A Legend and Her Dog: Congratulations!
Little Haystack 4780' Mount Lincoln 5089? Mount Lafayette 5260?
Falling Waters Trail/ Franconia Ridge Trail/ Greenleaf Trail/ Old Bridle Path
9.9 miles 3600? Elevation gain
Peeps: Bobby, Linda, Skip, Eric, Una-dogger, Cath, Larissa, Tim, Val, Kevin, Judy
Dogs: Blue, Emma, Maddy, Terra, Tuckerman, Dooley, Smokey and Toby!
It is always a pleasure to hike with friends from the hiking community, and today was no exception. We had looked forward to this hike with great anticipation as it meant a number of things. One: That we would get to see many friends we had not seen in months. Two: That we would get to also see their dogs. And three: That we would get to see one of the dogs finish the New Hampshire Four Thousand Footer List. From the onset pretty much everyone was giddy with excitement. Dog and master, attuned to each other, understand that each in its own way needs to go into the mountains for exercise and spiritual renewal, so they share in each other's joy along the way.
Emma at Cloudland Falls
It was wonderful to watch the dogs dash along the trail, scrambling over the rocks and splashing through the brooks with the unbridled joy only a dog can emanate. As their peeps plodded along, handicapped by the use of only two paws, dogs would repeatedly return to their peeps to make sure that the peeps were still moving along in the right direction. Dogs would stop for breaks in mid-stream, slurping water and bellyflopping to cool down, while peeps would stop on drier terrain to slurp multi-colored drinks and reach into funny bags slung on their backs for delicious treats which, dogs discovered, they sometimes shared.
Crazy Dog Lady
After repeated episodes of this it became apparent to dogs that the only thing that funny bag on their peeps shoulders could be for was to carry delicious treats for dogs, so every time a peep would fumble in a funny bag, dogs would cluster around the peep like flies on honey to see what delicious treat might come out of the funny bag this time. Dogs became so good at clustering around peeps that long before they reached the top of this mountain thing they were running on they had all had many delicious treats, and ran along with joyful bellies.
Three Legends Four Dogs
Eventually the trees and brooks gave way to rocks and sedge and the peeps again flung down their funny bags. This time they pulled out BIG delicious treats, and they sat down to eat these themselves! This would not do, so the dogs clustered again and showed their big, pleading eyes and wagging tails, and never a growl was to be heard. Apparently this worked on the peeps, because they began to share these BIG delicious treats with the dogs as well. The dogs discovered that there were treats called Fluffernutters and PB&Js, and they now began to understand that peeps were the masters of delicious treats.
More Crazy Dog Ladies
As the peeps made their way across this ridge thing, through the rocks and sedge and delicious flowers, the dogs trotted along with them to make sure they didn't stray from the pack or get lost in the wet fog that was all around. The peeps noticed that dogs, they don't know from up and down and that everything to the dogs is just trotting along and feeling the joy of movement. Like Yoda, there is no try for a dog, there is only do. They love the simple things: eating, moving, sleeping, a good scritch behind the ears. This is why they are happier than peeps who tend to complicate their lives with things like up and down.
Finally, in a place among the rocks and sedge and delicious flowers, all the peeps and dogs came together and it was announced that one of the dogs had finished something called a list. More specifically, one of the dogs had finished something called the Four Thousand Footer List. Now, none of the dogs knew or cared what this meant. It was just one of those things the peeps like to complicate their lives with, but they all seemed to know that their friend Toby was the dog who had finished this list thing. His peep was hugging and kissing him, and all the other peeps were scritching behind his ears and telling him what a good dog he was.
View Across to Cannon
The dogs would not hinder themselves with peep stuff like jealousy or envy. They knew they were all good dogs and that they too had peeps that adored them as well. In their doggy way they understood that their peeps would love them more for having spent this day with them, and that all that mattered was that they had their peeps and that their peeps had them. Soon the peeps started down from the fog while the dogs trotted along without a thought of elevation or distance. They regrouped at a place called a hut for awhile where there were some more delicious treats, then they trotted off again, the peeps descending while the dogs trotted along on level ground.
Some of the Pack
One last time all the peeps and dogs came together. They sat on a rock on the side of the trail and there was a glorious thing called a view that the peeps were very interested in, but the dogs were clustering around certain peeps who were fumbling in their funny bags. Hopefully there would be another round of delicious treats, and there was! While the peeps laughed and fumbled in their bags and took in this thing called a view, the dogs all put on their halos and clustered as each good dog received more treats until they were all gone.
Back at the thing called a parking lot the peeps flung their funny bags into the things they called cars. There were lots of peeps hugging and lots of scritches behind ears before the dogs hopped into the things called cars. With full bellies and worked muscles the dogs were soon dreaming of foggy ridge-tops and delicious treats. And that peeps, is the story of Toby and his forty eight mountains!
Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln in the Clear
Complete set of pics HERE: