A couple of weekends ago Owen and I hiked Burnt Meadow Mountain with some friends. We had a gorgeous day for it – it was a little hot, even. Oliver and Owen certainly thought so:
Still, he did great. He was as good a sport about the pack as he was about the raincoat.
Our efforts were rewarded with some pretty nice views for a mountain that only boasts 1,194 feet of elevation.
There were a few decent rock scrambles towards the top and I worried about Owen. After all, at 8-years old, he’s technically a senior. I didn’t want him to break a hip or anything.
Denis pointed out that he’s closing in on Owen, age-wise, but I didn’t want him to break a hip either.
It turned out that my worries were unfounded. Both the White Knight and Denis bounded up like billy goats. Owen needed only a few minor assists. Nice that his backpack has a little handle along the spine – it comes in handy for boosting.
After what seemed like much more than 1.25 miles, we summited, all of us dragging as if we’d been walking for three days straight.
Clearly, a warm-up hike was much needed before hitting the big stuff.
Mount Washington, in all of its snow-capped glory, was visible from the summit. Exhibit A as to why a hike in the Whites wasn’t possible that day.
We managed a couple of quick snacks at the top before the black flies drove us down. They were really horrid, even with plenty of DEET.
Going down presented new difficulties. A 6-foot leash doesn’t really cut it over a rock scramble of the same height. I had three options:
1. Go first and risk pulling Owen down on top of me.
2. Let Owen go first and almost certainly get pulled down on top of him.
3. Let him go.
To my partial horror, I chose Option 3, with the wild hope that weeks of obedience training and sheer exhaustion on Owen’s part would keep me from losing my dog.
To my full horror, my dog, who apparently does not have a fear of heights, went jumping off rock face after rock face before I could catch up to him to help.
Amazingly, he landed on his feet every time.
Even more amazingly, he stayed on the trail and let me put him back on the leash once we were past the tricky parts.
He really is a good dog. I just love him.