Saturday, April 3, 2010


I itched with energy this morning. After a week of short runs on our neighborhood trails, I wanted to really move. We headed to the Flats. Right out of the car, Kona went to work sniffing a wall of flowers. I think she felt excited about the change of scenery too.
After a quick stretch of fireroad, we pealed onto a singletrack to start our climb. I couldn't keep pace with Kona. She stopped when she reached the end of her line. On climbs like this, I remember that Kona is running with resistance up these hills. I try to imagine someone pulling me backwards and telling me to run. She's one super athlete.
We pushed through the steepest section of trail to rejoin the fireroad. I was surprised to see several people on their way down the trail. It wasn't yet 7AM. I learned later that they had the right idea.

The extra activity on the trail served as a good distraction. Before I knew it, we reached the Flats. Kona went right to work. This must be a hotbed of animal activity as Kona always goes on a sniffing rampage.
After a few minutes, I sat down to take in the city below us. I was happy to see kona slow her pace and willingly stay close to me. She took advantage of the break to try to quench her thirst. She still hasn't learned that the grass has started to turn to foxtails. Foxtails are good for choking, but aren't much of a water source.
Kona acted so much more relaxed compared to the first few times we hiked to the Flats. She happily sat for treats, but still kept one ear on alert.
I laughed out loud during our descent. Kona held her tail high. I felt relaxed with endorphins. This was a morning with my dog.

Then came Disneyland.

The further we ran downhill, the more people we passed. Kona took everything well until we past a group of 20 hikers. They stood off the trail, swinging their arms in the air to warm up for their hike.

Then came the little girl. She sprawled sideways, on top of her dad's shoulders.

Back on the fireroad, the line continued. It seemed like no one came to hike with a group smaller than six. When we finally made it to the parking lot, a group of 30 middle school boys charged towards us.

Yeah, Kona's not too into Disneyland. I should have known better. The trails in the forest get swamped on the weekends. I forgot the only forest trail I've taken Kona to on a Saturday is the Peak. That trail gets crazy also, but the thing we have going for us there is that trail goes straight up. It's not family friendly. Our route today intersected one of the only flat trails on public land in our area.

So we made a mad dash to the car. Yikes. No more amusement parks for us.

A Shout Out to Marge
Congratulations to Marge! She just rocked her first AKC agility trial. Marge and her human Sam are on their own journey to overcome fears. They always inspire us! Way to go!


Barb said...

Hello to Kona and to you! I'm visiting from KB's Blog. She and I both live in CO. I enjoyed hearing about your hike and seeing the steep trails you and Kona are negotiating at top speed! Good Luck and many happy trails to you.

Sara said...

You said it, Kona is an athlete!!! Whenever I see her photos, I can't help but notice how lean and toned she is.

I'm glad Kona was able to have some fun, and relax at times, despite the crowds.

Yay Sam & Marge!!!

Sam said...

That field of yellow flowers is absolutely gorgeous. One thing I really envy about those of you who live out West is the wild flowers you get to experience. I'm glad that you had a lot of good moments on the trail today, even if you encountered an overwhelming number of people on the way back.

That resistance that you speak of really does wonders to a dog's physique, though I know in the past that it hasn't been so nice to your arm!

Thanks so much for shouting out to my girl - I feel honored and I am glad that I can be an inspiration. I think that many fearful dogs can accomplish a lot, when put into the right hands and are allowed to work at their own pace. Kona, no doubt, has found the right hands!

Kathy said...

Marge and Kona are my heros, it is not easy to face ones fears and to overcome them and those two are doing so awesome, I love reading both of your blogs because they remind me how wonderful some people are, and how brave dogs can be.

OOOH Kona, those foxtails are not the best things to be played with....

]Poor Kona bet she had no idea she bought a ticket to Disneyland on the way home, here she just thought she was going on a relaxing walk.

Stella said...

In both 4-1 and 4-3 blog, it sounds like Kona is doing so well.
Despite the amusement park melee, and with the painters, she seems quite happy and knows what to do.

She is on her way!

Jo and Stella

Priscilla said...

First of all, congrats to Marge!

Second of all, I'm glad Kona did well in Disneyland. She sure is getting much better. She also has a great build for an athlete! Yet another great hike for her :)

The Thundering Herd said...

We do the "tourist" trails this time of year before the tourist all arrive - and then save the more backwoods trails for tourist season. Prefer the solitude when we can find it.

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Ah, yes ... crowded weekend trails. There are several around here that we only use on weekdays.

I'm glad you got through the gauntlet OK. For dogs like ours, it can look like the apocalypse.