Wild Water is Best

Another Saturday, another trail run with Finn, Mike and Alice the Samoyed. We rendezvoused at Cougar Mountain and headed down Coal Creek Trail. The dogs like this route because of the many opportunities to play in the creek.

Reaching a spot near our turnaround, I let Finn go into the creek while Mike - ever the engineer obsessed with distances and his GPS - takes Alice on down the trail to the "official" turnaround point.

"Where did Alice go?"

Within a couple of minutes, Mike and Alice return. Mike lets Alice off her leash and she can't get to the water fast enough.

"Outta the way, Finn!" Alice is all business.

Finn follows Alice back into the creek. Alice would stay there all day if she could. She spies a leaf floating on the water's surface and attacks it. "I think she's pretending they're salmon," Mike laughs.

Finn stalks birds in trees while Alice hunts "salmon" in the creek.

Coaxing Alice out of the stream, we head back the way we came. We see several other runners and hikers with dogs. Just before we reach the trail head and parking lot, we pass Coal Creek Falls again. Finn dashes down the steep bank into the water. Brrrr. It's about 35F; how does he stay warm?

Finn belly high in Coal Creek below the falls.
Never being outdone, Alice also bounds down the bank and joins Finn in the stream.

Alice monitoring all the moving leaves.

Mike and I smile, watching the dogs enjoying themselves. We say we're out here to run, but I often think we're really on the trails to give our dogs the opportunity to play in the forest and streams, and ourselves the joy of watching them. Only when we start getting cold do we ask them to come out of the stream and back onto the trail.

Alice goes momentarily deaf and continues to play in the creek; Finn comes up the bank when I call him, but wonders why, if Alice doesn't have to?

Alice finally returns to the trail.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year to run trails. Leaves of many colors coat the trails, covering the dirt, teasing the eye with every footfall when the filtered sunlight hits them. Temperatures are cool, energizing dogs and humans. There's abundant water for dogs to drink and play in. I can never get enough. I sense Finn feels the same way.
Rebecca WallickComment