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Today we went up Fall Mountain, the major extent of our hiking "career." We've been up it 4 times now. It's not the hardest climb but it's enough for people like David and I! And now that I'm resting this evening my toe is aching. Ugh. Really annoyed that I'm STILL having problems with that.

We usually have the whole place to ourselves but today there were many people. And dogs! Most of the dogs were fine. There was Molly, a really sweet lab mix who Dahlia enjoyed meeting. The two labs we saw on our way out from the top were on leashes and we all just steered clear of each other. But then there was the Chihuahua. *sigh* So his owner picked him up once he saw Molly and Dahlia and muttered something about his having issues with other dogs. And they went down below. Well, apparently while down there he decided to just let him off leash and the dog took off away from him, came careening up, saw Dahlia first and went after her. Dahlia, of course, had to be all "IMA GONNA SHOW YOU BITCH!" and tried to pin the little sucker down. I got her away and the other woman who was there with him, put a leash on the dog and said to the guy "I thought you weren't going to let him off leash!" Yeah not the smartest move there buddy. (And later on, on the way down, the dog was off leash again and went after Molly...Ugh).

But other than that it was a nice time. We met a lot of cool people and chatted for awhile with them all. We all hid out under the trees when a rainstorm suddenly cropped up and soaked us all (we got the cameras put away in time! Phew!).

Pictures! )
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I've been so busy running around I forgot to post pictures from yesterday! I took a lot!

Photos! )
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Last year David, Dahlia and I hiked up Fall Mountain. This time we went to the Greendale campground in the Green Mountain National Forest to go hiking. Well, strike that. We TRIED to get there but the last mile leading up to the campground was all ice and snow. So we parked off the road and walked the mile to the campground, puttered around the area, and then turned around and came back. Not 100% satisfying, but still fun! And picture worthy.

Dahlia...do you want to go hiking?
greendale2


Lots more pictures! )
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David and I decided to bring in the New Year by hiking up Fall Mountain...in the snow. We're crazy, but we have the YakTrax and so figured we could make it up and down ok. It was a bit harrowing at times as there was 3-6 inches of slushy slippery snow and some packed down ice to go over. But we made it ok. Dahlia had a BLAST. OMG. She's had fun the last two times we've been up there, but in the snow? It was like 100x better. She spent most of the time off the trail in the woods near us exploring. She had tons of energy the whole way up and back. I think she could have gone for another hour before she finally dropped.

Pics pics and more pics!! )
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We took Dahlia up to the cemetery for a little exercise. Garrick and Nate joined us and Garrick walked her for a little while. We met a yellow lab named Sam who was SERIOUSLY ball focused and his people tossed the ball for him and Dahlia a few times. It was fun to watch. I managed to get one video of the two dogs coming back.

A few pics + a couple videos )
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Outside of the two crazy incidents, yesterday was a lot of fun. David and I took Dahlia up to the park in the morning. She got to play with a yellow lab for a short bit (and yay for the guy telling us his dog was harmless and that he was fixed!) and then chased after a ball for a bit. She actually got the zoomies and ran around us a few times with it before eventually coming near us and dropping it. She's no expert fetcher, but she's getting better at it!

Then David headed off to church with his parents, Dahlia and I took our ill-fated walk, and then spent some time just hanging out on the porch.

The afternoon was spent tromping around down by the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls, checking out some more mill foundations and getting some more pictures. We finally got a chance to relax some that evening and I finally finished the book I had been reading and started another. All in all, despite a couple bumps on the road due to crazy and arrogant people, we had a nice day.

David's mother, btw, drove by the house with me and she took down the information about the guy and his dog. She's going to go over to Town Hall this week to talk to them about it! Rock on Marta!

Some pics from yesterday )


This morning we took Dahlia for a walk in one of the local cemeteries, had a nice lunch and then headed home. It was a pretty easy trip home though traffic was a bit much sometimes. We left about 1:30pm and with a 15-20 minute stop in Chester to check out the antique store, got home in about 5 hours. Not bad at all!

Some pics from this morning )


On the way home, we stopped at this lovely church in Hoosick that we've always meant to stop at. It's just beautiful!

