Thursday, September 08, 2011

Treats and Trips on the Trail...

From high on the trail towards Lambs Canyon Wednesday night

The days are getting shorter so last nights hike was a pretty fast hike up to the ridge that separates Millcreek and Lambs Canyon. It is the second time I've been to that spot this week, on labor day we hiked up to the ridge from Lambs Canyon. Yesterday we hiked from the Millcreek side, so I was able to take my Daisy dog. The hike was only 4 miles round trip, but like most Millcreek trails it was pretty steep, so it was a pretty good work out for my poor 11 year old dog.

Since tonight I figured she would be a little stiff and sore I decided to take her up the canyon for a nice easy stroll along the Pipeline Trail. Unlike most of the Millcreek trails, which head straight up the mountains, the Pipeline Train is fairly flat trail cut into the hillside kind of paralleling the road. As the road descends into the valley the pipeline trail stays high, clinging to the uphill side and dropping off on the side that heads down the hill to road. The trail starts in the woods then heads out through open hillsides interspersed with wooded areas as it crosses various drainages. I don't do this trail often, as it's not much of a workout, and not quite as scenic as many of the other trails. But I was glad I took it tonight because I found a wonderful treat along the way.

Dragonflies. Dozens and dozens of dragon flies. Darting and flitting and swooping all over the hillside on the open part of the trail. I have never in my life seen so many dragonflies. I love dragonflies and they were quit entertaining to watch. It certainly made taking the boring, easy trail worthwhile.

After the treat I had my "trip"... Here I am on the easiest trail and I manage to have hiking accident. Like I said, the trail drops off on the south side, and is fairly narrow in places. No big deal to a hiker, but a little more unnerving if you are on a mountain bike. It is a very popular bike trail, and when bikers pass I usually let them pass on the uphill side of the trail because I know how scary the drop off are from a bike. As I headed down one of the drainages I saw some mountain bikers approaching. Having biked the trail a few times myself I knew that after rounding the tight turn at the creek bed they would want a bit of speed to pedal the short hill out of the draingage, so I wanted give them clear berth to climb the hill. So I stepped to the downhill side of the trail, and yanked Daisy's leash to pull her toward me.

Well, Daisy is not too bright, and doesn't "get" that she needs to step aside. She always leaves her butt hanging in the middle of the trail. So I reach down and grab her hindquarters to pull her to me. Her sore hip collapses and she falls toward me. I'm standing on the edge and as she bumps into me I feel the ground crumble underneath my feet. Next thing you know I am tumbling down the hill, with Daisy tumbling down on top of me. I manage to twist my feet forward to try to dig in and stop sliding but the branches from the shrubs make it impossible to get a grip. Daisy rolls over me, and I grab for her, because I am worried she will twist and break or tear something, or strangle by her collar since shes on lead. It sure felt like quite the tumble but in reality I had managed to to arrest our fall 6 or so feet down the hill. After we untangled from the branches and each other we were able to stand up and gingerly make our way down to the bottom of the creek bed and up the other side to the trail. So much for us stepping aside so the bikes could speed up the hill, because they of course stopped when they saw us tumble.... I think they were pretty relieved to see us stand up.

Poor Daisy! Here my plan was to let her have an easy walk to recover from the big hike, and now she's probably more sore than when she started. I am really thankful she was not hurt. I have a few good scrapes, a slightly tweeked back and perhaps a future bruise or two...(and panties full of dirt LOL, but nothing to worry about. I'm laughing about it as I'm sure it was quite comical, and I'm enjoying the irony of having fallen on the easiest trail. I guess even an easy stroll can be an adventure.

Sadly I didn't have my camera tonight, and likely couldn't have captured the magic of the dragonflies anyway, so my pictures are from previous 2 hikes up to Millcreek/Lambs Canyon divide.

Overlooking Millcreek on Labor Day

Around the same place on Wednsday.... fall is clearly in the air as things have died back quite a bit in a few days time.

Wildflowers are being replaced by seeds and berries.

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