Ups ‘n Downs

From atop Horse Butte, the Cascades, from Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Hood

Sunday, July 26, 2020

On a pleasant and sunny afternoon, the dogs and I hiked to the top of Horse Butte. We strolled its rim and made it about halfway around before I felt a need to turn back. The steep upward climb full of slippery scree kept me worrying about the potential problems of balancing myself correctly while descending. Soon after beginning to descend, I saw that the dogs had found and were on a lightly-worn sidepath. Their path appeared more-recent and slightly-easier, not any less steep but newer, and thus, with less scree than the original route. I shifted paths and followed the dogs. While coming down my boots did slip, but only once and slightly.

My brain continuously chanted, “follow the dogs”. They’ve a history with me of finding established trails and choosing the one easiest if they’ve a choice. Many times through the years, my dogs running ahead have guided my direction. I’ve followed them while on horseback, through grasses knee-high to my horse, and on worn paths invisible to me, that otherwise I’d never have found.

My most memorable “following the dogs” occurred soon after we reached the very top of a mountain where we found ourselves in a gathering and blinding rainstorm. Suddenly, on hearing thunder approaching, I realized that we had become the area’s highest objects. Unable to see a downward trail, I quickly pushed my horse to follow the dogs. They hurried us directly to lower levels and to a relative safety from strikes of lightning.

There’s more about yesterday’s adventure at Horse Butte, but I’m running out of time. So, the story of that adventure may be continued.

Dear Friends: Through the ages, high value in the relationship between humans and dogs. Diana

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