Friday, July 1, 2011

We Do Summer Right

Summertime is finally here. The Food Guy is all finished with classes for the year, and now it's time for the adventuring to really get rolling. We've made the most of the first week of summer- that's for sure. I'm still on light duty and have to stay on the leash, but I have been getting to do a little bit of traveling with the Food Guy. Earlier this week, we hopped in the mobile dog house to head over to Bryson City so the Food Guy and Reeve could do a little trail run. We rolled over to the Smokies and met Reeve in Cherokee on the way to Newfound Gap.

I still can't hit the trail, so I took a nap while the Food Guy and Reeve made the round trip trek from Newfound Gap to Mt. Leconte.

The scenery looks like it was pretty sweet on the trail.

I hate that I missed this one, but those mean ol' park rangers don't let dogs in the park anyway. What's up with that? Weak sauce, I say.

Anyway, it was a good trip. I got to hang out with Java the Dog and generally had a good time visiting. Next up was a few days in Boone for the Food Guy to get a few more training runs in and a couple of days of climbing. Then, it was down to the Lake where I'm chilling out while the Food Guy is hanging out in Boston. He sent me a couple of pics of his trip. It looks like he's having a good time.

Word on the street is that dinner tonight was at Legal Seafood where the Food Guy laid a beatdown on some crabcakes, scallops, shrimp, and clam chowder. He told me that he also got a pretty sweet run in along the Charles River and he even got to see Fenway Park. There's some crazy stuff up Boston. Check out this pic from the Chapel of Our Lady of the Safe Voyage:

Cool, eh? I think he's got some other good adventures planned for his northern swing. Sox vs Blue Jays on the 4th of July will probably be the highlight of his trip. I told him he'd better not slack off on his running while he's up there. The 100 miler is getting closer and closer, so I got keep reminding him to get out there and do some urban running. I'll be psyched when he gets back because that means my least favorite holiday of the year (4th of July) will be over. I hate the 4th because of all the scary fireworks. We'll be chilling in Boone for a week or so, then I'll be headed back to the lake when the Food Guy heads out to Seattle. Well, I'm gonna get going. The couch is looking like it wants to float up the ceiling, and you know I can't let that happen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Lazy Saturday

It's shaping up to be a pretty good Saturday so far. The Food Guy took off yesterday afternoon for a 50 mile training run to get ready for his 100 miler this summer. He rolled back into the house looking pretty tired at about 2 am this morning. From the way he was moving, I figured we'd get to sleep in today. I was right. He thought about getting up around 8, but I convinced him that he should keep resting. He didn't argue:

It'll be a few more weeks before I can go adventuring, so I'm perfecting my sleeping technique. I'm actually getting quite good at it. He has one more week of summer school, and then it'll be time for summer adventures. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Running at Grandfather

Hi, everybody. My knee is getting a little better every day, and the Food Guy is letting me go for longer and longer walks each week. I'm up to 15 minutes now. I keep telling him that I'm ready to go for a good hike, but he says the Vet told him that I have to take it easy for another month or so. I'm getting pretty good at holding my dog bed down, but I'd really rather get outside to have some fun. The Food Guy is still training for the 100 miler in August, and he decided to go for a run/hike to the top of Grandfather Mountain on Sunday. It's a hike I can't go on anyway, so I guess it was a good time for him to knock this one out. See, there are all these exposed rock faces,


and ladders on the trail. Check out Kramer on the ladder:

And, well, I'm not really a ladder climbing kind of dog. So, I would have had to sit this one out even if my bionic leg was all healed up. I can see why he wanted to do this run though. It has some pretty sweet views.

The real prize is the swinging bridge at the top of Grandfather Mountain.

Normal people drive their cars to the top and pay the entrance fee. Not the Food Guy. He and his buddy Kramer started at the Profile Trailhead over near Blowing Rock. From there it's about 2,500 feet or so to the top of McRae Peak. The climb takes place over about 4 miles, so it's steep! I've gone to almost to the top before once last fall. But we had to turn back because I couldn't make it through one of the boulder gardens. This is the spot that got me:

I told the Food Guy he'd have to finish this one without me another time. Anyway, Kramer set off Sunday morning and made the 9 mile round trip in about 4 hours, which ain't too shabby for a trip with 3,600 feet of elevation gain if you ask me.

The Food Guy has been walking a little slow the last couple of days. I think his quads took a little beating on the way down. Pretty good training for the 100, I suppose. I told him to take it easy. It's supposed to be his "off week" but I don't think that guy gets the meaning of taking time off to recover from his long runs. I mean, geez, he did 40 miles last Saturday.

