Saturday, May 23, 2009

The mountain calls...

My week, though only end of day Tuesday, has seemed like Friday as the hours and demands have taken their toll on me. My desire was only to get away to the mountains where the trails and streams of water might provide comfort so I loaded the crew for a hike on Kennesaw Mountain. This mountain is a place of tranquility that at one point in American history a fierce battle between the North and the South had been waged. The battlefields have been preserved and memorials have been erected to honor the fallen soldiers. As one hikes the trails and lay in the fields they can imagine the pain and suffering that these proud representatives have sacrificed. This is a place of solitude, my refuge and place to find myself when lost.

Pea and Chap were eager to get on the trails and Pea especially wanted to take the alpha dog lead. She jumped into high gear right out of the gates leaving Chap and I in tow on retractable leads. I was amazed that Chap allowed her this position as he is such a younger and stronger lad. You might think that he would compete for the top spot but at this time he would stay a three foot lengths behind. I allowed Pea to lead for most of the trail but pulled her back to equal at times to remind her of my role on this team. Within the first mile I was feeling the pace, as my tired old body had not recently trained for a foot race with scrappy young hounds. To my pleasure, we settled to a field midway up the mountain as the crew immediately began a zig zag pattern of sniffing the trails of what might have been rabbits or other vermin scents. Pea's hip hopping about and frolicking was fun to watch and even Chap seemed to enjoy the view.

As we continued our journey we traversed a few streams, the first was quite wide with rocks strewn about. It reminds me of a miniature version of the braided rivers in Alaska, seperating one set of mountains from another. There is a rope bridge with wooden slats that provides a wiggly wobbly vibration as you traverse its path. Sweet Pea is cautious and lay behind as young Chap forges on. The pair enjoyed moving about the water and cooling themselves off. One of the streams was deep in a valley but ran through a bed of large rocks. It was a laughable site to see Chap sliding down the rocks as he slipped on the moss as its slippery texture provided no footing for his balance. None the less, he continued to retrace his steps and slide again and again down the slippery waterslide.

Along the way we encountered riders on horseback all dressed in their English riding attire. My mind wandered, as I viewed the little Russell terriers look up as they walk beside the steeds, as to what it might be for them on a hunt with a pack of Fox Hounds and Russell's in search of the elusive fox. They were not intimidated but instead seemed at home and wanted to continue with the passers by.

We had such a wonderful time on the trails and we met so many people with doggies; Pea and Chap were both engaging and friendly; at one time they spent with two very little children, Chap licking their faces, arms and legs. The two fell to sleep within a couple of seconds while on our ride back home; twenty minutes later upon arrival the master was ready for yet another round.

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