In which we go for a walk, say goodbye to a camera, and bark

Pickles Marie on the trail
Today was the last day of a cold/wet/clammy winter holiday weekend, so you KNOW what that means:  time to go geocaching.

 We gathered a bunch of the Usual Suspects and headed into the mud to see what we could find.  The trail is the Boulder River Trail, which we last explored in October 2011 with Duana, Jason, and Selah.
Most of the Usual Suspects
This trailhead is close to home, so we really should visit it more than we do.  It's very pretty at all times of the year--in October, there were maple leaves changing colors.  Today, the predominant colors were moss green and cloudy grey.
The two tail-enders are also the people carrying the GPS.
We don't take geocaching very seriously, can you tell?
 And, uh, white.  As in sn*w.  

It was scattered along the sides of the mud--hikers have long sinced mashed it into the gloop.  Lovely.  Bah.  
We could see the white stuff coming down at the top of an opposing hill
We weren't there for the weather, fortunately, because the weather wasn't terrific (although it didn't rain...uh, much...). 
Hunting for the cache.  Lots of hollowed-out trees to check!
The company is good, and the trail is pretty, and we did find one of the five geocaches stashed along the route.  Mostly, geocaching is an excuse to get out and explore our Swamp with our friends.
Most trail dogs here wear "bear bells" on their collars--not so much to warn away the bears (in February in the lowlands, we don't worry too much about bears), as much as a way to keep track of the dog when she's running hither and yonder on the trail.  Mimsy wears a bell full-time, because she gets excited sometimes and we're afraid of losing her.

Pickles doesn't need a bell.

I noticed when I was flipping through photos from the hike that a pattern is emerging:  just as when I ride, I tend to have a bunch of similar-looking pictures of muddy trails and trees with ears at the bottom, when I walk I have a bunch of similar-looking pictures of muddy trails and trees with a Pickle-butt on the bottom.

What can I say?  I shoot what I see.
pretty stuff on the trail
Fortunately for blog readers, there is other stuff to take pictures of.  I haven't been happy with my point-and-shoot camera for a long time. 

Mushrooms, mosses, lichens, and molds
The color quality from this camera isn't very good--blues and greens especially tend to grey out--but I use it a lot because I hate toting the big camera that takes lovely pictures.  Lately, I've noticed that the machinery that moves the lens around is making a "grinding" sound, which is not good...but the noise did provide the perfect excuse reason to order a new camera, which is scheduled for delivery tomorrow.  Hooray!

Today, then, I took a bunch of "so long and thanks for all the (grey) fish" photos with the old camera.  The pictures are pretty, but real life is much prettier.  If I lived in an ugly part of the world, the camera would not be helping at all. 
One of many waterfalls feeding into the Boulder River
below this cool boulder is the bluish-green river, which the camera turns grey. 
A grey boulder.  Camera does "grey" just fine.
Are you tired of "grey" yet?  I am! 
Hopefully the new camera will have a talent for green and blue!

Near the end of our walk is a little log-bridge covered in snow.  When the bridge is bare-and-wet it looks a little iffy for dogs, but with the extra slippery stuff on it, I opted to carry Pickles over. 

She really wanted me to carry her the rest of the way back to the truck, but I didn't.  And she made it just fine--although I've never seen her so muddy.  She finally has enough fur to collect mud!
Looking like a dog instead of a fruit-bat!
Life is (wet, cold, muddy, sloshy, slippery, goopy, messy)  GOOD.


  1. That video woke Cersei up. She stared very intently at the computer as Pickles barked... then went back to sleep as soon as it was over. That's Labs for you.

    Can't wait to see new pictures! Although I have to say, all your pictures look shockingly green to me already...

  2. I have similar themes in my photos... Ozzy ears and trees or Herbie tail and trees.

  3. My, but little Pickles Marie is starting to look like a real FLOOD! And, btw, what were you saying about us folks with *white* horses? You've got mucho-white *dogs*--and they're much closer to the mud!

  4. hi aarene. whilst geocaching in snow on sunday, (snow does not make finding things easy), i tried a new trick. i tried to see if i could walk backwards in my foosteps to get away from the badguys. i asked j to try it too. we both could only do it a couple paces before losing our balance. try it!

    oh yes, it's so green there compared to germany. here it's grey and brown, and even the grass is yellowish. when you're in the woods here it's brown leaf floor, and grey tree canopy. geocaching is much easier when you can just walk through the woods off trail and not notice a difference.

  5. Love this! Feel like I got to go on the hike with you. and (drumroll) NEW CAMERA. Oooooo....can't wait. Love the floofy mud puppies, and freely admit I have no clue what geocoaching, um, is?


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