I know my plan was to hold off the trail until my foot was 101% better. I really had every intention of doing so. There was no trail in my training plan for yonks. But today was so beautiful and my trail shoes were just so embarrassingly clean.
Millie and I ran the Montana Heritage Trail in the Waitaks and I remembered why I don't do trail with her. She is the ultimate line hog. If there's a best way to go down the trail, she's on it. She also has an absolute confidence that she knows the way. Normally that's not a problem because I can see the right way and just take it. Unfortunately there was a point where the trail split, one way was narrow and looked like a created trail and the other was wide and looked well used. Now you'd have thought the sign pointing possibly more towards the narrow trail then the wide trail would have been a pointer but it really pointed at both trails. I'm sure in good weather the wide trail is fun and obviously heaps of people have used it but after days of rain it was exposed red clay interspersed with quick sand areas of mud. Millie was inclined to charge down it and I was inclined to turn the air blue with expletives.
We survived the pseudo trail (by that I mean I didn't strangle Millie and leave her for the possums) but we had a severe falling out on a set of stairs where she charged as my foot hit the slimy wood edge of a step causing initial impact of butt with the edge of the stair and then with the lovely deep muddy puddle below it. There was much anti-dogma and insults. I could hear her thinking 'stupid human! If you insist on running on those two legs what do you expect?'. I now have a step imprint on my butt. On the plus side my shoes are now way not pristine!
So it appears that Millie will have to remain a Roadie unless she learns to a) not hog and b) listen when I shout 'Wait' or make the tsh sound. If she could be off-lead we'd be on a winner but alas that conflicts with the Waitaks laws.
There are heaps more shoe cleaning stations on the trail now. It used to just be at the entry exit point but now they're at lots of trail junctions and entry to any areas where the Kauri are healthy. I big pits with the brushes and high-powered sprays are great but the little squirty bottles and scrubbing brushes are hard work. And what about Millie's paws? She didn't like being squirted.
Just as an after thought....why aren't there wine stops on the Montana Heritage trail. And will it become the Brancott Heritage trail now Montana has changed it's name since it was confusing the poor little Americans. What next? We change the name of French fries?