It was a day for the dogs. We decided to bring Tybee and Tyki hiking somewhere they don't usually go, somewhere that's more than 20 minutes away (albeit we can get to some good hiking within 20 minutes from home). But to change things up we went out to the trails at Montreat.
The trail ended up being a bit more steep and rough than we wanted for Tybee. At 11 years old she's only able to do shorter hikes because of the arthritis in her hips and right elbow, in addition to potentially having degenerative myelopathy. But she loves to get outside and go hiking.
Andrew and I just have to keep a good eye on Tybee during rocky, rooty and steep sections of the trail. Sometimes she needs a hand on her butt to stabilize or assist her and other times as you reach out to help her she nimbly jumps over a log and gives you a look that says, "Man, that was a easy." But going up a steep rock face like the one below calls for more than a hand on her butt.
Then there's Tyki, who in this case ran up and down the rock face a couple of times before I even started up it.
Despite it being a cloudy morning, the view at the top of the first climb was pretty sweet. From the rock outcropping you could see the town of Black Mountain below.
Our hike start on Big Piney Ridge Trail (which is a steep uphill), T'ing into West Ridge Trail, onto Little Knob Trail (steep downhill), a short road walk, and Little Piney Trail (really well constructed trail) back to the car after merging back with Big Piney Ridge Trail for a short bit at the very end.
You can download the map for Montreat trails here or pick one up at the book store at Montreat Conference Center. Either way, it'll be the same map - a simple 8.5 x 11 office paper map.
On Little Knob Trail the dogs found one of their favorite things: icicles! They love to eat as much of it as possible, even if it means getting brain freeze!
Andrew demonstrating how you eat icicles as a dog.
So with their bellies full of ice and miles under their belts, the dogs, and us, had a pretty good hike.