Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Caught hiking in a thunderstorm

Sensi and I, soaked but still smiling

Nothing's worse than a rainy weekend.
Last Sunday's forecast called for the storms to move out of the area after noon. The rain cleared earlier in the morning and still, I waited for noon. Just for good measure, I waited until 1 p.m. With no rain in sight and the sun peeking out, Sensi and I headed out to the trails.
About ten minutes into our walk, it began sprinkling. We were already out on our favorite (OK, my favorite. I shouldn't speak for the dog) trail in the woods and the trees provided good cover. A little sprinkling rain wasn't going to convince me to turn around, though I did pick up the pace a bit.
Just as I reached the point where the trail wraps around the lake's edge — this is about half way through the loop, the point of no return —the thunder began rumbling. I listened as it got closer and closer, the sprinkles turning to a light rain.
Where the trail departs from the lake's edge, it turns and goes up a rather steep hill.
This, of course, had to be where the storm hit us.
The rain began pouring down on us, a steady stream flowing down the center of the now muddy hill.
Since I'm not quite a serious hiker, I rely on basic old tennis shoes to get me around the trails. Bad choice for a steep incline muddied and slick.
Sensi scooted up the hill with no problem.
"No fair, buddy," I said, reaching out to a tree to help pull myself along (yes, I do sometimes talk to my dog. Even in public places). "Your nails are like built in cleats."
We eventually made it back to pavement, soaked and tired from our quickened pace.
I took Sensi's Halti off because 1) I figured no one else was dumb enough to be out walking with their dogs, 2) He was too tired to pull anyhow, and 3) I wouldn't like a wet strap around my nose.
We jogged the rest of the way back to the Jeep. Sensi thoroughly enjoyed being on a regular collar and leash and jogged proudly beside me.
All things considered, it was still a good hike.

Muddy mess
I lovingly refer to my Jeep as the 'dirty Jeep' after having pointed to it on many occasions and said: "The dirty one's mine."
The dirty Jeep
But I am trying to be better about washing it more frequently.
On Saturday, I took the dirty Jeep to the car wash. On my way home, I stopped by the Salvation Army and picked up Sensi four stuffed animals.
I tossed the "babies" in the backseat of the Jeep and figured they could be his prize on the way home from our daily walks, taking one baby inside with him upon arriving back at the house.
He was thrilled to see the stuffed animals in the backseat when I put him in the Jeep to head out for our walk Sunday. Of course, the walk was far more exciting.
On our way home, thunder and lightening and pouring down rain,
Sensi's muddy baby
the Jeep became a muddy mess yet again.
Still, I love living on a dirt road.
I pulled into the garage, parked the Jeep and opened the hatch for Sensi to jump out, the mud draining off the Jeep and on to the garage floor.
Sensi gingerly picked up one of his babies and during his leap out of the back, dropped it on the garage floor.
The new baby was instantly muddy.
Sensi looked at me.
"What now, Ma? I don't want to pick that thing up," his look said.
I picked it up and shook my head while wiping his baby down with a rag, telling myself I should be grateful for a dog with a sense of cleanliness.

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