Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wow, now THAT'S a morning dog walk!

Dianne here -- The main reason we chose sturdy dog companions, as opposed to smaller, more RV-sized dogs, is that our favorite activity when we travel is to hike.  This morning was a good test of our buddies, to see how they did on some uphill and downhill hiking.

There's a great red rock hiking trail right across from our camp site here at Goulding's RV park.  Roger scoped it out the evening before, and stated that he thought Bandido would have no trouble, but that we'd need to see how Tequila got along.  

Not to worry, Tequila was a champ!  Here's an action shot of her jumping up a rock, one where her mom had to resort to hands-and-knees scrambling.

We crossed a wide ledge to get to the prize -- 

A very cool arch that is only seen if you climb up the trail.  Of course, we scrambled up to get a photo of Roger and Bandido under the arch (opening photo).  Roger then took the following photo through the arch, showing the famous left- and right-mitten formations down in Monument Valley.  
We also took a shot down to the campground below, and could make out our RV in the left foreground, right up next to the rock:

Warning:  My friend, Nancy R. should stop reading NOW!!  (She'll know why!)

While Roger had the camera to take the "mittens" shot through the arch, I noticed Tequila go on high alert.  Following her gaze down below where we were standing, this is what I saw:

It headed right for us, and eventually disappeared under the rock we were standing on:

The checkerboard pattern on its back as it got closer let us know it was not a rattlesnake (and no rattles).  I Googled it when we got home and discovered that it's a gopher snake, a common snake in the desert.  (Non-venomous.)   Here's a short video I took of the snake as it made its way toward where we were standing:

Roger demands that I edit the blog to point out that he was right and I was wrong; the snake was six feet long.   He claims I have no spatial abilities.... 

From now on, I'll be sure to follow Tequila's gaze whenever she goes on alert!

Hard to imagine such a hike right across from us.  In fact, here's a photo Roger took out the window of the RV:

And here's a shot of our RV from the rear, showing our view out the front windshield.  The reviews of Goulding's are mixed; it IS the only rv park in the area, and its prices reflect that.   I was glad I took heed (I had read about the high prices here) and made a laundry run in Cortez, Colorado where I paid $1.75 per wash load.   Out of curiosity, I peeked in the laundry here, and sure enough, each washer took 12 quarters!  $3.00 per load! 

The pet photo of the day is actually a short video of Bandido.  He entertained us this morning as he tried to retrieve his favorite ball out of our magazine rack, where Tequila had deposited it.  He removed a newspaper section, a crossword puzzle book,  and a "Bark" magazine from the rack, but couldn't quite get to the ball.  I wish I had the camera earlier, but I did capture him getting my sudoku book out.  What a smart dog!  I finally took pity on him and reached in with my opposable thumbs to get the ball for him.  I can't imagine ever not having dogs; they make us laugh every day!

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