Sunday, January 16, 2011

Part 1 - Dyken Pond Nature Preserve On New Years Day

After several bouts of cold temperatures and heavy snows, New Years Day promised to warm up into the 40s. I decided to try a short hike and drove the four younger dogs to Dyken Pond Nature Preserve in Grafton, New York to give it a try. I was hoping that cross-country skiers had flattened down the snow sufficiently for the trails to be walkable. Of course I knew that Grafton gets more cold and more snow than Albany, but still I was discouraged when I arrived to see the snow piled up around the parking area:

I'd picked a trail on the map which we hadn't yet hiked, but could find no sign of any trails along the road. I eventually found trail markers and some indication that cross-country skiers had made the trail passable, but there was no place to park, not even shoulders on the road. I eventually parked in the main lot and walked all the way back down the road to the trail I wanted. It was a good opportunity to give the Papillon pups another "heel" lesson. When we finally entered the woods, the dogs reacted with great joy. Just take a look at Fergus' face:

Seamus and Fergus ran wildly along the snowy trails, their ears flapping:

Seamus slowed down rather quickly, but Fergus and the Papillon puppies had more energy than they knew what to do with. They were on an expedition of exploration and sniffing:

The skiers had not packed the snow down completely, but had certainly made it easier for us than it would otherwise have been. So we explored deeper and deeper into the woods:

My little dog pack keeping together in the forest:

The trail was well marked with red discs, so many that I'd have considered it littered in the summertime. But it came in handy for finding the trail when it was all snow covered. We decided to take a spur trail which led down into a valley:

Ever alert and on guard, Daphne kept an eye out for lions and tigers and bears:

A brief video from the beginning of our hike. The dogs are all excited and Seamus leaves us a big, stinky surprise in the middle of the trail:

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