Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Paw and Pours Goes to the Great Outdoors!
Sunday morning we woke up and decided to do something a little different. It was too hot to take the dog on a walk around here (approaching 100 degrees at 8:15 am!) So, we decided to head to someplace a bit cooler and get a little exercise. After making some homemade blueberry pancakes to fuel us, we loaded the car with the dog and a picnic and headed north. The drive alone was worth it -- as we climbed in altitude the cacti of the Sonoran desert faded away to the Ponderosa pinetrees of the Mogollon Rim. Just over an hour later, we arrived at Christopher Creek, standing among the pinon pinetrees and enjoying the cool mountain air -- and feeling worlds away from the relentless heat of Phoenix.
But before we could get to that picnic, we had to do a little "work" first. The Horton Creek Trail was just what we were looking for -- a moderate 7-mile roundtrip hike through the forest. Chase was on full "hunter" mode, leading the way (more like sprinting the way) through the trees, in a frenzied search for the water he could hear cascading down the creek. Chase managed to find the creek just about whenever he could, and led us on the hike the entire time. The trail ended at the head of Horton Springs where it gushes ice cold out of the side of a mountain - pure mountain spring water to refresh all of us!
After finishing the trek back down the trail, we were ready for the picnic. We headed a bit further east to Willow Springs Lake. With even cooler temperatures there, the humans in the party were a bit cold (hey - 68 degrees is 40 degrees cooler than we'd be used to in Phoenix!), while Chase was pleasantly watching the lake for any sign of birds. We discovered that Chase's swimming training of retrieving tennis balls from the water doesn't mix well with the locals fishing -- Chase decided that the bobbers on the fishing lines looked like a good toy.Of course, a blog on wine and dogs can't be just about the outdoors -- time for some vino! We brought a bottle of Red Bicyclette Rose, a nice dry rose that was perfect for a cool summer day. Paired with some cheeses, hummus, and fig salad, it was a perfect mid afternoon snack. We decided that we have to come here more often now...