Weekend Getaway

cabana standing on a dirt trail with grass along the sides, mountains as a backdrop in the distance, my daughter stands off to the sideI just had a weekend getaway at my favorite spot in the world, Seven Oaks Ranch. I had some projects to work on there, and since my older daughter's school is not too far away, she came along to keep me company. And lucky Cabana got to come, too. Seven Oaks is a magnificent, dog-friendly vacation rental home, but the part I love best is the 350 private acres it sits upon. Each time I go there, the more familiar it becomes, and the more I enjoy it.

large grassy meadow dotted with a grove of trees in the distance, cabana is a little blip in the photo, sniffing the grass far awayUsually on our hikes there, Cabana sticks to the path because there are so many tall, prickly weeds off-trail, which Miss Dainty doesn't care for. But this time, so close to the end of winter, the weeds haven't grown in just yet, making the grass much more tempting for Cabana to meander through.

cabana with her head to the ground, sniffing a deer carcass, the spine and ribs are intact and angled up off the groundCabana's recall is okay--I'd give her a "B" if I were grading her. She usually comes when I call her, but sometimes, it takes her a while to finish whatever she's sniffing first. For example, I knew she wasn't going to come until she had finished sniffing this deer carcass. I had seen the same carcass when we were hiking there back in January, so I wasn't too worried about Cabana finding any tantalizing morsels. I figured anything even slightly tasty had been pinched long ago.

But I had also armed myself with a new bag of treats for the trip--Ziwi Peaks' Premium Venison and Mussel Treats. I happily and generously rewarded Cabana for checking in with me every so often and for staying in my line of sight. With so much open space, I enjoy giving Cabana the freedom to explore and run, while balancing that with her safety and my peace of mind.

the far edge of a large pond, surrounded by trees, the sun is peeking through the tree limbs, creating a curtain of dappled light, cabana stands at the edge of the water sniffing with her head downThe trail dips low through a grove of trees where there's a big pond. When we've been here in the summer, I haven't let Cabana swim. Too murky and nasty, plus the threat of poison oak. But this time, recent rains meant the pond was pretty clean, and it's too early in the year for poison oak.

(Video of Cabana skirting around the edge of the pond.)

cabana looking over her shoulder at the camera as she stands at the edge of the pond, she's all wet and has a big open mouthed smileOf course, Cabana doesn't swim. As a water dog, she gets a C-. She only skirts the edges and gallops through the deeper parts. That's okay, whatever makes her happy--that sure looks like a smile to me.

cabana standing in the distance on an orange-ish dirt trail with brush growing on either side, in the distance are miles and miles of open country with tree-covered hills and blue sky aboveI wish my photos could convey the beauty and vastness of this place! Sure, places like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon and Maui might be more awe-inspiring, but they're also crawling with humanity--you have to share the beauty with hordes of people at every turn! At Seven Oaks, the only other human I've ever crossed paths with is my husband when he's out for his morning run. It is such a luxury to have this much nature all to myself.

ascending dirt path, with cabana standing close to the top, turning to wait for me to climb up after herOr almost to myself--sharing it with Cabana is even better than having it to myself. She waits for me at the top of each crest and then stays close for the downhill stretches, seeming to want to make sure I don't fall (which has happened on occasion). As a hiking companion, Cabana gets an "A++"!

Becky  – (April 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM)  

Sounds like a wonderful weekend ... what a great A+ hiking buddy!

Sammie and Avalon  – (April 3, 2012 at 8:08 AM)  

Beautiful, serene place - all to yourself and Cabana! How great to get away to all this magnificence! Cabana looks FULL of happiness; that's a million dollar smile!
Sammie and Avalon

Brittany  – (April 3, 2012 at 8:14 AM)  

So beautiful!! Someday I would love to go there. It looks like Cabana has an amazing time.

Kari in Vegas  – (April 3, 2012 at 7:33 PM)  

isnt it nice to get away from it all sometimes?

Stop on by for a visit

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