Ready or not, my chubby puggle Mocha was going hiking with me. I took the pug/beagle combo to the top. She made the summit by herself, but it was a struggle. It was a sweltering 80 plus degrees out. My poor dog hasn’t been training hard lately. Her exercise routine consists of going from the couch to food and back. But Mocha and I have hiked, so I knew the 5-year-old mutt still had it. I remember the first time I let her off the leash on a trail. She was running back and forth, up and down it. The puggle was so excited to be out of the apartment. I couldn’t contain her. Once she even fell off a cliff as the bank eroded and I had to quickly swing her up by the leash and collar to save her. Mocha is much fatter now, but we are working on it.
When we got to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area her nose was working overtime. There were lots of people hitting the trail, and camping. I brought water, and gave the puggle breaks. I made her sit, and she would lay in the shade when she could. The hike is 5 miles round trip, but the elevation change is brutal. It’s 1603 feet to be exact, with the top at 3283 feet. Mainly I was concerned about her paws bleeding. There is lots of metal fencing on the ground to contain the loose rocks, and I didn’t know if that would bother her. On the way up I kept Moc on the leash, 1 because there’s cliffs, and 2 because lots of people were coming down the trail with dogs. I wanted to protect her. However, on the way down I decided it would be better to let her follow me off leash. She didn’t want to walk on the trail because the gravel was hurting her. So she waddled along side the main path, and didn’t hurt anything. Plus, it was getting late, and we were basically the last down.
On the way we checked out a geocache hidden on a side trail. I’ve found it before, but I wanted to see all the new stuff inside, and sign the log book again. Not many people locate it each year. I traded in a emergency paracord bracelet for a CD with clues to another cache. I’m getting into geocaching because it’s something fun to do while hiking, or when you’re just out and about. There’s more than 2 million geocaches planted around the world. This hobby also forces me to analyze and use maps too. I filmed Mocha and I checking out what was inside the ammo box this time.
After a few solid hours of hiking, Mocha, my cameraman, and I reached the peak. We all sat down and took in the majestic views of the North Coast. You can see the whole coastline, from Seaside well into Washington State. Poor Mocha was beat. She was gasping for air, and I was a little worried about her. We had just enough water left to quench her thirst, but more would have been nice. Usually there is a spring about halfway up that I feel is safe to drink from. My dog did lap up the puddle there, but I wasn’t getting on all fours. In the end, Mocha killed it. I was so proud of her. I kept her motivated with words of encouragement, smacking her butt, and tossing turkey jerky in her mouth. On the way back I told Moc we were going back to the car and home for ice cubes (her fav). My legs were jello, and Mocha was walking funny, but we accomplished the mission. Next time we will be even stronger, and smarter about it.
Mocha knew we were going to the top. If you want to rock a paracord bracelet for emergency preparedness made by Survival Bros, send $8 to firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal. Thanks and best wishes from us both.