Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Run to the Flats

I craved a long run, so headed out to one of our trails we haven't seen for a few weeks. Our destination was the "Flats" that sits covered in trees in the middle of the picture below. I'm not sure how long this route is, but we were out moving for a couple hours.Evidence of our winter storms covered the trails. Even the fireroad had become a technical run with rocks, debris, and crater footing overtaking the trail. After about a half mile on the fireroad, we headed North on a singletrack. Every time I run this trail I'm amazed at how I didn't remeber how steep this section was. I thought the same thing again today.

Soon the trail opend to another fireroad where we climbed into the eastern sun. It wasn't long before we made it to the flats and looked down on the city. This must me a stomping ground for local animals as Kona always goes on a sniffing rampage. I let her drag me around the trees, quickly shifting my gaze from my feet to the forest above me.
After a couple minutes of frenzied sniffing, I stopped to take in the view. (Of Kona's fenzied sniffing, not mine.) I was surprised to feel slack in Kona's leash. When I looked down, she gazed peacefully down the hillside. She didn't whine or insist on moving. I soaked up the moment.Our descent proved a bit harry, as it often does on steep terrain with a pulling Kona Dog. At one point on the trail, Kona crossed behind me from my left to my right side and ran right next to me with a slack leash. I have no idea what prompted her to run like that, but for the two or three minutes it lasted, I had a big grin on my face.

When we reached flat ground, we headed up the fireroad to cool off by the creek before we made our way back to the parking lot. Kona made several splashing entrances into the water.

Our trip back to the parking lot wasn't as successful as it was the last time we were there. Kona was too nervous to care about the treats I threw on the ground. She walked very slowly when we crossed onto the concrete. When we reached the car, she made one quick sideways dash, but when I told her to sit, she did. She took a couple treats before jumping into her crate.

Our finish wasn't perfect, but I think that overall both Kona and I had a good morning.


Sam said...

What a gorgeous photo of Kona looking out at the hillside! Looks like you had an awesome run.

I know Roxanne at Ch. of My Heart has done a lot of work with her dog by simply sitting in parking lots and feeding her dog. It may complicate things that Kona won't even take treats, but perhaps you can start by treating her in her crate while she's still in the car?

KB said...

I love that first photo of Kona. It's great to see her mellow. I think that your daily runs are probably the best thing in the world for her, in terms of helping her mellow out and learn to deal with scary hurdles so she can get out for her run!

Isn't funny how photos never really depict how steep something is? I've tried taking photos of the steepest stuff I've ridden on my mtb but they always look almost flat!

Sara said...

Your run sounds so peaceful, and it seems like you and Kona were really connected. I agree with KB, I'm sure these runs help Kona immensely. Can you imagine her stress level if she had no outlet for that nervous tension? Lucky dog to be picked be you.

Oreo freaks in parking lots too, no matter where we are. I think there are just too many places for people to jump out of nowhere. Plus it is a transition time...either we are starting something or ending something. Even my human students' behavior changes drastically during transition times....classes changing, lunchtime, end of class, etc....