We took off this weekend for a fun day of snowshoeing. We meant to go out two weekends ago, but I was sick with a terrible cold so we had to put it off. I’m so glad that we did because it ended up being a beautiful sunny weekend versus the hideous weather of two weeks ago. (JACK: by hideous, Mic means we would have been hiking across three feet of fresh powder…albeit in a snowstorm!)
We’re pretty fortunate that we live an easy 2 to 2-1/2 hour drive from Lake Tahoe, which makes it the perfect destination for day trips.
Plus, it was Lily’s first time in snow and we wanted to test her out on the trails in relatively easy conditions to see how she would do; we have some bigger snowshoeing trips planned for February so this was a good trial run.
How did she do?
She did great!
We heard from Teresa that her border collie Cosmo had some issues with his paws on icy snow, so we were a little worried about Lily’s toots, too. We’ve tried a couple kinds of booties on her, but haven’t been satisfied with them so on this day she went without any protection. Turns out she loved the snow and her paws seems to have survived just fine, which frankly, is a bit of a relief. Jack is still on the hunt for snow booties, but for now we know she can withstand a 3-4 hour hike sans boots just fine.`
We decided to do a pretty easy trail called the Castle Valley Loop that starts right off I-80 and heads towards Castle Peak and up to Castle Pass. Round trip it’s ~4 miles.
I’m not sure who had more fun.
Lily or us. We continue to be astounded at what a great trail dog she is.
Don’t let all this flat land fool ya, there was plenty of elevation to traverse. And we were lucky, we were able to find some great unpopulated fresh powder trails on the uphill.
That’s me way down there on the left and Lily is there on the right—she’d come back down the trail and was waiting for me.
I admit it, I’m poky on the uphill.
Here I am, still poking up the hill.
Woohoo! We’re up at the pass and it was 360 degrees of beautiful snow capped mountains!
Can you tell I was happy not to be walking uphill anymore? I was happy, my friends, super happy! And by this time I was sweating buckets through my 6 layers of clothing.
It was pretty windy up there, but we took a couple minutes to enjoy the view and take some photos. While we fooled around, the dog stood (or “sat”) sentry.
This dog is pretty funny. When we’re on a hike, she’s all business. She plays around and has fun, but her main focus is the trail and checking on us to make sure that we’re all moving forward.
Typical border collie.
Jack calls this pose, “Dog on Snow.” We have a very similar photo of her from another hike that he calls, “Dog on Rock.”
In this case, she was watching a couple of hikers coming up the path.
Finally we started heading downhill and because the sun was starting to set, we chose a well-traveled trail that would get us down in half the time it took to climb up. (Yay!)
This little ridgeline is called Castle Peak, and had we two more hours of daylight, we probably would have ascended via a nearby buttress.
But that’s okay, it leaves something for next time.
Hiking these snowy hills and staring at Jack’s behind all day gave me flashbacks of our trek in Europe last summer.
As we each trek at our own pace, there’s a comfortable joy. Everyone’s pretty happy.
And a wee bit of goofy.
Good times, folks. Good times.