Friday, February 20, 2009

Going to the Dogs

Day Fifty One
I must be getting old.  Everything in life used to be better when I was younger, especially here in the desert.  Traffic wasn't as crazy and there were WAY fewer stoplights.  You could go places that are now closed off by country clubs. The trails were less crowded and unrestricted.  You could hike with your dog. Anywhere!  Ah, the good old days!

Those days were amazing.  I was able to hike twenty miles or more and never get tired.  The only nudists in the canyons back then were beautiful women, never the old wrinkly men you stumble upon nowadays. Wild animals ate from your hand and birds sang in harmony just for you.  It really was better back then. At least, that's how I remember it.

And while not everything might be exactly as I picture it in my memory, you were able to hike with your dogs back then.  Now there are several restrictions due to the Bighorn Sheep. Biologists think that dogs remind sheep of their natural predators and frighten them away from their traditional breeding and foraging grounds.  I don't know if that's true but it makes sense and so the places you can hike with your dog are quite limited.  Fortunately, one of those places is right here in La Quinta.

Back in the day, I had a great hiking dog, Shasta.  That dog went everywhere with me.  She climbed Mount San Gorgonio, Tahquitz Peak, Martinez Mountain and did most of the peaks along the Desert Divide.   I had to put her down a few years ago and our new dog, Kahlua, just doesn't quite measure up.  It's not really her fault.  We just don't have as many places to hike.

Here's Kahlua, ready to go!

We head out on this trail.  Thankfully, this is the only concrete on the whole thing.

Trails across the sky.

Some nice person put this birdhouse out here.  I guess the trees just weren't cutting it.

Someone also built this nice, uh, I think it looks like a compass.  We're heading South.

Obviously, this wasn't a very good place to park.

Dog owners never cease to amaze me.  You'd think they'd feed their dogs dry food on a hike or at least carry their empty cans back out.

Kahlua is going to be a good hiking dog after all.  She's so excited to climb up this peak.

At the top of the peak, Kahlua proudly surveys all she sees.  Sure, the peak is only about thirty-five feet high but that's over 200 in dog feet.  I know she is looking forward to going again.  I just have to find out where else we can go.

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