A couple pics )
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Yesterday we decided to take the trail up Fall Mountain (across the river in New Hampshire). Now, it's not a REAL mountain. It's really a big hill (at about 880 ft), but it's still a pretty steep trail, especially for me. We took it slow and stopped frequently as I have asthma and it was a rough trip up at times. But other than that it was quite ok. The trail is nice in that it starts out steep and then flattens out a bit at the top. Dahlia had a blast on the way up, checking everything out and trotting on out ahead of us. She explored out into the woods a bit but always stuck close to us. We got to the top (something known as Table Rock, which the locals have been calling it for ages) and the view was SO worth the climb! We spent a good 45 minutes or so on the top, taking pictures and just relaxing. The way back down was pretty easy, though Dahlia must have been tired as she stopped and laid down several times. We ran into a nice couple on their way up. Rather than leash Dahlia up, I told her to stay and she froze in her tracks (good girl!). The couple love dogs though so I let her go up to them. Turned out they had a 15 1/2 year old Shepherd mix they used to hike with but he was too old to do it now. Later on down the trail we ran into a family from Michigan who were heading up. It was nice to see some folks and their kids out there. They were all enthralled with Dahlia and gave her plenty of ear scratches and hugs and chin scritches. She eventually just flopped own on her side in front of them waiting for her belly rub. Silly girl! They were just amazed at her sweet temperament. I think the family would have taken her home if they could have! lol

Some pictures...Warning: a picture of bees in here, not sure if anyone has any fear of them! )
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After visiting the Dog Chapel the other day, David and I headed to a couple nearby towns to find some places where his family were buried. So yes, more time in cemeteries. It wouldn't be a trip to Vermont without going to a cemetery! I think I forgot to include that early on this day David twisted his ankle. I thought it was going to be something minor, but I'm fairly certain it's a sprain. His whole foot and ankle are swollen and it's really black and blue. He's still hobbling and in a bit of pain.

At any rate, cemeteries.

Some pics )


The next day (Friday), we went to Franklin, NH so David could take some pictures of the town. Usually we have a nice time walking by the river, but his foot was hurting pretty bad so instead I just drove him around the neighborhoods so he could take photos and not walk far. We had a nice lunch in town and then headed to Concord so he could check some things at he library (a bust, unfortunately, as the room was closed). I ended up at Petco with Dahlia for a little while before picking him back up. Overall it wasn't THE most interesting day for me (and no pictures!), but it had to be done.

Yesterday David spent the morning wandering around town taking pictures while I read. At one point I had to move my car so David's Dad could get out. Dahlia snuck out with me, got into the car and would NOT get out. Not for anything. Not when I tried to coax her out with treats or when I went into the house without her. She was pretty sure I was getting her out of the car so I could leave her behind. Poor girl. I ended up lifting her out of the car. Yes, all 52 lbs of her. Ouch. She's heavy!

After David returned and we had lunch, the three of us went up to Minard's Pond to putz around a bit. We wanted to get Dahlia back into the water and she did go in some. I tried to get her to swim by holding her out where the water was deeper. It didn't go so well. LOL I'm not sure how to get her to try swimming. Maybe I just have to let her go in the water there and see if she can make her own way. Or maybe not. Ah well. I thought she would be pissed at me, but she climbed out of the water and then crouched down in a half play bow. She was ready to play! Adorable. We threw the ball and the bumper some and she chased them. And I took her for a walk in the woods. All together, it was a nice relaxing day.

Pics )
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Yesterday we had the most fun EVER. We took off around 8:30am and headed up to St. Johnsbury. Desination: The Dog Chapel. We've been hearing about this places for quite some time and since it's only an our and a half north of David's folk's place it seemed silly not to make it up there. Yesterday was supposed to be stormy and miserable but turned out beautiful. Maybe we were blessed. ;-)

The Dog Chapel is a place created and designed by artist Stephen Huneck after he had a near-death experience. It is a fantastically whimsical place. The chapel itself is a sweet monument to our friends (canine and others!) who have passed on. The walls are covered with tributes to pets who have passed on. Some have photos. Some are just scrawled notes. David and I didn't have photos of Pepper or Heidi, so we wrote notes and pinned them to the walls within. The entire chapel and the art gallery next door are covered with Huneck's whimsical woodcuts and sculptures. Sometimes you almost miss them they just seem like they belong there.

Up the hill there's a pond for the dogs to play in, an agility course set up (I wish I had known about this -- I had no treats on me!), and trails through fields and the woods. We spent much time exploring. Dahlia met some other dogs there -- a Black lab and an old Golden retriever (they belong to Huneck), and a couple other Goldens. She had a blast and we just loved the place. I hope to go back there again sometime!