I'll keep y'all posted on my recovery. Have a great week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Freedom from the cone of shame

Big news today, everybody. I got my staples out, so I don't have to wear that damn cone anymore. It was getting really old. The Food Guy has started teaching summer school, and he's been gone all day everyday. I know, I know. It was only two days into the week. But, they were two LONG days. He'd be gone from 9-5, come home and hang out with me for an hour, then leave again to go running (without me!). Well, I still can't go running with him, but I don't have to walk around with the giant torture device around my head. Plus, I don't begrudge him his running. I know he's training for a good cause. The 100 Miles For Swisher run is a pretty big deal in case you haven't heard.

The Vet said I'm healing quickly. Well, of course I am. I already have full range of motion in my dog leg. See, I've been doing super-secret rehab training while the Food Guy is at work. I'm not some fat-ass, people-food eating, lazy dog. I'm a bionic trailrunning, backcountry skiing, crag-chillin, Yellow Dog. You just can't keep me down for long. The Food Guy said I still can't go hiking for a month at least. I have to stay on leash for the next 8 weeks. I still can't play with my doggie friends for a couple of months. That's not cool, but I'll survive. I've been doing a great job of keeping my dog bed from floating up to the ceiling. That can be hard work too. I go back to the Vet July 12th to get the final X-Rays. I expect the Vet will say, "You, my yellow friend, are the picture of health." I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Bionic (Six MIllion Dollar) Dog Comes Home

Hey everybody, I haven't been blogging much because the Food Guy hasn't let me go on too many adventures lately. As you know, I hurt my knee a while back. He was hoping that rest would do the trick and I'd heal on my own. Well, I'm sad to report that rest didn't work. He loaded me up in the mobile dog house on Monday, and we headed down to Charlotte. I thought, "Cool, I'm finally getting to go somewhere." I should have been suspicious. He's been leaving me home for the last couple of months and sneaking out on his training runs (You know, for his 100 mile fundraiser run for Always Brothers). So when I saw the running shoes in the back of the truck I foolishly hoped he'd finally decided that I could go with him this time. Nope. He wasn't going for a run. He was taking me down to Charlotte so I could get a metal place installed in my leg. Ugh! In case you were wondering, this is not a fun adventure. I mean, the doctor was really nice and all the Vet techs and other Vets who worked at the place were really nice. In fact, I didn't suspect anything really bad was about to happen on Monday.

See, on Monday we went to the Vet and they pulled on my leg a bunch just like the other two Vets the Food Guy has taken me to see did. I was thinking. OK, I know how this works: they pull and prod and then send me back home. Then, the Food Guy will give me some drugs for a few days again, leave me home while he goes and runs 30 miles, and that'll be it. When we left the Vet Monday afternoon I thought I was home free. I was sadly, sadly mistaken.

The Food Guy took me BACK to the same Vet on Tuesday morning. I though, "Oh, crap. This isn't good." Then, he looked very, very sad as the Vet took me into the back. I could see him trying to put on a face that said, "No worries, Little Buddy I'll see you in a bit." But, I could tell that he was worried. So, I got worried for a second. Then, the Vet tech started petting me, and I forgot all about what was going on. The Food Guy slipped my mind, and I followed her back to their medieval torture chamber. They hooked me up to a bunch of machines, gave me a shot, and then proceeded to shave my WHOLE damn left leg. I think that was a little over the top. I look like one of the crazy looking Chinese Crested dogs. No fur on my leg. Seriously, it's a good thing winter is over!

Well, the next thing I know I wake up and, man I'm in a lotta pain. There's this giant bandage on my leg, and I can only stand on three of my four dog legs. Whisky Tango Foxtrot! Right?! I had to stay at the Vet's last night, which wasn't all bad because it's one of those 24 hours places. That means that there are people there all the time checking on you. That was pretty cool. I was getting lots and lots of attention, which y'all know I like. But, the pain. Well, that just sucks. As if that wasn't bad enough, they put this giant lampshade on my head.

I know, right?! It's terrible. I can't walk around without hitting anything. I was so happy when the Food Guy and his Dad came to spring me from the joint. All I could do was look at the Food Guy and say, "Get me outta here! And get this damn lampshade off of my head!" I couldn't get him to take it off. But, he did pick me up and put me in the backseat of the truck. That was pretty nice of him. I got to ride home to Camp Z in style.

When we got home, the Food Guy finally took the lampshade off. He told me I only have to wear it when he's sleeping or at work. Good thing for me that summer school doesn't start for another week. He'll be home most days, so it'll be like old times. I'll sit at his feet while he writes and reads all of his silly books. The Vet says it'll be about 3 months before I can go back to full-time adventuring, but I'll keep you posted on my recovery. The best news of the day: My hips are in perfect shape. No hip problems for me. That's pretty sweet. So, once this knee heals up, I'll be good to go.

