I really had not planned on a trip to the mountain today. It wasn’t that I had other things planned, I didn’t. I had considered the hike, but not made any moves toward a decision. Then my son, took care of it for me. He called Bella inside and asked her, “Bella, what do you want to do?” Bella, looked at him, then quietly walked over to where her leash was hanging and pushed it with her nose. My son was laughing and commented, something about guess we were going to the mountain. So I got ready and Bella and I went to the mountain.
The minute we arrive, she is ready to get out of the car and get started. It was about that time I realized I had forgotten my cap. I wear the cap in part to keep my hair up but also to try and help keep some of the sweat from my eyes. I won’t lie, it HURTS to have sweat roll into your eyes when you’re wearing rigid contacts. I did okay, didn’t have any issues thankfully. I do however plan on putting one of my many caps inside my backpack, just in case.
Bella and I got to where we were almost in sight of the 336 steps when we met a gentleman headed down the trail. He stopped and we spoke briefly. He commented that it seemed like a lot of steps for a dog. I won’t disagree, but I will say (again) that Bella loves the hike and would go every day if I would take her.
I fear taking her too often though. She is nine, I think, and while I’m sure the exercise is good for her, it is a strenuous hike and it is getting warmer by the day. I really don’t want to push her too hard. But we do not get in a hurry, simply staying close to a steady as possible walking speed.
We got to the steps and met a young man coming down who was obviously a climber evidenced by the gear he was carrying. The ropes alone were heavy enough, then there was all the hooks and other paraphernalia hanging from his belt. But he was nice and spoke for a moment before we parted ways.
About halfway up the steps I met someone of whom I am highly envious. She was coming down when we first met, suddenly she was passing us going up, moments later she was headed back down. Without struggle, without heavy breathing, without breaking a sweat. I’m not anywhere near ready for that.
Topside Bella and I enjoyed some water and the view. Well I did, I really doubt Bella cares. Bella was watching a lady coming toward us with two dogs. I’m not even sure what type they were, maybe standard poodle but maybe not. She only had partial control of them, and I think Bella knew that right away. Thankfully she kept a distance and I kept Bella sitting where she was until they were beyond us.
I did try to take a few photos of sections that I don’t usually. If I want photos of different areas, Bella and I are going to have to visit other areas. She wants to, I haven’t due to the above stated reasons.
By the time we get home, she will come in here, stretch out and stay there sometimes for a couple of hours. I’m not sure if she needs to do that, or if she is taking advantage. Bella gets better every visit at listening to commands. If I tell her to wait, or move over, or go up or down. The one I am most proud of is when I see someone approaching with a dog and I tell her to be good. I will shorten the length of leash she has to where she is right beside me. As we approach and pass the other dogs, sometimes she will glance over, especially if the other dog is making a lot of noise, most though she will walk right past eyes front.
We were over half way down when we both saw a truck parked beside the trail. Another truck was parked behind it. A young man was lifting metal poles while the older gentleman was telling him what to pick up and carry. As I watched the young man walked into the woods away from the trail.Now, I have no earthly idea why I asked this, but as I drew close, I asked the older man, “What are we building?” In all fairness, he could have come back with a smart remark, but he didn’t. He explained that they were having to put a gate over the abandoned mine. I told him that I had wondered where that was. Not that I was going to try and go there. He said that no one was supposed to go there. The park had signs up telling visitors to stay away, but since they wouldn’t obey the rules, they were putting up a gate. They could not have been there too long as there was a lot of railing to be carried off into the woods. We talked for a few more moments then Bella and I walked on leaving them to their gate building.
As we crossed the parking area a young lady called out that Bella was a pretty dog. All the while she had a really nice looking dog herself. I won’t swear to it, because I really don’t know, and I didn’t ask, but I’m thinking she had a Belgian Malinois. She told me she had the dog professionally trained for obedience and protection. I don’t blame her. We discussed how our dogs made us feel better and safer when they were with us. We shouldn’t need them, but it does feel better when they are with us.
In my humble opinion, everyone should obey the rules. Don’t vandalize the park. Don’t leave your trash. Don’t go off the trails trying to take a short cut or visit areas they specifically say don’t. Make sure your dogs are on a leash and that you have control.
Most folks I have seen do try to control their dogs. One lady we passed coming down was stooped down, holding her dog tighter, giving it voice commands. It appeared to be a young dog and was excited, but the lady remained calm, speaking firmly but not cruelly. I was proud of her attitude and determination. I’m sure she will get that dog trained to where it listens.
People take a lot of chances on the mountain. I try not to watch some of them climbing around in dangerous areas. The other day when I left there, I passed an army of emergency vehicles going toward the mountain. I later heard someone had fallen. Now I look at people who don’t obey and think, that could be you..
I keep thinking about the lady I spoke with about feeling safer with her dog, just as I do with Bella. I think of the people who carry protection. I think of people who are afraid in their homes. I think of people out shopping who have to watch everyone around them, watch the parking lots for potential dangers. We shouldn’t have to do that. We shouldn’t allow the dark side, to make us afraid.