Tag Archives: Great Outdoors

Island Lake State Park: Yellow Trail

islandlake-november2013-6449It has been a few months since we packed up the dogs and gear and made ourselves at home within Mother Nature’s splendor.  After a particularly rough week, it was decided that a relaxing day trip into the wilds of the state park was just what the doctor had in mind for the cruddy week blues.  It didn’t take long to single out Island Lake’s trails as our destination.  It was, after all, new and relatively close location for us.

Island Lake State park offered two natural turf (dirt) trails for hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy.  My husband and I opted for the slightly shorter Yellow Trail because it was later in the day and we didn’t want to be on an unfamiliar trail in unfamiliar territory well into the night.  I wasn’t willing to be that brave this go around.

Once we arrived at the trail head, we reviewed the trail map and marked any particular issues – which were pleasantly few in number for such a long trail!  Next, we loaded our pack and the packs the dogs would carry (which was primarily our water, portable bowls and other dog needs for them and first aid kit, snacks, camera and other gear in ours).  Onceislandlake-november2013-6369 everything was packed up, we checked the packs for comfort and security on dog and human alike before we hit the trail.

I was happy to find it was a well-marked and even had distance markers every half mile or so.  After we separated from the Blue Trail, we were granted relative peace and quiet from the plethora of bikers and finally had a moment to give the dogs their head on the trails, which they had been itching to do since we got there.

Ryker and Mika had been testing their leads until we were finally clear of the bikers because they’re used to hitting the trails and getting some much needed and desired freedom to romp.  Thankfully, we’ve worked on trail etiquette with them for quite some time and the experience has served well.  They stayed within visual range and checked back in often.  Every so often, we would have to move ourselves off the trail to accommodate a biker or two but for the most part, they were able to enjoy their freedom.

The whole 4.91 mile trek went off with only one hitch – a very dog reactive black German Shepherd who caused a bit of a scene after we had moved off the trail with Mika’s alert that we had company.  Other than a nasty threat displace and an issuance to the owner of the dog to get his dog under control, we were well on our way once


more with both dogs having been phenomenal about handling the nasty behavior.

We arrived back at the trail head after the sun had set with two very tired and happy dogs and two utterly relaxed and rejuvenated people.  It really was perfect medicine for the cruddy week blues and I, for one, cannot wait to repeat that awesome time on another set of trails with my dogs and other half at my side in the near future!

Snowpocalypse 2012

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the worst snow storm in the planet and barely created a fuss for most of Michigan but you’d think that the way the news channels were panicking that it was going to be some sort of major to do – you know, like it was the end of the world or something.  Other than a few short hours where five sissy bulls absolutely refused to set foot outside because they might get flurries up their derriere it amounted to nothing more than eight inches of cold, non-snowman making snow pile up that gave the dogs an opportunity to romp like madmen (and women!) around their Nana and Papa’s yard (since that’s where we were for the first part of this week).

Imagine that, romping around 2.5 acres like little snow piranhas while beating one another up with frozen Kong Wubbas and Jolly Balls.  It was all rather amusing but I seriously froze my fingers off (because I couldn’t find my gloves and said “oh, well!” like an idiot!) watching them be little nimrods and merrily photographed the whole thing.  This, of course, amounted to waaaaaaay to many photographs to sort through and process but it was worth it.

Now that they’re all edited and ready to go, I’ll post them here for your enjoyment.  Did you survive the Snowpocalypse of 2012 or are you an abominable snow zombie like I felt after a few hours in the sub zero temperatures? (You can view the whole album here.)

Luna gets a good roll in the snow.


Lyric likes to sass me when she doesn’t get the toy NOW.


Ryker and Lyric nag at their Poppa to THROW THE BALL!


Mika mid-shake with her Wubba.


The chase is on!