Hiking – Minnewaska

21 Aug

My mom took the pups and me to her favorite hiking trails at Minnewaska in New Paltz on Saturday. It was truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in some time.

My mom was born and grew up in Vilnius, Lithuania, and one of her childhood pastimes was picking mushrooms for dinner. Lately she’s gotten into it again, and on our hike up to the view point, she got me hooked too! All in all we collected a little over two pounds of mushrooms that we cooked up with onions and potatoes for dinner. I would never feel comfortable doing this myself, but my mom has years of experience separating “good” ‘shrooms from “bad” ‘shrooms.

Dog trainer that I am, I started clicking the dogs for sniffing/interacting with the mushrooms in the hope they might help me track them down. Here’s Charlie as he found a particularly large and juicy mushroom. Click/Treat!


All in all we walked about 6 miles or so. Before we started on the hike up to the view point, we walked around this really beautiful lake. As we got near it, we noticed a female Mallard duck hanging out in the water, bobbing for whatever it is that ducks bob for. All of a sudden Charlie took off after her, flying into the lake. [Note: He’s been with me for 10 1/2 years and this is the first time he’s shown any interest in fowl, his preference is usually squirrel.] He swam after her for 150 feet out into the water. It was really cool to watch. We couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t fly away – she always kept just 6 inches in front of him and would slow down when he got too far behind. At a certain point he seemed to get a bit tired and turned for shore. As soon as he turned the Mallard gal raised up out of the water and flapped her wings at him. Then she followed him back, quacking and nipping at him!

My first thought (and fear) was that maybe she was protecting a nest, but ducks hatch in early spring, so that couldn’t have been it and she didn’t have any ducklings with her (they would be huge by now, anyway). Then I thought maybe she was just being territorial. Who knows?

Charlie then played fetch with some huge logs for fifteen minutes while everyone gushed over how cute he was. I’m a terrible dog mom and didn’t catch any of the duck action on video.

When we finally climbed to the view point we were all exhausted, but the views were so worth it.

Charlie lives on the edge!

Just taking it all in.

My favorite picture.

By the time we made it back to the car, we were all quite pooped. It was very hot and humid and we were all beat.

Charlie found that under the car was the coolest place to be while we loaded all our stuff back into the car.

Emma was just so happy we were going home!

And as if that wasn’t enough for one weekend, Charlie and I manned a booth at Astoria’s 2011 Shore Fest all day today. We fielded some really great training questions, Charlie did a few demonstrations, and I even demoed with a newly adopted puppy on how to clicker train a loose leash walk (pup got the game in under 30 seconds!).

All in all, we’re both exhausted and looking forward to a week with several clients away on vacation!







4 Responses to “Hiking – Minnewaska”

  1. Kari August 22, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Looks like everyone had good fun!


  2. Jan August 22, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    My grandmother had this amazing ability to find delicious mushrooms and I regret that I didn’t learn this from her while she was still alive.

  3. Amanda Jane Finnell August 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    This looks like a great day for everyone! I’m pretty envious, although it does make my hands sweat a little bit seeing the dogs that close to the edge. They like to live more dangerously than I do. LOL 🙂

  4. Tucker's Mom August 24, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I’m exhausted just reading about all that! But the good news is – if you ever get sick of NYC, you can move to France and make a fortune finding truffles! 🙂

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