Friday, July 31, 2009

big birds

one going in-
one coming out. maybe the same hawk. this was cool b/c we were heading up red fox and the hawk was at the same height in a tree across the pond loop trail. we got to share with another trail user. he even turned his ipod off :) shots like this are the only time i feel my poor little stylus 720 is lacking. or maybe it's me... could have braced on the fence, etc. oh well- it was a great sight regardless.

10 with, 12 without, all well behaved & most following the rules. everyone friendly & polite. love that!
park users! 7:30 a.m. looked like a group of high schoolers getting ready to play soccer. also some hs kids for a run on the trails, but no smaller kids either place.

have a great weekend- happy trails-

Thursday, July 30, 2009

another beautiful summer morning

first, i'd like to mention that we had our trail user group meeting last night. the newly christened Foothills Advocates for Shared Trails (FAST- thanks brett magnuson for the name) is a group put together by david gordon including hikers, runners, bikers, both with & without dogs. every single person there said that things are much improved on the trails this summer in terms of politeness & etiquette.

david said that ranger reports reflect the same, particularly in the behavior of dogs and their owners- leash laws better followed, dogs better behaved in off leash areas.

thanks to everyone for the hard work! it is so great that we're seeing progress and we can continue to improve! (i picked up 8 piles of opp in front of the pond on red fox this morning- in the on leash area. 5-6 more in other spots on the trail.)

anyway- beautiful morning-

15 without, 4 with, all following rules.
we ran into 2 women with 3 husky type dogs on a narrow part of the trail. the women did not call their dogs back when they saw me get halle & echo off the trail, just did the "they're friendly" thing. sniff sniff, move on. until the last dog, who echo decided needed to have echo's mouth on his neck. this was not a snarling, lunging move. echo stopped as soon as i called him off (which was as soon as i realized what he was doing.) the other dog took exception, hunched down & bared his teeth. all normal dog behavior, as far as i could tell. no fur flying, no yowling. the other owner looked pretty horrified, though.
yes, i would rather echo not do this, but this is how he plays with halle. no one was hurt, there was no big noisy snarly encounter, the other women did nothing to keep their dogs close and ask if it was ok for them to approach us. it annoys me when folks freak out at dogs being dogs but rely on other people to control the situation. especially people who let their dogs charge up and then get all upset out when the canines are corrected for their rude behavior. (that was not the case here.)
anyway- it was a great morning and i hope we didn't ruin those women's walk.
camel's back at 7:30. adults either getting ready to run or bike or exercising together. once again. no sign of children on the trails or in the park.

and the parking lot.....

happy trails!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

almost august

6 with, 8 without, all following the rules. quieter than it has been the past few weeks. no shortage of cleaning up after other people, tho- in addition to opp there are cigarette butts, beer cans & bottles, clif bar wrappers, etc.

looking hazy over downtown this morning.

there are so many birds in this area that it always makes me think "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie".... even those these particular birds aren't blackbirds...... sometimes they're here

camel's back at 7:37. a few people with dogs or bikes, no children. also no children on chickadee or red fox. unless you count the high schoolers out for a run.
off to work! have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


hopefully between yesterday & today i got most of the weekend opp picked up. seems to get worse this time of year. have heard same of other trails. we can still lose access. if fact, we probably will lose at least some of the lower trails to off leash activity. we need to stay on it.

9 with dogs, 6 without. all (with & without) well behaved & following the rules. no children in evidence anywhere- not on the trails or in the park.

camel's back at 7:10. there were some women near the playground equipment working out, otherwise the usual bikes/runners.

have a great day!

Public Service Announcement

here's a note i got yesterday from david gordon. i have seen way too much poop along trails lately too. we need to remain vigilant on the poop, and keep things clean. we only hurt ourselves if we do anything else.

as for the incident as recounted- a reminder to be careful. there are a lot of angry people out there, and while we all want to educate and have a fruitful discussion, it isn't always possible. we all- ridge to rivers, boise trail dog, swimba- would rather people walk away that get involved in any sort of confrontation.

Hi Marianne - I thought that I would pass on some dog related info. of late. Rich rode Corrals yesterday and indicated that there was an offensive amount of poop along the trail. On the bright side, the dogs he encountered were well behaved. I also have had lots of good experiences as of late with dogs who were under control in off-leash areas - very refreshing.

On a bit more alarming note, I just got off the phone with an individual who said that he enjoys using the Polecat trails with his lab, and generally doesn't leash him even though he knows that is the rule there (he indicated that he does the same on the Velodrome area trails).

