Thursday, April 30, 2009


maybe these people are right to think that there is a poop fairy- after all, lots of us pick up after them on a regular basis. i ran out of bags doing opp patrol this am.

i had someone ask me if doing the poop scoops was sending the wrong message- i.e. that you don't need to pick up because someone else will. i certainly hope not! hopefully it raises awareness that people should be responsible for their own messes, and we all need to pitch in and keep things in shape.

looks like the cheat is starting to dry up & get to that lovely stage where it is a danger to dogs' pads & ears & all points in between. i think echo may have to get used to wearing booties this summer, tho keeping him short & religiously checking him after walks worked last summer.

if you're skeptical about the problems cheat can cause, ask your veterinarian or talk to any of us who have paid to have it removed (twice from teddy's feet- requires anaesthesia)
wild onion (not aase's) getting ready to bloom on chickadee. right near the trail. saw a few plants.

and the beauty shots. it was another wonderful morning!

6 people/groups w/o dogs

5 with. all very polite & leashed where necessary. i was really impressed with the guy with 2 labs (or maybe a lab & a golden) who was behind us on the off leash part of red fox. i stopped to pick up opp & leash the dogs because i saw people heading toward us & we were almost out of the off leash area. he kept his dogs back and never let them get within an uncomfortable leashed/off leash distance. it was great.

halle was full of it this morning- nipping at echo on the way to the reserve until i caught her at it & made her stop. spring fever for all :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

wed april 29

first this public service announcement, in the form of an email from david gordon:

Hey Marianne -

I saw the article for the poop scoop - I appreciate your efforts and hope you get a good turnout! Along the lines of the need for this, my crew has been weed-eating the grass around our trailheads the past couple of days, and have dog poop sprayed on them from many of the grassy areas - primarily at Lower Hulls Trailhead and Miller Gulch (the Corrals Trailhead parking lot with the bathroom).....Nasty...dg

nasty indeed! and something i never thought about. so let's all get out and make an extra effort to get things cleaned up.

here's another one of those i just don't get. bagged. by the side of the trail. wet, so it's been there a while. do people still think that there is a trail crew or something out there to pick up after them?

besides that, and me feeling like i've been run over (thank heavens for being able to let the dogs off leash so they could run off some energy!), it was a beautiful morning. sage smelled great (as far as i could tell) as always after the rain.
bitterbrush is starting to bloom- this will be great over the next few weeks.
and the phlox & arrowleaf balsamroot brightening things up.
ran into ginger & suzie who were in hull's instead of their customary military reserve to avoid muddy trails. and laurie saw us talking with the leashed pups & got her lab leashed up before she ran by.

have a great day- go pick up some opp.

Monday, April 27, 2009

one of those stories we hate to hear

I received this email this morning- from a dog owner who has been supportive of our group-

Hi Marianne,

Just wanted you to know that a bunch of us were mountain biking on Sunday. It was a big ride over the top of the ridge, through the snow, and then back through the foothills back to Camelsback. After we descended Scott’s trail, we were going downhill on Corrals towards Bob’s Trail, and there was a guy riding uphill on the trail, and he had this black bushy-haired sheep dog of sorts, and it bit 6 out of 8 of us as we slowed down to the let the guy ride past us, and then continued on.

Imagine how we felt, yielding to this guy to let him ride uphill, and then his dog comes up and bites us as we did so.

I wasn’t wearing long pants, so he got me pretty good. See photo attached.

This happened at about 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The group didn't talk to the dog's owner or get more details because they were trying to get away.
The dog was of small to medium build, a healer or some kind of mix with very long black hair. This bite occurred when the rider was going about 10 mph- the dog kept coming.

I have to say that in a case like this I believe that pepper spray is totally justified. It's too bad that the dog suffers because of the owner's lack of training, but it's up to owners to be sure that their dogs don't hurt people and people have to be able to defend themselves. I also wonder what would happen to this dog if they got into a herd of sheep- the guard dogs can be pretty rough.

It's also important to note that this is the first incident of this type that this person has had in over 20 years of riding the foothills.

monday april 27

back to work after a week off.....but at least i had a good start to what is sure to be a crazy day- it was beautiful out this morning-

3 with and 2 without. happy monday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

saturday april 25

beautiful morning. we hiked dry creek/shingle creek off bogus- not a r2r trail but pretty enough to share anyway.

arrowleaf balsamroot glowing.
as are the new green leaves.
lots of sheep up on top. there's another band above crestline- several bands around right now.