Well, y'all take care. I'll be sleeping if you need me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Well, the weather might have finally changed for the better here in Boone. The Food Guy and I woke up to sunny skies and temps in the 60s. That'll happen when you sleep till 10 o'clock like we do whenever we can. The Food Guy started our day by taking me for a walk, then he snuck off for a training run. He thinks he's all slick by getting dressed to run and then taking me for a walk before he goes. He thinks he's fooling me, but he's not. I know it's for my own good that he's not letting me run with him right now. I don't like it though. I can't wait to get back out on the trail.

The good news is that he decided I could go climbing with him today since the hike in was only about 5 minutes. It was so nice to be outside hanging out. I like going climbing. There are always people hanging around who want to pet me. Well, I think the only reason people go anywhere is so they can pet me. I don't think that's too crazy. I mean, who wouldn't want to pet a yellow dog?

Greg and the Food Guy had lots of fun climbing. Greg's son, Lem, came with us and he knocked out a couple of routes too. I think the spring weather might be coming on with a little more regularity now. It was so beautiful at The Dump today. Check out this view:

And, I'm so glad. I like playing in the snow, but bumming around at the crag is a lot of fun too.

I hope you all had a great weekend. My leg has been feeling a lot better, and I'm hoping the Food Guy will let me go on a real adventure soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Resting an injury is no fun

Hey, y'all. I know it's been a while since my last post, but things have been pretty quiet around Camp Z for a yellow dog. One of my legs has been giving me some trouble, so the Food Guy has been making me rest, and not letting me go on many adventures. A while back, I started limping around after the Food Guy and I got back from one of our runs. He made me rest for a week, and then I talked him into letting me go for a short run with him. Wouldn't you know, I ended up limping again, so he wouldn't let me go hiking or running with him for a couple of weeks. I was feeling better, so he let me go over to play with my doggie friend Alabama Star, and I ended up limping again. Well, he got all worried about me and took me to the vet. The good news is that my hips are fine. He was worried I was starting to have some hip problems. The vet thinks it's my MCL, so he put me on some doggie celebrex. I think it did the trick. After a week on the dope, I stopped limping. The Food Guy says he's not letting me run or go on any good hikes for a couple of months. I've been pretty bored. He did let me go hang out with him when he went paddling a couple of weeks ago. I made him feel so bad for leaving me in the truck- a little limping helped- that he let me take a rest at the take-out:

I suppose all this time off is for the best though. Hopefully, I'll be all healed up and I'll be able to be up to going on some good adventures this summer. I'd better be. I get pretty bored hanging out at home all day while the Food Guy is off training for his big run.

He thinks he's so slick. He sneaks out of the house with his running shoes every day- as if I don't notice that those smelling things are leaving the house everyday. I mean, really. Does he think I can't tell that he's been off running all afternoon when he comes home from work. Sheesh! Well, I don't give him too much trouble. I know he's got to get his mileage in. He's training for a 100 miler in August. Check out this website to see what he's training for.

Well, y'all take care. Maybe the Food Guy will let me go climbing with him sometime soon. I told him I'd be A-OK just hanging out on a leash while he climbs. I'll try to talk him into taking me for a good-easy- adventure soon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Backpacking Trip

It's been a pretty stellar week here in the high country-- well, that's not really a shocking statement since every week up here is pretty much off the hook. But, the last week or so has been particularly excellent. It's been sunny and warm! Can't wait till spring. Yesterday the Food Guy, Alabama Star, Greg and I went up to Ship Rock for some climbing. It was pretty exciting. Food Guy had to carry me up a couple sections of the approach trail because I couldn't climb the boulders. My claws just wouldn't dig into the rock. Today, the Food Guy and I put in a pretty solid day's work. We started off the day with a beautiful run from Camp Z in 48 degrees and sunshine. Trust me, that's like a full on heat wave up here. After we finished our run, we headed out to Mark and Leslie's house to cut firewood. I just hung out on the porch while the people worked, but I'm proud to say that we have enough firewood to get through the winter now. I'm sure the temperatures will be back below freezing on the regular soon.

Last weekend was the annual winter backpacking sufferfest with B. Aubin, Nate, and the newest hardcore in the bunch- Steven. The jury is still out on Steven though. He was in much better shape this year, but he might have been sandbagging us. My pack was heavier than his and I'm just a dog. All kidding aside- Big Ups to Steven for getting in shape. He gets the most improved player award for his year.

We had sunny skies and a beautiful trail to hike. We started and Pine Gap and hiked the Gorge trail for most of the day. The trail went from the river back up to the rim a few times. It was a pretty stout hike. One poor guy we met at the trailhead fell into the river and dislocated his shoulder. Poor guy had to hike back up to the rim and drive home in a lot of pain. It was beautiful though. I'd bet he'd say it was worth the price of admission. Check out the view from the river.

