BLUE, The Master Hiker

BLUE, The Master Hiker

Monday, November 1, 2010


The first group hike on October 30, 2010
Back row: Danny (with me), Ludwig (with Rumi), Ellis P (with Joe)
Front row: Wiggs (with Jennifer) and Rock (with Allyson)

Organizing a day hike with a group of people that had never met one another--along with five SR dogs, most of whom barely knew each other, let alone their human hiking partners, was not as arduous as it might sound. You see, when you have great volunteers who are willing to give up a little of their Saturday to savor beautiful scenery at a nearby park along with good canine company, every minute of preparation is worth it! I know, I sound like I'm sugar-coating these guys--but really--they are a devoted lot! One had to be late for his son's hockey game, another missed a soccer playoff game, and no one spent the morning lounging in their pajamas
sipping coffee in front of the morning paper (or in my case JUST SLEEPING IN!).
Our canine component included my good friend Danny, a lab-shepard mix (see prior posting) with a heart as big as they come, Rock (also previously blogged), our "Marmaduke" of the gang with an amazing nose,
Ellis P, the high energy pup from the pound,
Wiggs, our only lady, who rooms with Ellis P, and wow is she sweet!,
 and of course Ludwig, the "man in the back" who couldn't have been more cooperative and gentle a soul.
We were blessed with another gorgeous day
and a trail with little congestion. The River Scene trail at Castlewood was the ideal workout--not too strenuous--with little of "outdoor everything" you can get in Missouri. Scenic overlooks of the Meramec River, wooded trail with a section adjacent to the river's edge, and not too many hills to challenge the novice.
Okay, that is a human's perspective.
Here is perhaps a more canine perspective:
 LUDWIG: Sniff. "Hmm...what's that scent?"
WIGGS: Sniff sniff. "Oh, boys, it's probably a weird variety of squirrel or something."
LUDWIG: More sniff. "No--really--what IS THAT SCENT?"
ELLIS P: "Hey, let ME smell!"
DANNY: Snort. New sniff. "Definitely NOT squirrel."
ROCK: "Nope. Not squirrel..."
ELLIS P: "Come on guys--let ME smell!"
LUDWIG: "Move over pup!"
DANNY: "I smelled that same scent the last time she took me out here. I think it's 'DEER' or something."
WIGGS: "Deer? What is THAT?"
ROCK: "YOU don't know what DEER IS?!!!"
ELLIS P: "Geez, guys! Move! I wanna smell some DEERS!"
LUDWIG: "Can't one of these humans get that pup off the scent trail?"
WIGGS: "Boys! Boys!"
ROCK: "Whatever it is ---I could SMELL it FOREVER!"
Whatever way it is expressed, I am certain all of the dogs
received alot of love,
companionship and "canine memories" of their special day.
I hear they slept well that night,
"sleep-running" on their cots 
engaged in vivid dreams of the greatest deer chase in dog history.
Below are a series of photos with captions to scroll through.
 Consider joining us.
 I plan to set another date in November.
(PS Please read about Danny below the photo section)

Rock's nose out front!

Ludwig enjoyed the "tail end" of the line of hikers
Joe and Ellis P--some serious GUY talk
Jennifer on break at the top of the hill

Allyson checkin out the overlook 

Jennifer, Wiggs and Ellis P
Wiggs with the curious look that makes her simply adorable
Allyson and Rock...Rumi and Ludwig

Jennifer and Wiggs...Joe and Ellis P

From the top
The nose that knows-Rock
Allyson and Rock were perfect together-both fun-loving and easy-going
Rumi and Ludwig heading for the water's edge
The man-Ludwig
Rock and Ellis P-the 192 steps from overlook to river
The Meramec and lower section of the trail
Quickened pace to get to that water!
 Cool and refreshing!

Danny and I enjoyed the view from the shore
Allyson shared some cool fresh H2O with Danny and the rest of the tired pups

Finally, a word about Danny. I have grown to know him quite well. Please read his posting. Send it to anyone you can so they can spread the word about this fine fellow. He really is special to me. He was allowed to ride in my truck up front--something I don't normally do with dogs because of safety issues. I just knew he could be trusted and, in his intelligent, intuitive way, he understood. He slowly placed his chin on my right thigh, never really moving until we were in close proximity to our destination. I continue to recall the look on his face peering over the front curtain of his apartment...those soft, devoted eyes melting right through my body as I turned and walked away from him makes my heart nearly break.




  1. What an amazing day we had for the hike! It really was a lot of fun, even if Wiggs wanted to run and I wanted to walk. She has a ton of energy and would be a FABULOUS companion for a runner! :)

  2. I cant' wait for the next walk! Again, thank you for organizing and letting us join you.