Saturday, December 19, 2015

Heather Lake Winter Wonderland

I enjoy hiking alone. I guess I forgot. I got spoiled this summer...always had a hiking partner, or several. But last week when I decided last second I needed to get out there, and nobody could come with me, I had a little "nobody likes me, everybody hates me" pity party. Suddenly, hiking alone felt like a loser activity. Silliness! I had forgotten that when I'm alone in the woods, I never feel alone, lonely, or like a loser. It's the best place to combat those feelings.
Although, I do have a hiking buddy who is ALWAYS ready and begging to go; but I mostly refuse her. She can just be such a pain, and besides, she stinks up my car. Sometimes she gives me those eyes, though; and then I can't say no. There is nothing cuter than seeing her pure delight when I give her the "okay, get in the car" nod.
I didn't realize until I pulled into the parking lot that in my haste to get going, I had forgotten a leash. Now, I will confess, I mostly don't keep my dog on a leash anyway (go ahead and hate me) BUT I always put one on her as soon as I see anyone coming. (so please don't hate me too much) I have had dogs jump up on me with their muddy paws and even literally french kiss me--so I get it. It it very important to me that my dog is 100% in control around other this no leash thing was not going to fly.
Luckily I happened to have an old compression bandage hiding in the back of the car, so I tied a knot in it and called it good. Wouldn't you know this stupid improvisation proved to be the best leash ever? I'm seriously going to use it all the time now, because with the stretchiness of the fabric it was actually enjoyable to have her pull, when typically that is what annoys me the most. (you are welcome for that tip if you have the same issue)
My wolf wannabe
I didn't expect much from Heather Lake. I knew that it wasn't too far to drive, it was dog friendly, and only 5 miles round trip--the basic requirements for my impromptu hiking fix. Sometimes it's nice when you have such low expectations--it's such a pleasure to be surprised by something that turns out so much better than what you had imagined.
I was going to name this post "A River Runs Through It" because this is one of the wettest trails I have been on--but in a really good way. It wan't muddy, so as long as you have good waterproof boots, it's fun crossing the small streams along the way. But the best part about this hike was hitting the snow line and entering the winter wonderland with all it's glory. It was so magical and peaceful and beautiful...when I saw there was a campsite I actually wished I had brought my tent. (maybe someday I'll do snow; I'm just not ready yet)

Most lakes like this do not have such an easy to follow trail all the way around, so that is a really big bonus. Watching Lexi with all her exuberant pounciness (I don't think that's a word; but it should be) made me feel a little guilty about the fact I don't take her with me often. It's not an experience she can ever give herself...only I can provide it for her. So now that I have my awesome MacGyvered leash, I am determined to bring my ever ready friend with me more often. I suppose I need to invest in some good car fresheners.