No more over the hill and faraway for me, well, not my usual path up the hill that begins at the bottom of Canyon Acres to the Top of the World, at least. I’m a wanted woman (not in that way!). Here’s what happened.
Three days ago, on a late afternoon hike with Jake and Fergie, I’m halfway up the hill when a white monster truck swoops around the corner, mighty tight fit it was, and a Park Ranger gets out–$50 fine for not having the dogs on leashes. He tells me that it’s not good for the dogs to run in the brush, they’ll get ticks, that all they want is to be with me, they don’t care if they’re on a leash or not. He also tells me he used to be a cop and that he’d seen some awful things in his time that the public doesn’t get to see.
I don’t say anything–where is my inner bushbaby now? WTF? Why didn’t I at least ask him if he’d ever heard of Frontline (tick prevention)? And seriously, the dogs don’t care if they’re on a leash or not. And his grisly cop experience? He really didn’t have to throw that one in. I’ve been doing this hill for twenty-five years now and have never seen or heard of an incident with dogs (neither have I seen the likes of a Park Ranger either during this time!). Come to think of it, wouldn’t he have cited some gory incident in his litany of reasons if there had been an incident with a dog? Coyotes, yes, but dogs? Why the crackdown?
Yeah, yeah, all this is elementary, right? The law is the law, leashes wherever you go, even in one’s own house. That is The Way. (Sorry, this is when I yearn for Africa). He ended up giving me a written warning with a pointed remark at the end that I was now “In the System.”
So, today, me, Jake and Fergie went the back way up the hill, a single rutted path where you have to use a rope to negotiate the steep climb, where mountain bikers fly down. If the dirt was snow it would be deep powder. I won’t tell you I didn’t use leashes, because that would be incriminating in these days of the internet. So there we were heading for the second to last climb before the path converges with the regular one at the top when I spot a bright orange blob on the hill where I got the warning. It’s not moving. Is that the glint of binoculars?
I duck down, slip the leashes on Jake and Ferg–somehow they’d come off, ahem–and glance back, the blob is gone. Waiting for me at the top, no doubt. I charge back down the hill, mostly dragged by the dogs all the way down to the bottom. Feeling like a fugitive, I run home, all the while expecting to see the white truck barreling down the other hill after me. Would the Feds be waiting for me there? They had my address. God! Listen to me.
Anyway, unless they took a snapshot of me, I should be okay if I follow the rules, sigh. Otherwise, there’s the “other” hill, the one in my previously mentioned blog that’s on private property. Maybe I’ll use use that one, maybe not.