The day began just as I had hoped – a July 4th hike to water, some swimming and a picnic.  It deteriorated rapidly when perfect dog Ella disappeared into thin air just as we were getting our lunch out.  Searching and calling led to nothing.  This went on for what seemed like eons, and I was hungry and not appreciative of the situation.  After at least 30 minutes, Anne got a call from a kayaker who found Ella about a mile down river.  Holy moley.  What happened!  After the rescue mission, which involved hiking through lots of blackberry brambles, we headed back to our spot along the river.  Ella wasn’t talking.

The day was lovely.  Emily threw sticks for me.  Scores of kayakers and rafters floated by, and I showed off my improving swimming skills.  We lollygagged, ate, ( I snuck some watermelon) and had a good old time.  Ella slept.

The hike out of the American River canyon was a scorcher.  Faster than quickly I thought I was going to die.  The trail felt ridiculously fiery.  I danced like nobody was watching on the blazing, hot path and tried to bushwhack through prickly star thistle to stay off the route.  My parched tongue dragged on the ground, and I started to feel faint.  I sat in the shade of every tree I found.  What was Anne thinking!  Could my pads actually melt off?  Because this seemed like a real possibility.  This might be the worst decision she’s made since I’ve known her.  No, on second thought, not true.  I can think of one worse and  . . .  (later), but this is a close second.  She tore a bandana into four pieces and with first aid tape made booties for Ella.  Ella liked that idea.  What about me!   I’m much more delicate than her.

Well, you aren’t going to believe this, but I got an even better deal.  I ended up getting a ride. Yep, I got a ride right out of the canyon.  Hope about them apples.  Mighty Emily scooped me up and carried me out.  She hugged me to her, and my sizzling stupor fell away.  I was immediately deliriously happy.  Emily is my hero.  She may be petite but don’t let that fool you.  If the going is tough, you want Emily along, because she saved the day and me!  I’m voting for the Sierra for the next hike and Emily for Fourth of July Hero of the Year.


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