It’s been 1-1/2 weeks since we pulled into Kamloops and started this next chapter of our life. I just unpacked the last box and we are, for the most part, settled in our new home. Dahlia and Flipflop are doing wonderful, they were such amazing troopers on the 40+hour drive to get us here and have settled into their new neighbourhood.
In order to balance the needs of both dogs, I started alternating our walking routines, one day is a nice leisurely walk throughout the neighbourhood, not unlike the walks we did in Ontario and the following day a short walk for Dahlia and into the mountains with Flipflop.
He LOVES it. I have never seen him so happy and in his element. He loves to run up and down the sides of the mountains and never fails to come back and check in on me from time to time. I’m not going to lie, some of these walks are really challenging for me and I need to stop and catch my breath as we climb higher up the mountain trails.
Friday morning, on my way to my car, I ran into the building manager, he asked how my dogs were settling in, I told him they were both doing quite well. He then mentioned he has seen me out with the dogs and that Flipflop looks really happy! I told him Flipflop is loving it out here and the building manager agreed, “he’s a B.C. dog!” he said to me. I can’t disagree.
This morning, being a weekend, and our hike day, we took Dahlia for a short walk and brought her home. Flipflop and I then ventured out to the trail. There are so many different turns and paths, and there was one I wanted to try, that another dog walker I ran into one morning told me about.
So off we went, it was beautiful. We spotted some white tail deer, but before I could get my camera into focus, Flipflop was off after them. I waited in the spot I was at and called and whistled for him. I heard him bark off in the distance, I called him again, and a few seconds later he appeared in sight. We continued on.
We went over the bridge I was told we would come across and that’s where things went wrong. I missed the path to get back toward our road, I ended up along a cliff and a very narrow path. My ankle injury from many years ago came back to haunt me, I pushed through as I tried hard to maintain my balance. And then Flipflop took off down the cliff, I called him. And thats when I saw more deer running up another mountain side, I watched in horror as Flipflop climbed up after them. He was gone, out of site, out of ear shot. I forced myself to remain calm. I climbed back up the steep cliff onto more stable ground, where I could call and whistle for him. It felt like hours, but it likely wasn’t even a minute before I saw him appear on top of the mountain across from me. I kept calling him and he eventually made his way down, in the valley he stopped. I could tell he was debating if he should come to me or go back to the deer! Fortunately, he choose to come to me, as he made his way up the mountain and the steep trail to me, his tongue was hanging out the side of the mouth, he was exhausted.
I opted to turn back and avoid the steep cliff trail in hopes of finding a less rugged area, with less distractions for Flipflop! I had leashed him up, just to be sure he’d not go far!
As I made my way around different turns and paths, I realized we were lost. I looked at my phone, we were 8 KM out from our place and no where near a road. We kept climbing, there were homes at the top of the mountain, surely they were off a road. But when we made our way up, there was no road down the mountain, just more roads going up. I turned around and went back down the mountain trying to remember the paths we took to retrace my steps back to our street.
After an hour of looking and searching, I was feeling lost, and unsure what to do. I could call someone, but who and what would I say “I’m lost in a mountain!” They wouldn’t be able to do anything more than I could on my own!
We ended up near a mining area, surely there would be a road near it, I hoped but…..nope! As we left the mining area and made our way back to where we came from I came across another path, one we passed much earlier in our hike, one that led back down the mountain to my road!! It was so clear I could see our street from where I was standing.
On top of the mountain looking down, it seemed so close, but it was not, we still had quite a trek back to street level.
After three hours, Flipflop and I made it back home to Dahlia! Tired and a bit dirty but no worse for the wear! I think I will save the exploring for times when I am walking with a fellow hiker and someone who has a much better sense of direction than I do!
Flipflop will still get his mountain hikes but we’ll stick to the path I know!