Heather doesn’t like Carkeek Park that much, because its steep trails make her knee and butt sore the next day. I find it a nice change of pace from my home park. True, it’s hilly, and all the fields nearest its parking lots are usually too squishy to play ball, but Carkeek has several other good spots for fetch. At various times, I’ve favored the apple orchard, the grassy “aerodrome” area near the railroad tracks (we haven’t seen any drones there so far, thank goodness) and the straight gravel path next to the creek that leads to the salmon fry holding tank. We’re usually the only ones who venture down that trail, so sometimes I can sneak over to the creek side to see what kinds of foul things I can sniff out and devour before Mike comes tearing after me.
My new favorite spot at Carkeek I call the Rock. Heather and I stumbled upon it, literally, one day when she was unsure which trail she was supposed to take. The Rock is near a junction, actually not that far from the playground, although it took us a while to find it when we took Charlie there a few weeks ago. It’s close enough to civilization that we sometimes have competition for the spot. We’ve had to wait out joggers, hikers and teenagers (the worst; they lingered) to get the Rock to ourselves. Since my ball caroms off the Rock at many angles, we must secure a fairly large area to fully utilize and enjoy the Rock. Mostly smooth and not at all symmetrical, the Rock alone dictates where the ball may go. I welcomed the challenge.
As you can see, I’m getting pretty good at finding the ball even when it’s hidden from view. I follow its flight and then pick up its scent from the point where it disappeared. Once I see it, I pounce, and stay on it until I can grip it in my mouth and bring it back; unless the scent of something better and fresher comes along. A purple and white ball is nothing compared to rotting mouse.