Sometimes Nothing Happens

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Lest you think that our hikes are always full of drama, this is a post to assure you they are not.

Today we enjoyed a perfectly mellow and wonderful short hike where nothing happened. Nothing. It was delightful.

We ventured about six miles or so and were out for a  few hours. That included a short respite for snacks and a cooling swim at the river.

Since today is technically my day off, and I have to do some visits tonight and over the weekend, I would have loved to make it a complete day, but the smoke pollution from the fires burning in Washington, Oregon and California has found its way here thanks to capricious winds.

While many chose to stay indoors, citing the air quality, I chose to venture outside with the dogs. We all needed to do something and to put some miles on our legs and quite frankly, in comparison to parts of Oregon and California, it’s just not that bad here. Every day I see or hear the complaints from people here I just want to remind them that they could be in the middle of it, either being evacuated or knowing their residence is burning down. It’s incredibly sad, and more so because this year the fires mainly seem to be human-caused. It’s hard for me to think of them as wildfires – something that has always occurred in the west naturally  – when I know that idiotic humans set them off, either deliberately or out of ignorance and ego. The firefighters and first responders are maxed out and it is all just so avoidable.

So, while I decided to cut the hike short when we emerged from the denser woods and saw the thick gray, acrid air in front of the ridge we’d have to cross, I opted to head back after a few hours of romping.

Everyone got to do Fast Running, including Rhys, who I trusted for a few sessions of off-leash time. He was fabulous and kept checking in with me. I realized today the bonus of having him attached to me is that he really has to work harder sometimes and it’s more taxing. The benefit is I get a nice, tired and relaxed dog.

He also wore his blue harness. The one sullied in our last adventure. Hint: the sun’s full force is very cleansing. The harness has been outside in the full sun that hits my deck the majority of the day for the past week. I examined it this morning to see about putting it on Rhys and found it no longer smelled at all. I also didn’t want to put on Rhys’s new harness that I recently bought (so I can rotate them because we all know another shit-rolling party is coming in our future) due to the very real chance he’d discover some “perfume” while we were out. Sometimes it’s nice to have nice things for a while.

While definitely smelling like a campfire when we ventured out, I was pleased to find that my hunch paid off and that being in the woods was better. I looked around, breathed deeply, and sent a silent grateful thanks to all the trees, shrubs and grasses. Thanks Mother Nature.

Where’s Brady?

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Brady finally joins us for a terrible family photo.

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Rhys asks if more snacks are available.

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Youke interrupts cooling off because it seems snacks may be coming out.

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Camm stares adoringly even though no snacks were involved in the taking of this photo. She, like me, adores her hiking time.

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Brady comes in for his close-up.

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Youke and Rhys are certain that there must be more snacks.

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Rhys enjoys some off-leash river time.

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