Leo got us snow shoes in hopes they'd help us keep up with the girls. You know what that means, right? It's time for another hike.
We couldn't have picked a more challenging day to try out those snow shoes. The temperatures were just around the freezing mark, maybe a little bit warmer, so the snow was sticky, wet and great for such activities as snowball fights, snow men building and fort construction. Still, it produced the most unusual snow formations atop the trees. Check this out.
Could that look any more like a bird's head?
For some reason, we found it exceedingly entertaining when Leo would risk his own safety and shake some of the smaller trees.
And when I didn't properly catch the first dense block of compacted snow, hitting him on the head, he thought we should do it again.
And check this out.
Panda and Thea walking right OVER Leo as he sticks his torso through a hole in this snow formation. Yes yes yes, we know that's not the most brilliant of plans, but it does make for a good picture.
We may have found it hard to hike this wet snow.
However, the girls, as always, were in heaven.
It wasn't all laughs and good times. We've been up to the trails of Mt Hood a few times, and we've found that Oregonians are pretty welcoming of happy dogs. It's not unusual for playful pups to come careening around corners to play with our girls and vice versa. Unfortunately, this Saturday, we met the first person who did not share that puppy goodwill. Apparently, her dog was a little aggressive, so she had her dog on leash and when Thea went over to say hi, it caused the woman much consternation.
Leo grabbed Thea, to restrain her and as the woman walked by Leo, she let off with a string of colorful language, leaving no doubt about how she felt about me and my puppy parenting skills. I'm not saying I fault her, I can understand that she wants everyone to be in full control of their dogs at all times, it's just that we are used to people being a bit more lax with their pups. We decided to keep Thea on leash for a while, for good measure. That is, until this sweet lab came over to play.
We let our little troublemaker off leash and she had herself a proper playful tussle. That's more like it.
We hiked a bit more and arrived at Twin Lakes, which is completely frozen over and covered in snow.
It looks like such a barren wasteland, after hiking through the thick forest. I bet it's just gorgeous in the spring and summer.
We had ourselves a little lunch and played fetch with the girls' water bowl.
Hiking back to the car was as much fun as hiking to the lake. It's hard work, slogging through the heavy snow, but we aren't the type to let that get the better of us. We just break out our thermos of hot chai and sit for a spell, when the mood suits us.
Or lean back and watch the snow fall on our faces.
In the end, the whole lot of us made it home exhausted, but happy.
While I'm still feeling the hike today, I can't wait to go back. Next time, I hope the snow's a little more powdery, but even if it isn't, this sort of workout beats the gym, any old day of the week.
See all the pictures here.
And since someone almost always asks, the harnesses that Panda and Thea are wearing, can be found here.