Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dog Hill without a dog




I've found a new hill to walk up.  The hike is a bit too short now though since they opened more of the road that leads to the hill.  I only discovered the new road opening on this hike.  To make up for lost miles I explored down a side road a bit. 

I call this dog hill because a dog is buried nearby.

7.5 miles with 1,000 feet elevation gain


I want to explore the bare rock on the hill on the left







Surprised to see a banana slug out in dry weather like this




Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Ocean without my Ocean Dog




I finally got myself out for a long hike without Sage.  Sage is too sick for long hikes.  I was told she howled at the door for a long time after I left.

I did my best to hide the fact that I was going hiking, but she figured it out anyway.

I started in Grayland and walked to the spot where I spread my husband's ashes on the last summer solstice.  Covid had prevented me from going back sooner.


8 miles with no elevation gain.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Wow, Cathedral Falls on the Goat Lake Trail






For my birthday I wanted to go somewhere new.  I also needed an easy hikes my kiddo and my dog were along for the ride.  My youngest child is now 16 years old.  When I started this blog he was a baby and most of my hiking days started with nursing him before I could leave the house.

This was a long but pleasant drive with the traffic still light due to covid.  The fall was very nice and even had a trail behind it.  The walk was just 1 kilometre with about 600 meters elevation gain. 

Sage did well and really had a good time in spite of being in heart failure.  She is responding a little bit to her meds, she is on an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic.   Her resting respiration is still above 30 at all times.    If she ever stabilizes we are supposed to call the vet when her respirations go above 30 per minute.

The meds are making Sage leak so my kiddo took care of keeping a diaper on here for the car ride.












Sunday, May 24, 2020

Dry Creek off trail to ridge. Sage's last big hike?





We set out to explore an abandoned section of the Dry Creek Trail but the brush was too wet.   So instead we opted to just hike to the ridge campsite and turn around.  Sadly there was a couple at the summit.  There is no published trail left where I can get solitude in the Olympics now.

We decided to go off trail and explore the ridge past the campsite.  I have always wanted to check out that ridge and by going off trail we could ditch the couple at the summit.

We had lunch at the top of the ridge.  During our lunch break I noticed that Sage was looking bad.  I was not sure what her problem was, but she looked wiped out.  We fed her some nasty fake cheese dip that Phil brought to see if it would perk her up.  I'm not sure if it helped but she enjoyed eating the cheese dip anyway.

On the way back to the summit Sage was having trouble keeping up and she was out of breath.  Sage is too big to carry so we walked slow and took a few extra breaks for her sake.  Back on the summit I gave her an aspirin and shared a pop tart with her.

Sage did okay the rest of the way down to the car but when we got to the car she just laid down instead of begging to get in like she normally does. 

Sage has a had a cough off and on for a few months, we thought maybe she caught covid, I also thought wrongly that the vet would be closed, so I was waiting for the restrictions to lift  a bit so I could take her in. 

The rest of the weekend I kept Sage quite while waiting for the vets to re-open the day after Memorial day.  I was hoping to avoid a huge bill at an emergency vet.  Tuesday morning I managed to find a normal vet to take her, but it was my last choice of the normal vets here because it is a really expensive one.

$430 later we learned that Sage is in heart failure.  She has been prescribed lasix (the vet way overcharged for it) an ACE inhibitor and some expensive new med that could harm her or help her depending on exactly what is wrong with her heart.  I did not buy that $150 medication.

The vet told me that Sage has six to twelve months left to live.  But this is the same vet who wanted me to put Sage on an expensive and lethal heavy duty painkiller for life after looking at her hip.  Sage's normal vet said that was not needed and the hip was not all that bad either.

I'm shocked, I did not see this coming at all.  We thought Sage was only 8 but we got her third hand and I think she is quite a bit older than we have been led to believe.

Sage has cloudy eyes, arthritis, heart failure and she is going gray.  I suspect she is closer to ten years old.   Knowing that she is probably older than 8 helps to ease this blow a little.  I felt so bad for her thinking she had a fatal heart disease at just 8.  At 10 years old it is a little bit easier to take. 

Patches was 14 when I accidentally ran her over with my car at 5MPH and killed her.  My dog before that Oggie Doggie was 15 when I had him put to sleep because he could not use his back legs anymore and was in pain and was incontinent. I'm used to my dogs living for a long time.  So even is Sage is 10, this is a shock.  I've only had 4 years with Sage.  My hiking buddy to replace Patches, she was supposed to last just as long as Patches dammit.  Patches was 4 when I got her, I thought that Sage was also 4 when I got her.  I expected to spend many years hiking with Sage.

The vet said that Sage can still exercise but she needs lots of breaks.  So I will take her on short level hikes if we can get her to stabilize a bit.  She was having 52 respirations per minute while resting we need to get that down to below 30.  After almost three days on lasix Sage is down to 40 per minute.

I am going to try the same hike again tomorrow and sadly I won't be taking Sage with me.   This breaks my heart.  I will hide my backpack in my car tonight so Sage won't see me leaving with it.  She knows that my backpack means hiking and she loves hiking more than anything.

8 miles round trip with 1,500 feet elevation gain  one way.  There was elevation gain on the way out too.

















Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Cloqualliam Road Hike



My second visit to this particular logging road.  I like this area, it is peaceful, much more peaceful than the Dayton tree farm.  This area also has some wetlands so some of it might not be destroyed by logging.

Whenever I find a really pretty area in a tree farm I know that it is doomed.  The cutting schedule seems to be that as soon as it is pretty and starts to resemble and actual forest instead of a tree farm, it is time to raze it.  Turn it to stubble and scorch.

I'll enjoy this area until it is destroyed.  I will never be restored in my lifetime so when it is gone it may as well be gone forever.

There is a nice view at the top but the trees are growing up fast at the top where it was recently razed.  Again this is only an area to be enjoyed for a short time.  I'm glad I found it though, I really do like it.

I was a bit disorganized getting out of the house and I forgot to pack my camera, gps and satellite messenger.   So all I have for this hike are Iphone 7 photos. 

Six miles with 1050 feet elevation gain
I feel good the next day


Thimble berry flowers



Stinging Nettles



Filling my water bottle

Having a drink


Horse Tail


Almost made a wrong turn here

Devil's Club


Cold instant coffee before mixing



Lunch with a stinting nettle garnish








Giant stump, a reminder of what once was, back before the tree farms stole all the land. 

A weed.