A Christmas Eve Walk

Most of the time when I walk the dogs, I walk them by myself.  Because they are both largish dogs, when I’m walking by myself I tend to stick to places I’m comfortable, which is mainly the park at the top of my street.

Christmas Eve I only had to work a half a day, and since I knew that our Christmas Day walk was going to be short, I convinced Hubby to join us and together we took the dogs to our local rail trail.

Our local rail trail is an old rail road track that has been converted into a walking path.  The rails have been pulled up, leaving a very lovely, rustic, evenly graded trail which is perfect for walking, riding a bike or snow shoeing or cross country skiing when weather permits.

Christmas Eve 4

You can literally walk from one town into another.

At different points, the trail intersects with other trails and provides miles and miles of trails.

We could access the rail trail through our park, but I had the bright idea of driving down the street to the trail access located right next to our one lane tunnel.

The trail (of course) goes OVER the tunnel, but I didn’t think of that.  Or of the climb it would take to get there.  Hubby took Sampson and I had Delilah and she was ready and willing to go.  She actually hopped up some of the stairs.

Christmas Eve1 They only look like they go to heaven, they really just go to the top of the tunnel.

So while Delilah was leading the charge, I was being dragged climbing up behind her silently beseeching my lungs, expand, collapse, expand collapse because speaking was out of the question.  As I reached the top of the stairs I distinctly heard my thighs scream at my knees, “STOP! RIGHT! NOW!”

My knees were more than willing to oblige, thankfully we were at the top, because I don’t think I could have climbed any further.

I love taking the dogs new places, it really engages their senses, which helps tire them out.

Christmas Eve 2

Right from the get, Delilah had me anxious.  She kept going over to the edge of the trail and trying to climb down. I admit some areas were very tempting and calling to be explored, but the slope was entirely too steep.


You can’t tell from the photo, but the drop is quite a ways down.

I expected there wouldn’t be a lot of folks out and about on Christmas Eve but we encountered quite a few.   Eventually I noted a walker with a dog in the distance, so we turned around and headed back.  I didn’t want to get caught in an area where I had no room to remove Delilah if the need arose.

Christmas Eve 3 Delilah took the opportunity to look down at all the cars waiting their turns to pass through the one lane tunnel.

One of the things I love about the place we are living is the variety of trails that are available to us.  Hubby and I actually took the dogs to two other places over the Christmas break which I will share another time.

Did you do anything special for your dogs over the Christmas break?  Do you have converted rail trails in your area?  What do you think of the idea?

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  1. says

    I think the converted rail trails are a GREAT idea! Unfortunately, anything that costs money is considered “pork” in Greenville County, South Carolina…sidewalks, street lights, hiking trails, you name it. I’m surprised we have traffic lights and paved highways!

    As for our Christmas? Sam is still on vacation, so we’ll see what we come up with…just the same old routine so far. I know — B O R I N G. But there’s not that many places around here. G’ville is not a very dog-friendly place.

  2. says

    What a great place to walk with dogs but can see the temptation for the dogs to go off piste. We always take ours for a long walk on the beach on Christmas day – not too many people about and they can run like the wind.

  3. says

    What a lovely walk. Bet the dogs absolutely loved it. This year we spent the day with my partner’s family who have two weimerarners- Del absolutely loved the company!

    We don’t have any converted rail trails, wish we did!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and an even better 2014 x

  4. says

    I admire you for having common sense. We look at a steep hill that should not be climbed on and Mom says let’s give it a try and we all end up in a pickle. She is sometimes more adventurous in her thoughts than us dogs but we go along with her. There is a reason why most humans won’t walk with her…us dogs are stuck walking with her but it is usually fun and sometimes we have to help her out. Your walk looks pretty, but so much like fall, not Christmas. You need some snow!

  5. says

    That looks like a great place to walk/hike with the dogs. I have to walk Maya and Pierson one-at-a-time or they will get extremely riled up when they see another dog. So it is easier to stick close to home. We don’t have any nature trails within walking distance, so I just walk them in the neighborhood. I will occasionally drive one of them to a nearby nature trail. We have quite a few nice ones here in Lawrence.

  6. says

    We LOVE our rail trails! Yours look really nice too. Ours are mostly flat though….I wouldn’t mind more of an elevation gain here and there. They do go high over some rivers and roads, but the trail itself is flat. We can walk right to ours from our house too, which is great, and sometimes I drive to other towns for scenery changes. The only downfall is that once we have a lot of snow we don’t use them. The snowmobilers use them then and I don’t trust that they aren’t out there going too fast for our safety.

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