Today was 2018's close up hike and what a hike it was! I do not have a "fit bit" but I calculate we did about five and a half miles in the Gamelands near and on the Appalachian Trail. I so love hiking in the blue mountains, it inspires me so much!
Perri and Zorro came along. I saw a geocache that had not been found in over two years and I was determined to find it! It was the typical hell of rocks and trees everywhere and haha, find the metal ammo box in the middle of all that. I leashed Perri and Z to a tree and got to searching. Zorro started whining and yipping, very much like Molly with the frustration over being tied to a tree while I search for a cache. (This is where Perri shines, she goes into a perfect sphinx down and chews on a stick while I search.) I don't like to let the dogs run loose while I am searching for a tough geocache because I don't want them ambushing another person while I am not paying attention.
Spoiler alert: we found it!
From there I was a little nervous. I should have brought my Appalachian Trail map for this section. But I did not think of that since I wasn't on the AT. However, the AT goes right through this section of the Weiser State Forest and sure enough, when I got home there was a map detailing every bit of the trail that we had walked on. It would have been super helpful. All I had to go on was some geocaches that I wanted to find and they were all about a mile away. It was only noon and sundown was a while away so we just started walking.
Perri and Zorro are both lovely off leash (with staying near me and their recalls.) but sometimes they will get naughty and start overarousal-biting each other incessantly. This results in a TIME OUT for the biter (it is usually one or the other, they both like to do it, not at one time.) Zorro will do it to Perri, or Perri will run down and bully bite Zorro. Meant. For. Each. Other!!!! Regardless of this they both got a lot of time running off leash. If we were going off trail for a geocache, I tried to make sure Zorro was off. Navigating the woodlands with blow downs and random obstacles is so good for his developing mind and body not to mention all of the extra enrichment from sniffing.
We ended up finding 6 geocaches, all of which had not been found for at least a year. Really exciting, I love finding "lonely caches" as they are called. The hike was wonderful, with flurries of snow now and again, or the sun peeking out, and not too cold. I could not ask for a better Last Hike of 2018.