After a great day of exploring the Gorge, we made it to Babel Tower where we found a sweet campsite that even had a bar.

It was nice during the day. Check out this view from one of the vistas back on the rim.

But the wind was serious at night. It was friggen cold! I found creative ways to stay warm like sitting on Steven instead of the cold ground.

The boys seemed to have alot of fun, and there was lots of hamming it up for the camera. Check out the Food Guy doing his best fashion model tiger pose.

We hiked out Sunday morning under blue skies and made it to Pappy's BBQ for a late lunch. I had to stay in the truck and eat dog bones, but the people ate some killer brisket. Food Guy doesn't eat a lot of meat these days, but he's not one to turn up his nose at a good brisket. I hear the hush puppies are pretty amazing there too.

We're taking it easy tomorrow. Food Guy just needs to get a short run and maybe a ride in since he's training for the run in August. Mostly, I'll be sleeping while the Food Guy grades papers. We'll have more adventures next week, so check back when you can.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Backcountry Ski Dog

What do you do when you have snow everywhere? I asked the Food Guy that question this morning when we woke up, and he had an answer before I'd even taken a mouthful of dog food. "Head for the trail, yellow buddy," was his reply. So we did.

We loaded up the mobile doghouse and met some friends in town to head out to Roaring Creek for some backcountry ski action. It was a nice sunny day and the temperature looked like it might even get above freezing today. The blue skies were a sight for sore dog eyes as we stepped onto the trail this morning.

We spent the first couple of hours working our way up the AT near Roan Mountain. I was having a blast following the people and playing with my new dog friends: Ruby and Rose. They're both Sug dog look alikes, so I knew I'd probably get herded a few times today, but I don't mind. I'm used to being herded around- My doggie friend Sug taught me that lesson when the Food Guy first got me. Anyway, after cruising along the trail for a couple of hours, we finally got the top of the first section.

The views were amazing, and the people had fun skiing through a "glade" (new ski lingo I'm learning). Well, the Food Guy took a couple of face plants 'cause he's still figuring out how this skiing thing works. It looked like he was having fun though.

I lost one of my shoes today.

The Food Guy said it wasn't my fault. The snow had a layer of ice on it in some places. When I broke though, it was chest deep. I lost my boot trying to swim my doggie feet back up the surface of the snow.

Once the people were done skiing through the glade, we headed back to the trail to get all the way to the top.

It was so pretty up there.

The trip down was really exciting. In most places the trail was only 10 feet wide. The Food Guy managed to not hit any trees, which I thought was pretty impressive. We finally made our way back down to the trailhead at about 4:30. After, 6 hours of running in the snow, I was SO tired. I'll never learn; I spent the first two hours racing up and down the trail. It always takes me a couple of hours to figure out that I need to pace myself. Hopefully, I can talk the Food Guy into taking it easy tomorrow and watching football most of the day. I think I'll walk really slowly by the wood pile in the morning to drop that hint that he needs to stay home and split some firewood to keep us warm this week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

They Take Winter Serious Here

It's cold, y'all. For real cold. When the Food Guy and I woke up this morning it was -2. I'm not talking -2 with some wussy windchill temperature; I'm talking for real, ambient temperature. And, it was windy too. It warmed up to a balmy 7 by the time the Food Guy drank some coffee and took me for a walk around Ztown. On the good side, we have lots of snow. There's a drift behind the house that's as tall as my back. Most everywhere it comes up to my dog elbows.

I like playing in the snow. I spent about an hour this morning running around with my friend Daisy from across the street this morning while the Food Guy sorted out some firewood. We ran around jumping in the snow drifts and throwing snow up in the air with our noses- pretty good stuff.

Yesterday morning we woke up to about a foot of fresh snow, so the Food Guy decided it was time to put our sledding hill to the test with his new skis. He got some telemark skis so we can head out in the backcountry and get some exercise. The cool thing is that you can also ski downhill on them. Best of both worlds. Put skins on the skis and go uphill, and then take them off and you're ready for some cool downhill action.

I think he had a lot of fun. He must have liked it because he and Greg decided to go to the local ski hill last night for some nighttime skiing.

He said it was pretty cold up there, and I believed him after he showed me a picture of the weather station up there. It was 9 degrees, which I suppose isn't all that cold if you're just going outside to post up on a tree or something. But, if you're riding around a on a pair of skis for a few hours, I suppose it's pretty cold. Check out the 26 Knot winds that were kicking around up there.

We are supposed to get more snow tonight. Luckily, the Food Guy doesn't have class until Tuesday afternoon, so hopefully he won't have to have his class cancelled. Well, I actually would rather they cancelled classes so we could go play somewhere. But, I doubt he wants to start the semester by losing the first day of class. We'll see. Stay tuned for more adventures. You know we can't sit still for too long.