Fantastic should actually be in quotes. The hike was more hot, sticky, bug-ridden, and dry than fantastic. Especially dry, except for where the trail was completely flooded from all the high river levels here, forcing us to turn around and go back the way we came...
But the trip started out quite nice! Here are my cute boys: We brought a backpack filled with all the things we might possibly need for our three-mile-loop, including snacks, water, a portable dog bowl for dog water, poop bags for the dog (or billy? haha), camera, wallets, phones, and our trusty guidebook. We then clipped Bentley's leash to a loop in the backpack, enabling a hands-free hiking-with-dog experience.
And some pretty daisies... And the (dry) meadow we walked in, with a temptingly-beautiful-blue-yet-mysteriously-unreachable lake in the background. Oh and the Tualatin Mountains in the background, says the guidebook. So we start out by trekking along the little path. Mostly meadowy, fairly warm, and have I mentioned dry? The dog LOVED it, and would frolick (literally) through the grasses, usually in this pose: He was in his element - sniffing out some bunnies or foxes or something. Not that he found any.
Oh and I really like this one - "Aviation Dog" with his ears flying up like wings. This is probably the best photo I have of him frolicking. And what a happy hiker! He's still smiling! And so's Billy! Even though it's rather warm and dry and the scenery leaves much to be desired.For a few minutes, we let Bentley wander through the tall grasses on the side of the trail, which he very much enjoyed. Then we realized he could/might get ticks out there, so we promptly returned him to the trail and brushed him off vigorously. Then it was time to switch backpack-dog duty, so I take a turn and try to get a photo with the little guy. We should have named him Mr. Wiggles. Sniffing the ground is WAY more fun than being held for a photo, I guess... Oh but we got one! At least one of us is smiling... So we continue hiking along, adjusting backpack straps, I guess. Did you check out my nice red shorts? I was super patriotic, but not quite as stylish... haha.
And the swampy lake that we longed to cool off in, but just couldn't get close enough.I think this is where we were forced to turn around, due to trail flooding. What a bummer. So we walk back towards the car and get almost all the way there when we see two people and two dogs emerge from this grassy, overgrown meadow. The dogs are wet, and they tell us that the "trail" in the meadow goes straight to the lake thing! Hoo-ray.
We make our way along this trail, but basically felt like Lewis and Clark plus Dog, making our way through these shoulder-high grasses and ankle-high thorny blackberry bushes. We picked up the dog and carried him several times for fear of having to de-thorn his little paw pads.
After trekking about 300 yards, and twice considering turning around, we finally got to this! Water! And Bentley jumped right in. Well maybe it was more of a wade in.He loved the water, especially since his little legs were probably warm and tired and the cool water was refreshing on his furryness. The past one or two times we've been near enough water, Bentley's been not-too-thrilled about it. He would put a few paws in, but was afraid of his ears or something getting wet. But this time, there was no holding back.Well almost no holding back. Bents didn't want to get too deep, even though we coaxed him by throwing sticks out in the water (he LOVES a good stick to chew on!). Most times he just ignored it, but once, he went for it!! Here's his first official swim! But after that he was generally done getting in the deep water. He liked the shore better. Which works for me, because he's so cute here! He started sitting, and even laid down.Here's both of us-trying to get a picture together. And then from a beagle's view - a big shake to get all that water off! I love how his ears look like propellers!
And now time to get out and go home. Despite the boring meadow and the tall grasses and the thorny blackberry bushes and the 20-or-so bugbites we got, it was a fun hike and it was great to see Bentley have such a good time!