Friday, June 17, 2011

Leashes

MST – Day 46 – 2/12/11  - Greensboro - Church Street to Sam’s Stop & Shop, Hicone Road – 15.8 Miles
Danny and I had just 6.8 trail miles remaining as part of the Greensboro watershed system, not enough to call it a hike, so today’s effort included a little more than 8 miles of road walking.  Although this will not be my last hike on pavement, it cemented the fact that I don’t like it and will scheme to avoid it in the future. 



We followed the Osprey Trail and then the Townsend Trail along the southern edge of Lake Townsend, another sunny day but still quite cold.  Local residents were enjoying their trails, too, trail running and walking their beloved dogs.  Danny and I have discussed dogs in public spaces many times.  She has never lived with a pet, but my family had dogs when I was young (we lived in the country and they ran all over the place).  My kids had a cat (Nicholas) that was greatly mourned when he died.  Pets add a wonderful dimension of enrichment and love to human life.  But…
This is where I may lose friends.  Dogs in public places should be restrained because they are not human.  They disturb wildlife, can dart in front of walkers/runners and trip them, and can bite a human or another dog if they feel threatened.  I don’t care how well trained you think your darling is.  Several times I have seen Danny address dog owners who are not following the prevailing leash laws and I’ve questioned people myself a time or two.  In national parks they are not allowed at all and in other public places there is always a leash law posted.  On this particular day in Greensboro we saw a dozen dogs, only two of them on leashes.  One of them was a very large fellow pooping on the trail, after which his owner whistled and the dog followed…but the poop remained.  
At one point we met a jogger with his unleashed dog.  Actually we met the dog first when it zoomed past us going in the same direction.  As the owner passed by I asked if he had a leash for his dog.  He snarked, “No, do YOU have a leash?” and did not slow down.  I suspected that we might see him again on his return – and we did.  But this time he had his dog leashed and he stopped to apologize to us.  We had a very nice conversation, told him that we were visitors to the area and had noticed the culture of letting dogs go off leash and how off-putting it could be.  I very much appreciated him taking the time to talk with us and hopefully he keeps his dog leashed now.  But the culture of a place is hard to change with no enforcement of the rules – and what municipality has the money for dog patrol these days?  Humans will do whatever they can get away with and…dogs will be dogs.
Back to the remainder of our hike: 

the Greensboro trailhead signs are very detailed and helpful. 

I told you it was cold – an icy creek crossing


This homesite would have had a grand lake view


Trash or antique?


The eastern terminus of the Townsend Trail brought us to Southshore Road and the Jim Batten Soccer Complex.  From here the road walking carried us past the Bryan Park golf course, over the bridge across U.S. Highway 29 and on a zigzag route of side streets to Hicone Road.  Walking on pavement and/or the sloped grassy edge seems simple, but it is different than a woodsy trail and the leg muscles are used differently.  For a couple of days afterwards my calves ached.  Danny worked out plans with other folks to keep on walking the roads, a good choice for her, but I’m looking forward to two wheels.

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. ~Corey Ford 
A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.  ~O.A. Battista


1 comment:

Danny Bernstein said...

Where do you get all these sayings? Post after post, you come up with pithy comments. Danny