I have been trying to get out in the mountains more lately. Millcreek Canyon is right near my house, and as opposed the other two local canyons, which are designated watershed, dogs are allowed up the canyon so that is where I tend to head when I want to hike. At the end of the canyon road lies the the Big Water and Little Water trails, which lead 900 feet or so up into the mountains to Dog Lake, which as the name may indicate, is one of Daisy's favorite places! Daisy and I have been up there a few times year. It is about 3 miles up to Dog lake on the Big Water trail, pretty much uphill all the way. There are three creek crossings along the way which Daisy loves, but at age 8 the uphill is getting hard for her.
Last night she was tired when we started(the kids had taken her swimming in the afternoon) so she was really dragging and lagging all the way up the hill. (made her "momma" feel like she was in tip top shape!) The top of the trail is pretty steep, then you hit the crest of the hill and head downhill a short way to the lake. As soon as Daisy sees the lake she starts running and hops right in. She loves to swim, just for the sake of swimming and the sight of water gives her a second wind. She actually likes to swims laps. It's her idea, she starts swimming, I start walking, and the next thing you know we've traveled all the way around the lake. She is a graceful swimmer. She looks sleek, like an Otter, and clearly enjoys herself. After our lap she plays 'fetch the stick', either with me or she hones in on the other dogs games. While most dogs swim out and fetch then come back on shore and run, Daisy never gets out of the water. Since yesterdays hike was an evening hike we reached the point where I knew we should leave or we risked walking down in the dark. I called Daisy, but she wouldn't come. Every time I caught her attention some other people would throw the ball and off through the water she swam. Finally the other folks decided to leave, allowing me to coax her out of the water. As we headed up the trail a new dog headed down, and it was all I could do to keep Daisy from turning tail and heading back to the water.
Because it was getting late, we took the Little Water trail down. It's about a mile shorter, much steeper and rockier, but is more out in the open where there was still light. Even though we were hurrying down the trail to beat nightfall, I stopped and enjoyed the sun setting over the mountains!
A rather poor picture of dog lake. I'll have to try to get a better shot during a sunny time of the day!