Pics of the chapel, gallery, and surrounding area )


Dahlia at Dog Mountain )
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David and I are out in Vermont visiting his folks and wandering around so he can do stuff for his dissertation. Today we went down to Turners Falls, MA (one of three towns he's studying) to get some pictures of the town and especially the mills. We took Dahlia with us of course. We had a nice time wandering around down near the river and had a nice (amazing!) lunch of Haddock Chowder in a bread bowl. The day was a bit drizzly at times but we had enough nice weather to get a lot of pictures.

Dahlia is now worn out and has been sleeping most of the evening away. She's one tired doggy!

Pics of Turners Falls )


Tomorrow I think we're finally getting up to the Dog Chapel!!
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We had a really nice time over in Vermont for Thanksgiving. I'm a little turkeyed out -- we had it on Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday. I couldn't wait to have something other than turkey for dinner. Really, I like turkey but that was a bit much for me! lol

David's sister and brother-in-law were there with their kids -- Garrick (8), Nate (6), and Elizabeth (3). The kids were, well, LOUD. They're sweet and they're good kids, but man, every time I go there and see them for a few days I'm so reminded why I don't want kids of my own. I just can't deal with the constant noise and activity. It drives me batty. Yesterday morning they were up at 6:30am screaming at the tops of their lungs and tossing their toys around. Argh.

At any rate, we wandered around another cemetery while there and got to play with their new rocket (mix vinegar and baking soda together and set it off -- man does it fly!). Here are some pictures from our adventures. I'll try to remember to upload the videos later.

Pics...mostly of Dahlia and the kids )
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Yesterday we took Dahlia to the local Catholic cemetery here in Bellows Falls, VT. She had a blast running around off leash. I got a whole bunch of pictures of her, so here are some of my favourites.

Dahlia pics )
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David and I headed over to Vermont this past weekend and had a really nice time. On Friday we drove over to Franklin, NH to go walk on the railroad track and get some pictures of the old mill foundation with our new cameras (this is for David's dissertation, though we also had a fun time). It was a little crazy getting down to the ruins. We had to go down a dirt path that was quite steep and wet and the cross over a lot of rocks in order to get a good view. Now mind you, we had Dahlia with us. I fully expected to either stay up above with her or to stay on the river bank while David traversed the rocks. But it was not to be! Our little adventure doggie followed us right onto the rocks without a second thought. She had a BLAST crawling around the rocks, traipsing through the water, and sticking close by our sides. It's funny that some people think she's timid -- she seems like quite the adventurer to me!

I took a bunch of pictures, some of Dahlia, some of the old mill ruins and the nearby bridge. Some of them are behind the cut.

Pics, part 1 )
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Here are some of the videos I took of Dahlia while up in Vermont.

Dahlia videos )
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After lunch, the kids headed out on a train ride and David and I decided to go out on our own with Dahlia and have a relaxing afternoon. We knew that hiking was going to be a bit much, since Dahlia had had a lot of exercise and little sleep, so we opted to take it easy. We ended up at the Burgess Cemetery. David wanted to take some pictures of the gravestones with his new camera. It turned out that the entire cemetery was enclosed with a stone wall, so we let Dahlia off leash again. She wandered around, managing to get in the way of many of David's shots (I swear she's a camera whore!), and spending a lot of time wandering around where I was. At one point, a woman on a bike came into the cemetery and Dahlia rushed down to see her. The woman said she wasn't sure if she was going to growl or wag her tail. DUH. All you had to do was look at her to realize what she wanted. A pat on the head or back or something. Dahlia's body language always reads "hi come pet me I'll love you forever if you do!"

A few photos at the cemetery )

We had a nice dinner of hotdogs and hamburgers (ironically not on the grill as David's mother decided that wasn't healthy...sad!). And then we all relaxed for the evening. It was nice and quiet after the kids went to bed!

Sunday morning we wandered up yet again to the playground to play some fetch. The kids all accompanied us this time and got involved in throwing one of her toys (since we couldn't find the baseball or the tennis ball of previous times). She was absolutely adorable carrying the toy up with her. We just handed it to her and she carried it almost the whole way.

Pic here )

When we got back, David and I decided to take a little break from the kids and head up to Minard's Pond (a man-made pond that's the basis for the town's water supply) and walk in the woods. It was quiet and deserted, so we once again opted to let Dahlia off leash and see how she did. She was AWESOME! She stuck by us and when she wandered away a bit I'd call to her and tell her not to wander too far and she actually would turn to look at me and wait or come back to us. She's a really amazing dog.

Some pics from our walk )


The kids and David had lunch when we got back (I bowed out because I just don't like ham!) and then we were on the road. Of course, they had to do a few more silly things to poor Dahlia.

A couple more pics )

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