This time of year - especially when it has been such a dry late summer - it's challenging to find a trail running route that still has wild water for the dogs. This morning, Finn and I ran with friends Mike and Alice the Samoyed at Cougar Mountain. We chose the Coal Creek Trail specifically because there's still a small amount of water flowing. Here the dogs are cooling off at the base of Coal Creek Falls, toward the end of the first five mile portion of our run. (We tend to select routes where Mike can put Alice in the car after about five miles, to make sure she doesn't overdo on her surgically repaired knee; Mike, Finn and I will then add on a few more miles.)

I'm not sure what is causing the rock here to turn orange, although my guess is iron in the water. The flowing water itself is clear, but obviously over time it has left deposits that stain the rock.

The dogs didn't care. Finn was eager to lie down in the small pool at the base of the falls. Alice sipped a bit, then walked a few paces downstream and...peed. This is an odd habit of Alice's. At virtually every stream we come to on our various trail runs, she drinks first, then pees in the stream. I've never know another dog that did that. Yet another reason to not drink untreated water! You never know what animals - dogs, horses, bears, deer, coyotes, squirrels - have peed in or near the water upstream from you.

Rebecca WallickComment