When our Sunday opened up at the last minute this past weekend and the weather forecast was absolutely beautiful (60 degrees and sunny? yes please!), Mark and I knew we wanted to do something fun and unique for the day. We also knew it would be in our best interest to do something that would tire Johnnie out, so of course our first idea was to go for a cool hike – but where? We’ve been all over the DC and MD area and we wanted to try something new (sort of like when we ventured to Fort McHenry with Charlie).
We decided to make a big move and travel the hour and a half drive to an access point for the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. Mark and I have always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail together, but have never gotten around to it. What better opportunity than an uncharacteristically warm winter day with an eager four-legged hiking buddy to join you?
Mark had the great idea before we headed out of town to pick Johnnie up a doggy hiking backpack. We ran to Petco and picked up the perfect little pack for J! Because we were planning on hiking for a while, we had water and snacks packed for ourselves – now Johnnie could help us carry them! Though, as you’ll see as you read this post, we did a lot on this hike, and the bag is already breaking a little bit (it was only $15) – any hiking-with-your-dog gurus out there who have recommendations on where to get an awesome and durable doggy backpack?
Anyway – we were surprised to show up to a very snowy Shenandoah National Park. Expecting to step out of the car to chillier temps than when we left, we were happy to realize that despite all the snow it was still extremely mild there! Johnnie was absolutely thrilled with all the snow. It was so fun to watch her play in it.
During the hike we romped a little, Johnnie bounced around and found sticks, we practiced some manners, we met new friends and we completely exhausted ourselves. Having to wear the pack was definitely an added bonus in the working-Johnnie-out category! She still did her favorite bunny hops, but you could tell they took extra effort.
Two and a half hours later, we walked back to our car dripping wet and totally worn out. Johnnie was such a great walker during the hike – she stayed on a loose leash almost the entire time, which was very appreciated by the humans because of how slippery and wet it was! Meeting new people was the only time she was a little over eager, but we expected that from her little human-loving self. Check out our loose-leash extraordinaire in action:
It was such a fun adventure. Johnnie was asleep about three minutes after getting in the car to head home, and snoozed on and off the entire evening until bed time.
We’re so excited to head back to Shenandoah National Park again as it gets warmer (we bought a year-long pass!). We’d love to bring Johnnie back with us again, but we won’t mind if she can’t make it because she finds her forever home. Do you know anyone looking for the perfect addition to their hiking party?