As dog owners, we’ve all been there: the day you notice your dog having a hard time getting out of bed, the day you notice her legs seem a little stiff that one morning walk.
I’d like to share a little bit about Bella and Bebe; two Border Collies that have been in the Dog Trots family for over a decade. I’ve known Bebe (Red Border Collie) since shortly after my dear friend Rita adopted her. I started taking Bella to the dog park nine years ago and she still joins us three times a week. Rita treats her dogs like family because they are. Since Bebe and Bella are getting up there in their years Rita has begun taking them to Aqua Dog Therapy with Gretchen Dietz (aquadogspa.com). I was invited to join them yesterday afternoon and watch them get massaged and swim their way into a more comfortable state.
Since Bebe has been going for the past year or more, I’ve seen major improvements in her mobility and behavior. If you have a senior dog you want to give some kind of sweet relief, I would recommend giving water therapy a splash.
I’m fascinated by the consecutive foggy evenings we’ve been having. I hear the ferry horns blowing from the Sound. Fog is mysterious, it draws us in and gives a completely different feeling to the night and trees. I look up, the leafless trees silhouette their breaking branches around the faint moon that wants to be seen, but is shy on evenings like tonight. I stayed up well after Midnight in the woods, the dark, my camera, head lamp and my friend; fog.
I woke up at 5:00 a.m. in the back of my truck since I didn’t actually make it to the Helens area until midnight. It was dark, I was tired and it was way too late for me to attempt pitching my tent. I was just fine blowing up my sleeping pad and crawling into my cozy sleeping bag. The only thing I missed was my dog Asia.
I actually ended up doing this climb solo. It wasn’t my initial plan but my plans to go with friends fell through. I had asked a friend who had summited a couple of weeks prior if it would be wise to go by myself. She said it would be. They allow only 100 people a day to climb pass the 4800 ft. level and if I were to get hurt, someone would spot me. That’s all I needed to hear.
On the way to the trailhead I saw the most incredible sunrise! Since I’m a night owl, I don’t get to witness very many of them. Sunsets are a different story.
The first 2 miles were a typical hike in the woods. Once above the tree line it was a couple of miles of climbing large boulders. The whole way Mt. Adams to the right would wink at you to motivate you to keep going. Then the last mile was slippery ash. It is true when they say “two steps forward, one step back”. At least for the month of August.
I started at the trailhead at 7:45 a.m. and didn’t finish until 4:45 p.m.
Finally reaching the summit, the view will take your breathe away. It’s not every day you get to look in the crater of a volcano. I loved the strength of the wind and the subtlety of the earthy tones Helen’s has. Rust, coppers with varieties of grey that any color scale would be envious of. I pulled my hair out of my pony tail and took off my hat to really feel the wind and closed my eyes. I could feel the grit and ash on my skin and in my hair. It was my favorite part.