it was a beautiful morning. i wanted to check out scott's trail to see what was deemed dog worthy, but can't get up there til may 15 when the gate is opened, so we parked at the upper hull's lot instead. to get there from this lot would be about a 2 mile on leash hike on primarily single track trail.
we met mostly bikers, and everyone was very nice and thanked us for getting the dogs off the trail, compliments on how well behaved they were being. not one biker gave us right of way on the trail, as is the correct etiquette. no big, because i find it easier to get off & let them pass. my husband, who mountain bikes, mentioned it. i was just happy that everyone was pleasant.
this is how the parking lot looked when we came out close to noon. i don't see how there can be this much activity without impact. every single user changes something. i think that part of the reason dog owners get so upset is that we feel singled out as the source of most problems.
my husband, the mountain bike rider, pointed out the trail braiding here clearly caused by bike. i have a hard time comprehending how my dogs running a random loop (this pic was not taken on a ridge to rivers trail, it was out on blm land off of the highway) causes more impact. it would seem to take many feet traveling the same trail to create a path. i understand there is wildlife concern, but they are not chasing, hunting or digging- they are just running.
regardless, all of us- hikers with and without dogs, people with strollers and kids who go off trail to check stuff out, people on bikes, people on horses, sheep and cattle moving through- change something. it makes more sense to me for us to work together to find the right balance.
today's pack out included 2 beer bottles, 3 beer cans (pretty old & rusty) and our poop. this trail is cleaner- except for the sheep & deer tidbits we were continually calling the dogs off of. need to get the packs on the dogs so they can help haul out trash.
one last thing- polecat trail does not allow dogs. i wonder if that is presented as an alternative to people who don't want to deal with dogs when they hike or bike? Probably lots of folks who would like to know about that option.