the hill, then back up and down again.
The last time I was here, I had just gotten Chip, and Boost and Tika were along. So about 2 years.
I had no good reason to go here with these dogs; can't have either off leash yet. Maybe someday. If I pay more attention to training. I'd been dreading going here, because of the memories. And, oh, boy, it was hard-hitting indeed. I wanted to go here to start building new memories, but for now the old ones hold powerful sway on my heart. Kept wiping tears from my eyes.
There were changes.
All the times I had ever been here, for 12 years of Tika's life, the trails up and down the hill were wide dirt like fire breaks. I had never seen them overgrown to a narrow track like this. And the huge rock to the left had always looked like a huge rock--yesterday you couldn't even see it for the tall weeds.
But the dogs seemed to enjoy it, tentatively--we hardly go anywhere--and I got maybe another mile of walking in for the day. Ground squirrels and their holes were everywhere, which Tika found hard to resist and fascinated Luke, too. And, for the first time in more than 2 years, here I am at the top of the hill with my dogs. I was pretty sure that one or the other would break their Sit when I moved back to take the photo (hence the leashes left in easy reach), but Lo! They remained!
(Luke's ears and eyes were pointed directly at me when I clicked the shutter, but dang the delay on the little camera. Still, he stayed.)
As I snapped the photo, I heard a man's guttural cough/laugh behind me, I assumed at the dogs being willing to sit, which startled me because I hadn't seen anyone on the trails. I turned around, and no one was there. Puzzle.
We descended the hill, and my knees began reminding me that I haven't done hills in a long time. At the bottom, again I heard that guttural sound. Looking around, I finally discovered who was amused at my expense: Mr. Raven. I don't ever remember seeing ravens in our area before, and now I've seen one in my yard and there were a few flying around here, too. Tres odd.
Went home, had dinner, dropped onto the couch with about 9,000 steps for the day on the pedometer, shoes off, slippers on. And then the renter came downstairs and said, "You up for a walk?" So off we went around and through Martial Cottle Park behind the house. Retired with over 14,000 steps. No wonder I'm tired.