Cookie in the bath
Well, you bad dog, was the skunk encounter worth it?
Andy Lane Trail to Scorched Earth Gap; Appalachian Trail to... Lambert's Meadow Shelter and back. 7.4 miles.
On the way up the Andy Lane on this hot day in our hottest Roanoke summer in likely forever, it began to mist lightly. The Day Hiker worried about rain and I talked about our very own woodsy mister device to keep us cool.
But the closer we got to the intersection with the Appalachian Trail, the closer the precip got to out-and-out rain.
And so there was the pause there at Scorched Earth, where the trail goes south and up to Tinker Cliffs... or north and down to Lambert's Meadow Shelter, with the same distance to either one. A little feint upward and then we agreed we were heading to the shelter despite the shared convictions that:
1. It would stop raining the moment we got there.
2. We would be climbing for the first six tenths after lunch instead of walking downhill pretty much the whole way back.
As it turned out, #1 didn't come true until about three-quarters of the way through lunch, and #2, well, it came true right after lunch.
The Andy Lane Trail is the site of the greatest moment of free comedy The Day Hiker has ever provided in our now six and a half years of weekend hikes – the day in some winter long-past as we hiked on snow and ice and her old dog Gunnar slid off the trail and 40 or 50 feet over the ice and snow down into a ravine. The dog yelped, I fought laughter and The Day Hiker turned the snow blue with invective aimed at me, and so strongly you'd have thought I pushed the dog down the hill.
The encore on this day took place at the intersection of the two trails as we came back up, when young-dog Cookie took off as fast as she could away from us as we turned to begin our way down the Andy Lane.
The attraction was a skunk. The Day Hiker's reaction was again semi-hysterical and pretty-blue screamin' and shoutin', at least aimed at the dog this time. My reaction was again mostly to smile, as it seemed to me that there wasn't much anyone could do about one animal determined to play and another animal about to defend itself the only way it's equipped to do.
And the more inevitable the spraying became, the more desperate Gail's admonitions became.
Then, when dog and skunk were done, the dog came along to walk on down the hill, with her mistress still in distress.
At home, after a good bath and some tomato juice, the smell was pretty much gone.
And another doggie-episode memory was made, out along the Andy Lane.
To get there. Va. 311 or U.S. 220 to Va 779, then about 7 miles from either end to the parking lot.
July 17, 2010 Hike