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Saturday, May 28, 2011

FLD Gus Meets Holiday Traffic--in the Woods!

I pinch myself every time I head out the back door, hike our "patch," and a half-mile later pick up the Rifle River Recreation Area ski trail at marker #6.

The woods are bursting green now, an incredible neon green I can barely reconcile as the same woods I slipped through on my skinny boards only two months ago.

Our leafed-out woods--in green!

FLD Gus, replete with blue Future Leader Dog bandana, heels nicely at my side; we scrabble up a sharp hill to the trail marker (#8) posted on Ridge Road and turn right.  I plan to cut along Ridge Road to marker #5 where we can pick up the trail to head home.

FLD Gus perks up at a machine noise ahead.

Ridge Road is a one-way dirt access road (not plowed in the winter) that weaves between Lodge and Grebe Lakes.  We're not used to coming across cars here, yet that is exactly what bounces toward us.

I step off the narrow road; there is no room for the car to pass unless I do.  FLD Gus, however, stands tall in the middle as if to challenge the presence of this motorized imposition.  Gus.  Come, I command to get him out of the way.  He huffs back over his shoulder at the vehicle when we continue.

A few steps later and here comes a four-wheel-drive pickup truck with a young red-cheeked, blond-headed girl hanging on in the open bed.  She waves timidly at us.  Hi, I say and again step aside.  FLD Gus follows quickly this time, but hauls hard in their direction when they pass.  Before we can get on our way, a second pickup rounds the bend.

In less than one minute we've seen more cars here than we've seen since December!

FLD Gus puffs and pulls.  I imagine he's thinking, "Let me at 'em!  I'll chase them off our road!"   Or perhaps that's just what I'm thinking, this Saturday morning of the Memorial holiday.

Ahhhh, our first taste of summertime weekends.

FLD Gus at trail marker #5, eager to get off Ridge Road and back into the woods!

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