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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Fun Alpine Ride with Shyla

During our camping time in the San Juan mountains, I took Shyla on a mountain bike ride to and from a high mountain pass. It's a long "run" for a dog but Shyla is fit enough to handle it easily.

The meadow below the pass has some of the most vibrant wildflowers I've ever seen. They were so tall that it was hard to find places where I could take photos of Shyla surrounded by them.

 Then, we hit the final stretch of smooth but very steep trail up to the pass. Shyla sped ahead.

Near the top, the trail was lined with Columbines, as you can see in this photo where Shyla stopped to ask why I was pedaling so slowly! Dog athletes humble us lowly humans.

When we got to the top, we could see for miles in all directions.

In this spot last year, Shyla saw her first marmot and gave chase. This year, she was obsessed with the marmots but had learned that she shouldn't chase them. Instead, she stared in their direction with an intensity that she rarely possesses.

I also have encountered a mother bear and cubs in the direction where she was staring. They were foraging in the meadow below the pass (on the side that we didn't climb). I wondered, based on Shyla's intensity, if they might be hiding down there. Her eyes didn't leave that area.

Then the wind kicked up. Gusty winds stress out Shyla to some extent, as you can see from her "tongue flick" and plaintive look in the next photo.

We headed back toward camp soon after the wind hit us. We stopped for one photo among the purple asters that painted one meadow in pastel.

We had a long restful afternoon of snoozing in the sunshine after our ride. We didn't break into action again until we took the dogs for a swim.

And then we had them run around in the sunshine to dry off before the coolness of evening chilled them.
Going through these photos makes me want to jump in the LabMobile and head back for a little more time in that magical place!

However, we are very lucky to live our everyday lives in the mountains. Just yesterday, Shyla and I felt the high mountains calling, and we spontaneously headed to the alpine world to celebrate her Gotcha Day. I'll tell you that tale soon!


  1. I love the look on Shyla's face when she stopped to wait for you! That's a look I often see on Zoe's face! :D The wildflowers are so beautiful there! I can see why you love it so much!

  2. Lovely group of photographs. It does indeed look like a magical place.

  3. Yes, that intense look is so cute Shyla!

  4. Shyla looks so beautiful amongst the wildflowers!!! Also so good to see R with that silly, fun energy - he just makes me smile.

  5. Those expressions on Shyla's face crack us up:) That shot of her waiting for you is so precious. And it is so good to see R having such a great time. We are hoping he is fully recovered now.

  6. I forget how beautiful it can be this time of year up in the high alpine areas. Of course you know I love your columbine and elephant head photos. I wouldn't have seen either of them this year if it hadn't been for your adventures. thanks so much for sharing...

  7. beautiful blooms and i like shyla's looks. :)

  8. I love the shot of Shyla: "What's keeping you???" And of course R's dive! What a wonderful adventure you all had!

  9. I love the intense look --- my granddog Montana does that sometimes when she isn't allowed to chase something.

  10. You look so pretty moving through all of the lovely wildflowers, Shyla!

  11. What a beautiful place you live in!! Absolutely stunning photos!! Enjoy your long weekend!

  12. Shyla you look great on that rock... it's like a statement that dogs are always on top :o)

  13. Shyla looks so fit and happy! And it's great to see R running around looking himself after your recent scare. (Which by the way has me calling Piper back every time I see her even looking closely at a mushroom now - I imagine she's wondering what has gotten into me!)
    What a fabulous life your dogs have :)

  14. Hi Shyla
    That looks like a beautiful place to go for a run :) The wildflowers are stunning :) Milo & Jet

  15. you could see for smiles in all directions

  16. Wow! Magical doesn't even begin to describe it! Those are some of your prettiest pictures yet. How I wish I could see it for real!

  17. What an incredible area. I love the photos of Shyla, especially the one of her looking back.

  18. Wonderful photos and descriptions (as always). Shyla really is a powerhouse, running up the mountainside! Then its always nice to see Prince Arrr out having a good time and you so happy.



  19. Wow! We're always in awe of the place you call home and your stunning photos. It's too bad Parental Unit didn't move out west when she was younger like she wanted to...but I say it's never too late:-)

  20. Your pups are so lucky! I'm trying to plan one last "fling" with our pups before the winter visitors get here, but it won't be anything like what your pups get to do!

    Monty and Harlow

  21. We can imagine us on that trail with you!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  22. Shtla " Daughter of the Mountains," You look so beautiful in your world of trails, and smells, and wild flowers! And you have learned to trust your mom... and you listen to her, and look out for her!
    Your so loved Shyla,,and so is your brother R...
    and we love your world,, thank you for sharing it with us,

  23. I just love the happiness through out this post, it's infectious! Thanks for the smiles...and the Shyla head tilt!!


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