Saturday, September 27, 2008

Todays Dog Hike

This afternoon I took a few of the dogs up to Doc Longs Picnic area, which is in the Sandia mountains next to Albuquerque. I've attached some pictures to show you what its like if you've never been there.

Doc Longs is just off the turn off on the road that goes up to the ski area and crest. When you pull in there is an area with some picnic tables and built in charcoal grills, and restroom facilities that are open from April 1-October 31.

I actually haven't been there in some time. One reason is the last walk I ever took my dog Sam on was here. I took him here one afternoon and went on a long hike, and he died that night from stomach torsion. So for a long time it was kind of emotional going to this place.

Anyway, the route I like to follow is to park next to the picnic area, and then go up a nice wide trail that is just to the north. It takes about 15 minutes to hike the length of that trail, which then cuts off suddenly. At that point I turn to the south and head down a pretty steep slope that cuts acoss a small stream to the main trail. This trail leads to a trail that goes all along the Sandia
mountains called "faulty trail". You see a lot of mountain bikers and hikers on the trail. Its a really nice trail and in some places its very steep, so you get a really good workout. The dogs love it.

I took Jake and Brandy along. Jake is on the left, and Brandy on the right. Brandy had also come along on that fateful day for Sam.

I also took my Akita Naomi. I am going to have to look up the history of Akitas, because Naomi leaves no stone unturned. So I'm wondering if they were bred at one time to hunt animals that had to be dug up out of the ground. Or maybe Naomi is just curious. She has to check out every single flower, blade of grass, hole, and rock. Her nose is on the ground the entire time I take her for a hike.

Here is a shot of the trail that leads to faulty. As you can see the vegetation is pretty thick. Hard to believe this is just 10 minutes from Albuquerque, huh? As you might imagine there are all kinds of critters in there like bears and such. Coming back, I did see a big animal! But I'm not sure what it was. I was coming back pretty late, it was starting to get dusky so most of the people at the picnic area had left and it was extremely quiet. I heard some cracking sticks up the slope to the south of the trail, which is really steep. We stopped and looked for a bit and I saw an animal go by near the top really quickly. The brush was really thick so it was hard to see what it was, but it appeared to be fairly big.

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