Four days ago, I left my back door on cross-country skis. A freak spring storm dropped four inches of sleet-sugar snow and I was not going to miss an opportunity. The trails through our 13 acres led me to the Rifle River Recreation Area and thousands more acres of wilderness.
I took cc'd (career-changed) Gus along.
|Gus approaches like he wants to herd me back onto my skis. I had taken them off so I could shoot a photo.|
As young, strong and exuberant as Gus is, after an hour and a half I decided to turn toward home--no way was I going to be able to carry his 70 pounds back if he crapped out on me. Never mind what would happen if I crapped out on him!
It was a good choice. The last half-mile was a put-your-head-down-and-slide-one-ski-ahead-of-the-other slog back to the house. But we lived to tell about our wonderful last ski of the 2012/2013 winter.
Yesterday's rain (and today's sun) is making the snow sigh like the wicked witch of the west, "I'm melting, melting! Oh what a life!"
I headed out my back door again, this time clad in hiking boots, not skis, this time with all three dogs. What a joyous, muddy, snowmelt mess! Water ran downhill like miniature waterfalls and filled the hollows into pools.
|Dutch's pawprint in the last of the snow along the trail.|
|"Come on, keep up!" Dutch seemed to say as he looks back at me at the beginning of our hike.|
Grousehaven Lake was still frozen over, but open water kissed the shoreline around Grebe Lake. I thought to take some pictures from the iced-in fishing dock on Grebe, which was accessible by a long pier.
|The fishing dock on Grebe Lake.|
Gypsy and Gus raced ahead. Dutch followed, attached to my waist by a long green lead.
Just a few yards onto the pier, Dutch stepped off into open water; it was deep enough that he went all the way under. His head broke the surface like Shamu-the-whale, his front paws slapped the water like the fins of a circus seal. I guided him toward shore with the lead. He didn't have to swim much before his back paws touched bottom--he bounded onto dry land and shook himself silly.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL!
Dutch's first swim!
|Toward the end of our hike, Dutch looks back at me. What do you suppose he is thinking?|