Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hike 2: MN Valley State Rec Area

The Minnesota River Valley is covered in trails and paths, so I was pretty excited to find a trail that was reported to be "practically forgotten." As Crystal, Maisy, Piper, Maus, and I hiked it's five miles, though, it turns out that this trail was not "forgotten" so much as "taken over by bugs." Still, aside from the mad amounts of mosquitoes, it was an awfully nice day for a hike.

As the trail eased up to the Minnesota River, I decided to let Piper and Maus off leash so they could get a drink. The dogs dashed madly over the embankment, and as I followed them, I suddenly realized that what I thought was a gentle shoreline was - in fact - a ten foot drop.

And folks, my dogs are MORONS.

Neither dog was injured, and both looked immensely pleased to be splashing around in the water. They didn't even seem upset when the realized that you don't levitate up ten feet as easily as you dropped down it.

Also, this is why you never let your dogs off leash.

"Hey, look - stuff!"

I couldn't get down to the dogs because I prefer my ankles unbroken, and they couldn't get back up to me, so Crystal, Maisy, and I began coaxing Maus and Piper along the shore to an area a few hundred yards away that appeared to be a bit less cliff and more climbable. True to form, Piper Ann bounded up the incline, muddy nubbin dancing as she pranced around bragging about her grand adventure.

After a few minutes, though, it became clear that we had lost Maus.

We back tracked and found Maus clinging to the shore a hundred or so feet from Piper's escape point, unable to go either forward or back the way we had come. With a sigh, I clambered down the embankment to rescue my dog - only to find that the reason Maus was unwilling to move was because the slippery, muddy silt on the shore was about two feet deep, or just over chest height on Maus. Maus has a very big brave, but it does not extend to getting dirty. Or wet. Or uncomfortable in anyway.

Photo by Crystal. Also: ewww.

Unable to actually move through the mud, and Crystal useless by virtue of uncontrollable laughter, I slogged back up to dry land and staggered to the bank over Maus's head. He stared at me expectantly.

I stared back.

"You stop laughing and save me now, mmkay?"
Knowing that my fall would be cushioned by massive amounts of muck, I dropped down to where Maus was waiting. Maus was over joyed, wiggling and thrilled that I was with him. We may be stuck, but at least we were stuck together.

I yelled for Crystal to stop laughing and make herself useful, and folks, the sudden expression of horror on her face was absolutely priceless. Ever one to help her friends out, though, she put down the camera and came over.

"I'm going to lift him up to you," I told her. This did not seem to alleviate any of her horror, but she gamely sat down and tried to find a spot that wouldn't leave her in the same position Maus and I were in.

Then, I lifted a sixty-five pound twitchy pit bull over my head, and believe me, am I glad there was no one to take pictures of  that.

Maus safely on dry land, I looked up. Crystal, Maisy, Maus, and Piper looked down at me. Then, I climbed a ten foot cliff because I am a badass like that.

Crystal may have helped.

After which Maus and Piper Ann promptly got zoomies because OMG!! WE'RE ALIVE!!!!

We stopped for lunch and recovery at a bench by the river that actually had a shoreline instead of a cliff. Maus trotted right through the mud to get a drink.

"Mud? What mud?"

The rest of the hike passed uneventfully, if you discount the massive amounts of ticks, mosquitoes, and rain. Which is good, because I'm not sure how much more adventure I could have handled that day.

Mud: it's what all the cool dogs are wearing this season.