Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trekking Up To Acra Point - Part 5

I'd hiked up to Acra Point, a scenic overlook in the Catskill Mountains of New York. It was a gloriously sunny day in August and the dogs, who'd begun the hike a little too excited to be called well behaved, had gradually calmed down and begun to be wonderful companions. Daphne and Clover, the two Papillon puppies, were still rather new to this and, of course, still puppies. But they were learning.

I'd already explored Acra Point and then walked to the opposite side of the ridge for a view out over the Hudson River Valley. I'd managed to make it clear to the puppies that their find of tasty human poop was something they could NOT have. I could, at that point, have simply begun the hike back down the mountain but decided instead to walk back to Acra Point for more views, more serenity and more inspiration:

I confess that I did get nervous whenever the dogs got near the drop off of the ledge, but by now the dogs were behaving pretty darn well and I began to relax. Daphne and Clover were everywhere - looking, listening, climbing and sniffing:

I found another exposed rock which offered some nice views and actually sat down and relaxed for a while, other Catskill Mountains seeming like friendly neighbors:

Seamus had by this time rested and been re-energized, so he was feeling very happy:

Since I was sitting on a rock, Seamus nestled in some Spruce boughs, grinning broadly:

And I set the camera on self-timer and snapped a photo of myself with Daphne and Fergus:

But of course the time soon came to begin trekking back down the mountain back to the car. So off we went, hiking back through the forest and leaving the grand vistas behind:

Daphne and Clover were now well behaved puppies. I told Fergus and Seamus to heel and they spent most of the rest of the hike walking just behind me and a bit to the side. They seemed so happy and comfortable there that I just continued hiking that way. Clover and Daphne ran a bit ahead, but not too far - and they came running back for petting whenever I called. We came upon two guys who'd stopped at a brook and the dogs did not run wildly up to greet them. I asked the hikers if they minded the dogs and they welcomed them, so I said "Okay" and allowed the dogs to go say "Howdy." Now that's how hiking with dogs should always go:

I passed a rather large American flag suspended from a rope high in the trees on the ridge. I don't know its intended message or if its display in this manner meets protocol, but I found it a pleasant sight nonetheless:

And walking through the Catskill forest was extremely pleasant, especially now that the dogs were all behaving themselves so very well. I stopped for a photograph and the dogs ran over for attention. No face kisses were allowed, however. I knew what had been in those mouths so very recently. We were headed back to the trail head, but I've got two more posts. More tomorrow:

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