While running in Polecat with his off-leash dog the other day, he encountered a mountain biker who was so incensed about the off-leash dog, that he cussed this guy out, then physically shoved him off the trail....That's the first I've heard of someone getting so upset over an off leash dog on an on-leash trail that they resorted to physical violence, and am sure it is a very isolated incident, however it is certainly interesting. The caller did say that he plans to leash his dog out there now!dg

Monday, July 27, 2009

good to be home...

beautiful morning, great to be out

6 with, 2 with off leash dogs in the on leash area; 5 without. no children anywhere. i did pick up lots of opp (at least 11 bags) til i ran out of bags. 6-7 piles between camel's back & the first trash can. some dried, some a bit fresher. not good.

camel's back at 6:08 a.m.
and the parking lot- fairly full.
have a great monday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bogus Basin Trail ~ dry creek & 5-mile trail

Hi there! Forgot camera again ~

Dry creek is really being abused. Dog poop at the trail head and along the trail. Also, people driving up and down the hill instead of walking is causing a lot of erosion.

Five mile trail is also a mess of poop. Just because there isn't a trash can there doesn't mean we don't have to pick up the poop or control our dogs. Five mile is embarrassing. Dog poop right by the gate that is almost unavoidable and then pretty much littering the trail for about a mile in.

These trails seem to get more use as it gets hotter as they are a bit higher and cooler. Let's respect them and take time to pick up poop. Pack your poop out!

And for safety reasons, both access points on Bogus Basin Road are right on the shoulder of big corners~cars and bikes cannot see you or your dog(s). Take time to leash them at the beginning.

Be safe, have fun! Be a good dog owner ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

another monday

another beautiful morning......

already starting to warm up with the sun coming over the hills at 6:15.....

busy morning. no children out of the 17 groups w/o dogs and 11 with, though. everyone following the rules & very nice.

camel's back at 6:20 a.m.
parking lot surprisingly empty for the number of people on trails-
i am off to chicago for the week, hopefully i can get someone else to blog (or email me photos & i'll post them). back next week! happy trails!

Friday, July 17, 2009

comments on parks dept meeting & fri, july 17

first, my thoughts on the parks department meeting last night about the winstead proposal for timed off leash activity and dog parks in general.

i was surprised when i read the Parks, Trails and Open Space Sub- Committee and Staff recommendation that:

1. Seasonal/Hourly use of park sites is not recommended for approval due to the inability to effectively enforce and communicate with park users. (um, a) we have had seasonal closure to dogs at kathryn albertsons for years; b) we cannot effectively enforce current rules, how is this different? c) i believe that a lot of people who say "i didn't see the sign" and "it's too confusing" are looking for an easy way out. ignorance of the law is no excuse)

2. Winstead Park Proposal will be denied due to request for hourly use and the existing high volume of site activity. (according to the people who live near the park, high use occurs at specific times- which is NOT when they want off leash access.)

fortunately, the purpose of the session was to take public testimony and the winstead park residents did a great job of stating their case. the end result was that the parks department decided to explore a test of timed/seasonal off leash dog activity at several city parks, and staff was directed to see what parks might be appropriate and how the trial might work.

the neighborhood associations will have to be very active in any trial, as the successful outcome of any trial is entirely dependent on the ability of responsible dog users to educate and minimize impact to non dog park users.

a few observations:

one of the commissioners said "kids come first". i am happy to have my tax dollars spent on playground equipment and sports fields and schools and summer and after school programs, even though i don't have children, because i believe that these things strengthen our community. i do not believe that just because a child might walk across a park on their way to school (yes, this was an instance cited- that families walked across the park to school in the morning, so there could be no off leash dog use) all other use should be precluded. this is so wrong on so many levels that i am stopping right here.

one of the commissioners, who lives close enough to the trails to use them for off leash activity, pointed out that she also exercises her dog on leash when she can't use the trails, and that the winstead folks weren't being asked not to use the park, just to use it on leash. the difference being that this woman has access to an off leash area within walking or a close drive of her house. so she has an option without driving several miles to exercise said option.

one of the commissioners ( for some reason, i think he may be female rott on a flexi man who doesn't reel the lunging dog in, but i don't know for sure. if it is, it would explain his comment that he walked by a woman with his dog on leash & she seemed frightened of the dog. if a dog doesn't appear to be under control- even if they're leashed- people may have that reaction. and a dog either lunging or just pulling at the very end of a long leash or flexi doesn't appear to be under control) mentioned seeing a pile in the foothills right by a trash can and poop bag station. yep, we still have opportunity, but it's a hell of a lot better than it was, and will continue to improve.

i am all for asking dog owners to step up and be responsible. we have made progress, and will continue to make progress. peer pressure is working, it will continue to work. many of us are very vested in making off leash areas work. there will always be a few boneheads (just like there are kids who vandalize, people who speed, etc.). it is absolutely unreasonable to expect 100% perfect compliance. this is a process that is going to take some time.

this is how busy camel's back was at 6:57 this morning. will start taking photos & posting because now i'm curious.
and the parking lot-
and the trails-

12 without, 6 with. most dogs leashed where they should be (except for the guy with 2 black labs walking out from the pond area).
saw these folks coming with the black lab on leash, so i leashed up halle & echo and then the woman leashed her golden. worked perfectly.

this gal kept her lab at a heel and we all walked right by each other, on leash, no problems.
happy trails! have a great weekend!