Ridgeline Escape

It was that time again: “Walkies!” Oscar started to flip out as I pulled on my boots, pawing at the door as if to say, Come on, come on, already!

We got out the door and he started pouncing at me, moving his body backwards as he did so, staring me square in the eyes. Such a funny character, this dog. When he was convinced we were on our way somewhere, Oscar turned around, did a little dance and leapt off the deck and missed the five steps completely, landing unscathed.

He’s like a little flying “Superdog”, some days. Oh, to have that energy!

We started off across the street by Sycamore and into a green belt that leads to a power line that leads to the base of the Mountainview area, if followed, eventually landing at the golf course.

Our auxiliary trail, I’ll call it: at first it follows in behind some houses and out to a sidewalk. From there, if you stay close to the trees, a little hill can be spotted to the left. If you can make it over, it steeply shoots you out to a narrow path leading down a long, steep hill that, in the fall, is laden with cranberries.

Oscar was zigzagging away, nose to the ground as usual. I guess that’s why the Germans called them Schnauzers … I think. I read in Oscar’s dad’s book that they were great at sniffing out bombs and booby traps for Adolph Hitler. What a legacy, Oscar! He literally has his nose to the ground and tail in the air 98 per cent of the walk. It’s a wonder he hasn’t bumped into a tree.

It is funny watching Oscar run down a hill. I’m not so sure he knows about speed-increasing issues. I was waiting for him to rip through a few somersaults, but he didn’t miss a beat.

At the bottom, there is a creek bed, but no water. As soon as you’re at the bottom, it is time to climb straight up again. Oscar powered ahead of me, climbing on all fours very quickly to the top and was now looking down at me.

I put one foot ahead of me and slid right back down. The clay bank was completely unstable; my normal footpath had melted away from the light-brown mud.

By this time, Oscar had made it back down – not on the mud, but the brush beside it. He ran back up again as if to tell me to follow his trail, and so I did.

I grabbed on to trees like life supports, almost trying all fours myself. At the top, a long ridgeline stretched out before us. Following along, I took in the views while Oscar took in the smells. It was a beautiful crisp day; not overly sunny, but enough to give the clouds some interesting shadows.

We walked north along the ridge until the path faded into an animal trail. I could hear rushing water. I peered down the end of a deteriorated trail and could see black water winding around the end of this ridge through a thickly treed valley and leading to the Yukon River bed.

Oscar proceeded to explore this sound, but I had to stop him in his tracks. Sorry, bud, no water fun today! Once again I was in awe of the vast beauty that surrounds us in the Yukon: thousands of trees, misty mountaintops and lovely water.

Turning back on our path, Grey Mountain was now in full view. We walked past the hill climb and south, the ridge slowly turning into a hill. A narrow mountain -biking bridge came into view and I ran over it and Oscar ran under as the rungs were too wide for him.

The trail emptied out to the bottom of “Power Line”, the famous sledding hill.

Another swell climb and we were back to the streets on our way to the house. Oscar knew it was coming to an end as the familiar fence, gate and driveway came into view.

I could tell he was happy but, if asked his opinion, could go on and on, exploring all day, nose to the ground and tail in the air.

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