Friday, April 24, 2009

april 23 & 24

one thing we talked about in the user group meeting wednesday evening was how much of the land in the ridge to rivers system is private. if we lose access due to poor stewardship the trail system suffers.

just past this gate, there is a new trail started off to the side of the established one. right in the middle is a sign reminding people that they are on private land and to stay on the trail.

foothills landowners are very generous with their access. we need to treat their land with respect in return. that means staying on the trail, picking up and taking out poop and trash, not allowing dogs to chase or harass wildlife or stock.

for a map of what land is public and what is private in the ridge to rivers system, contact julia grant - you might be surprised.

another trail widening photo. over the past few days, i've become convinced that these start as much due to people being unwilling to stop their activity to let others pass as due to getting off muddy trails. in military reserve tuesday evening i saw quite a few folks ride/run/walk off the trails rather than properly stop to let someone pass.

it was a beautiful morning on corrals thursday.
the lupine will be spectacular in a month or so.

i was amazed at how many people were up on the trail at 8:30- 9 a.m. during the week. we encountered 5 other dog walkers/runners and one bike rider.

got 2 very strange reactions from people when i asked them to not let their dogs come up to us. one leashed her lab & turned around & walked back out toward the parking lot. even tho we were at the side of the trail & the woman in front of her leashed her mastiff & walked by with no problem.

i told her i didn't mean to ruin her walk & there was really no reason for her to be concerned but she kept going.

then there was a woman with a little dog coming up from the parking lot. i asked her not to let her dog run up to us & we sat slightly off the trail. she didn't know what to do. i told her to just walk by, explaining that the dogs are just big and they play rough. she appeared frightened.

i have decided that what i can control is my behavior and my dogs. i ask other people not to let their dogs approach us because i don't know how their dogs are going to behave. plain & simple. i have run into plenty of people who say their dogs are friendly only to have the dogs charge up, or approach with tails up & a stiff legged gait, have echo take exception and have the owner not understand that their dog's body language contributed to the resulting "chat". which is just noise, and dogs communicating, but a lot of people don't like that.

i am working on teaching both dogs to sit quietly while other people & dogs pass unless i tell them otherwise. that's how i am most comfortable navigating busy trails.

after running into lots of people wednesday at military reserve and thursday at corrals, i decided to give my old standby trail 1 a shot this morning. also went a bit later- more around 9/9:30.

the parking lot was empty, which made me happy.

someone started their own lend a leash/poop bag program-
another reminder that we share the trails with livestock. margie & i ran into this guy looking for his cattle in military reserve last sunday.
it was another beautiful morning.

we saw 2 bike groups (both really nice and thanking me for calling the dogs.) and one other walking with dogs.
have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


some shots from the last few days walks. things are green and bursting into bloom.

vacay this week b/c my folks are in town. even at 8:30 this morning military reserve trails were busy. (relatively, that is). everyone nice & polite, tho-

i was thinking this was a form of buckwheat, but then found another desert parsley it could be too....
this is definitely a parsley...
arrowleaf balsamroot starting to put on a show- especially the south & west slopes-

that's it! more later- have a great week!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

sunday the 20

another gorgeous day.

lots of people out.

most were really nice & polite. it was a beautiful morning and a great way to start the day.
the sheep are out on crestline-

friday the 17

i took these friday & meant to post, but got really busy..... the flowers are just popping- things change daily & it's fun to see.

it was a beautiful morning. there were lots of people out. everyone we met with a dog was very polite. dogs leashed where they should be, not where they didn't need to be, but when they saw us leashed or sitting, everyone got their dogs controlled. it was textbook how it can/should work.
6 with, 2 w/o

Thursday, April 16, 2009

april 16- Trail Awareness Day

so nice to be back home & able to get out this morning! dogs enjoyed it too. tho they do get plenty tired out at auntie paula's doggy daycare, they still seem to really perk up & enjoy checking out the scents on the trails.

things are greening up.
and starting to bloom. i mistakenly said the bitterbrush were starting a week or so ago. wrong! they're currants-
a few phlox starting to show-
arrowleaf balsamroot budding up-

more runners this am- 3 of us with dogs & 5 groups without.

this evening is the first Trail Awareness Event. from 5-7 at the junction of ridgecrest & central ridge volunteers from various user groups will have a table set up to talk to folks about sharing and protecting the trails.

there will be goodies for human and canine trail users (dog treats courtesy of zamzow's) and some good info as well. if you're out this evening, stop by & say hi. we hope to hold these events in various locations throughout the summer.

have a great day! it's beautiful out there!