on the trail
in minnesota
& north carolina

laika on the trail

north carolina
One of my favorite activities with Laika was hiking around the reservoir lakes just north of Greensboro, North Carolina. I'll always treasure the Saturdays we would spend there, each of us a quiet companion to the other. Time pressures kept me from hiking further from home, although we once spent a spectacular day at Hanging Rock State Park, north of Winston-Salem, NC.

This first set of pictures was taken in October 1996 at Hanging Rock.

on the way to the top taking a break what's ricq got? laika and ricq the view from moore's knob wind-blown bear on the way down
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These pictures were all taken on various trips with Laika to the Greensboro reservoir lakes.

laika #1 laika #2 laika #3 in the shade in the sun and kudzu
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Once we moved to Minnesota and started accumulating Sams again, we soon discovered new places to stretch our legs. So far we've explored two of the larger parks -- Elm Creek Reserve and Crow-Hassan Reserve. Crow-Hassan has become my favorite because of its vast prairies and fewer people.

Autumn 2002

Crow-Hassan Reserve is a 2600-acre park, with 600 acres of restored prairie. It is fast becoming my favorite of the local park system because it is relatively undeveloped (no paved trails = no bicycles) and it is located rather far from the metro area (far = no people).

My first hike with Mazzy in August was at Crow-Hassan; this was his first real hike with a pack and he did very well. He carried water (his and mine), dog food and snacks (although I'm discovering he doesn't like to eat either when on the trail), camera, and poop baggies. All told, his pack was around 7 pounds which is a light for a 57-pound dog but I didn't want to overburden him his first time out. I don't like to hike until the weather cools down. I moved to Minnesota for the winters, not for the Midwest oven summers.

We ran into a few horse-riders but other than that there was no one around so we were alone on the prairie. The trail winds through open fields/prairies through some small areas of hardwoods where it parallels the Crow River. It quickly became apparent that we would have two different experiences on this hike depending on the landscape: if on the prairie, we'd be hot but there'd be a breeze and few mosquitoes; if in the woods, we'd be cool but no breeze and mosquitoes galore. The woods felt too "West Nile-y" for comfort so we hurried through them and braved the heat.

I had planned to hike the approximately 7-mile loop around the Reserve, but as the morning wore on the temperature kept rising until it reached the lower 80s and that was too much for either of us. So we cut across the middle of the loop through some lovely prairie -- from the rises in the land I could see vast expanses of wildflowers and the grasses turning to russet and purple as they went to seed.

mazzy mazzy no fair, these grasses are taller than i am! a very warm mazzy i'd have a better view if all this grass wasn't here shade at last!
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September 2002

More pictures from Crow-Hassan. Notice the change of colors in the span of only one month.

tess, ricq, and mazzy mazzy mazzy and red sumac mazzy and a nice view from a prairie hill mazzy on a bluff of the crow river
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October/November 2002

Crow-Hassan and now, Elm Creek Reserve -- a 5300-acre park that's actually only 2 miles from my house but has fewer dog-friendly trails. I also remembered to start taking my camera when I had the other dogs with me!

mazzy at crow-hassan jasper at elm creek a very happy jasper (elm creek) cirrus (crow-hassan) tess, mazzy, ricq, and cirrus at elm creek
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