cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


611 Trail Tales

Jake walking in the Park

With the coming of spring is the start of most folks exercise season. The winter months are finally over and it is time to get outside and move around.

We are two months away from our summer trip and see the need to work on getting in better shape. As we age it seems that every year the task is a little harder and every year we swear that we will not need our bodies turn into marshmallows again. Yet here we are committing to a regime to change some flab into muscle.

Lucky for us, we have a large park with trails close to where we live. We are going to spend a couple of afternoons each week at the park hiking and running the trails. Monday was our first hike.

Now a tale from the trail …

My wife - Amy, the dog - Jake, and I went for a hike in the park. The parking area was really crowded when we arrived at the trailhead. It was so busy, we were felt fortunate that we found a parking place, but were not sure if there was going to be room for us on the trails. There were runners, walkers, hikers, and bikers stretching and preparing for their period of exercise.

Dogs were everywhere. Lots of hikers brought their dogs, but for some reason few seemed to have remembered their leashes. Our dog, Jake, shies away from other dogs. He wants nothing to do with them and will do all that he can do to avoid an encounter. On this day he had to practice many avoidance maneuvers.

Walking down a steep hill, I noticed a hiker with a dog coming up the hill. The hiker did not have the dog on a leash but the hiker was trying to hold the dog's collar. Jake in the meantime was trying to put as much distance as possible between himself and the dog. While trying to pull me up the hill away from the trail, I heard the other hiker exclaim loudly, 'Friendly!' as he tried to control the dog.

I was not looking at the dog or hiker at the time when the hiker spoke, and I immediately thought, 'he has a dog named Friendly.' What a great name for a dog. I began thinking of all the fun encounters you would have, if you had a dog named Friendly.

Then, Amy spoke up and talked to the hiker. She explained that Jake was really shy around other dogs and tried to avoid them.

I began laughing at my listening error. The hiker was not, as I thought, calling his dog by the name - Friendly, instead, he was asking if our dog, Jake, was friendly.

Jake passed 'Friendly' as quickly and with as much distance as possible.

The trails were not as crowded as we originally thought and we had a great hike. Weather permitting we are going again this afternoon. Jake is going to hike with us and will be wearing his leash, like a good dog.

Happy Friendly trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: