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!

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