One day I will return to Sweetwater Creek Park with Bill in tow to also enjoy the walk in the woods. This Sunday however, I ventured out alone with the dogs as poor hubby had to go into the office and work. Booo hissss.
The boys and I had a lovely stroll beneath the trees but Bill was missed greatly. Not only because it was such a nice day and it would’ve been perfect to have had a picnic perched on one of the rocks that jut out into the river and to cool one’s toes in the rushing waters, but because having to keep control of two excited dogs that keep going in opposite directions and wrapping their leads around me is a trial.
Doglets and I got to the park late morning and I was very surprised to find the car park containing a mere handful of cars. It was a glorious day and I wondered why on Earth no one else was being thankful for a sunny weekend and enjoying the day out? Bill pointed out later that Sundays are probably always quiet as everyone is tucked away in church.
On arrival I had to use the bathroom. I decided it best to take both dogs in with me where I could keep an eye on them. Yeah right, great plan. Despite grasping onto his lead, of course Genghis slipped away from me at a most inopportune moment. I watched in annoyance as his wagging, bushy ginger tail followed his nose beneath the door, and then in horror as I tugged back on the leads only to see Quince’s react and Genghis’ green lead trail along the floor and snake out after him. Gah.
Hastily I recomposed myself and chased after him. Of course, he is sneaky and knows better to hang around; he had already pegged it. In despair I scoured the bushes and began to call his name.
Luckily for me one heathen child hadn’t been dragged to worship that morning and was running merrily along the hiking path with a couple of other kids. Genghis loves kids and his head appeared out of the undergrowth to say hello and be petted. I was very relieved and thinking how easy his capture was going to be now when he then spotted me approaching and started running frantically in the other direction. Damn dog.
The first two kids ran on past Quince and I without a glance as we tried to coax Genghis back to us, but the girl who was trailing behind the two boys saw that Genghis had his lead on and wasn’t supposed to be roaming and stopped to help. She spun around and chased him down for us, leaping onto his dragging lead and cutting short his freedom. Yay! What a star.
With Genghis back we continued our walk, though it was less of a walk than a tangle and a trip. I was quite amazed to see the walkway that you can usually take over a little island area completely on its side and carried a way down river. They must have had some major torrents during the last storms.
This time dogs and I walked to the Manchester Mill and then continued all the way to the Sweetwater Falls overlook. We’d always turned back before because the trail gets very muddy, steep, rocky and hard to navigate. In fact the trail tends to just disappear and leave one wondering where you’re supposed to go and whether it really exists at all. It’s also quite scary being alone where the trail dissipates because you come across a really quiet eerie area where the river detritus seems to collect, and walking past a mound of abandoned decaying shoes is quite unnerving.
I was very happy to realise that the picked clean bones I could also see lying among the shredded sneakers were actually long sun dried toadstool stalks.
We took the river walk and at every opportunity I led the dogs out into the water and let them cool down and have a splash. I even managed to find a great spot where I could climb out onto a large flat stone and have a lie down where Quince’s lead would reach to a deeper spot where he could have a proper swim.
He had a great time in this swimming hole and would swim around with his mouth wide open scooping up everything in his path. A sand bank protected this spot from the rushing river and kept it sheltered. Tiny fish were in abundance clustered at the water surface and I could see them dart away from Quince in terror.
When I wasn’t watching Quince clambered up onto the sand bank and from there took a flying leap onto the rock where I was lying. A big lump of wet, stinky, happy dog with sharp claws landed right on top of me!
Genghis wasn’t so enamored with swimming, preferring instead to slump down in the shallows and cool his tummy off. I wish I could have taken the plunge and joined Quince in the water.
Had a very nice morning with the dogs and the only thing that was lacking, apart from Bill, was ice cream. Where are the ice cream vans?! I really don’t understand why there never seems to be ice cream vans parked and ready to serve the hot and bothered. Seems like it would be a perfect place to me. Bah, I want to go to Pork Hill now and have a Cornish cornet on the moors, maybe a 99.