Usually, we just take off from the barn. There's a jillion trails around here where we live, the Siskiyou National Forest is all around us.
When I saw Chris and Stuart starting to load the horses into the horse trailer I suspected this might be one of those long rides. Then they put a whole bunch of stuff into the back of the pickup truck and we took off. They didn't put me in the back of the truck. I get to ride up front with the people, because Chris once saw a pickup with a dog in the back run into a tree and they had to get a ladder to get him down and they didn't want that to happen to me.
I like the horses, especially Chris' horse Tanya. Tanya and I play tag together out in the pasture. I'll chase Tanya, then Tanya'll chase me, then I'll chase Tanya. It's not as much fun to play tag with Stuart's horse Joe. When I play tag with Joe, Joe chases me, then Joe chases me, then Joe chases me. You've got to watch out too, because if a horse ever tags ya, you're a dogburger.
We drove on a dirt road along the Illinois River, past Eight Dollar Mountain, across Six Mile Creek, past Store Gulch, through Briggs Creek, and into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
When we stopped, there were our friends Sam, Rosie, Tex, Louise and their horses and a pack mule. Uh-oh, this "walk" was starting to look like a hike and a half. I was the only dog though, and that made me feel pretty special.
We loaded up and took off and the sun was warm and the forest was beautiful, the people were in fine spirits, and the horses were being good. Everything was fine until we got to Klondike Creek and the pack mule decided to go for a swim. He rolled over in the water and all the stuff fell off and sank or floated away.
The mule didn't care and I barked at him and he tried to kick me, but I'm too quick for a mule, especially one that's under water.
It took four people to get that stubborn mule up on the bank and they started repacking him and I figured it's a good time for a quick nap in the shade, and then I saw this cat. A black cat, just like my cat at home. My cat's name is Monkey cause he's so playful. I ran up to play with this cat and he turned around and I saw his white stripe and then he exploded!!
I couldn't see, my eyes were watering and my lungs were burning and I smelled the most awful smell I've ever smelled. I ran over to my people for help and Sam yelled, "P.C.'s been skunked!" Everyone started screaming and running away and the mule jumped back in the creek.
We only got to Yukon Creek that night. They made me walk behind the mule, way in the back.
They made camp in the woods, near the creek, but nobody would let me come near the campfire. They put me, my food bowl and my blanket downwind on the edge of the clearing. After dinner they started talking about how to de-skunk me. Rosie said she's part Indian and the Indians used to rub bear grease on someone who'd been skunked. Tex said to use lemon juice. Sam said to rub me with gasoline. Stuart said he'd been skunked as a kid and his mother buried his clothes overnight and they smelled okay the next day. Chris said tomato juice always works and Louise swore by baking soda.
Well, we didn't have any lemon juice, tomato juice or any gasoline, baking soda, or bear grease; and nobody wanted to bury me overnight. So they just left me alone that long, cold, miserable night.
The next day on the drive home, they wouldn't let me ride in front of the truck with them. They put me and my blanket in this little compartment in front of the horse trailer. It bumped around a lot and I couldn't see anything.
When we got home Stuart threw me in the bathtub and Chris poured four big cans of tomato juice all over me and rubbed it in with a brush. Boy, it was cold. Then they shampooed me in warm water and dried me off. I guess it worked because they let me sleep in the house that night.
This all may sound like I had a terrible time, but I didn't. I can't wait until the next time someone says, "P.C., wanna go for a ride?"
Keep it waggin'