Leaders: Bob Thompson, Julie Rush
What a thrill to find 30 dog-friendly hikers and 12 K9ers waiting at the La Cañada rideshare point for a romp in our local San Gabe Forest this early evening. And although my feline-friendly co-leader was nowhere in sight (for he had gone up earlier to Horse Flat CG to reserve an overnight space for some of us), Ruskie, K9 co-leader, and I herded the eager group up the Crest Hwy to the trailhead to Mt. Hillyer. The drive was remarkably beautiful with late afternoon sun painting the Scottish broom profusely growing aside the road with even more of a golden glow.
Just as twilight fell, boots, libations and leashes were donned and introductions made. The short hike to the rocky bump called Mt. Hillyer was somewhat steep, but neophyte hiker and dog seemed to enjoy the adventure. A repast of goodies and dog treats were shared by all.
There was such a variety of humans and dogs along. A ten-year old got her first peak - at night no less! She also fell in love with the two beautiful bull mastiffs, Ralph and George, each weighing in about 200 pounds and the most gentlemanly behaved hulks of the dog kingdom I have seen. She could have ridden one like a small pony to the top. One toy collie, Sunny, would venture from under the protection of its owners' legs only with the enticement of a dog bone or two, but its owners greatly appreciated the experience to socialize, for they drove from Fullerton to be along. Quite a number of participants were on their first Hundred Peaks or K9 event.
With some regret we strolled under the stars back to the cars, returning about 10 pm. Laura Webb spent the night up at the peak and some of us went to Horse Flat CG for the night because the next morning we had scheduled our HPS monthly Adopt-a-Highway clean-up.
Oh, Laura and I returned in the early morning to Hillyer to search for some lost keys belonging to long-time friend and animal lover, Sue Palmer.
Just as I was complaining (some say I whine) about boots never being designed for women, I spotted the keys in the dust. Who says complaining doesn't have a higher purpose?