The dog bite I showed you on 10/28 was a pretty defining part of my weekend in the Methow, but really it was only a small part. Without further ado, the rest of the story…
On Friday evening, Nick and I high-tailed it out of town and headed over Washington Pass for two days of fun with John, Eileen, Sean and Susan. Despite the accumulating snow, we made it to Winthrop in time for a beer and mushroom burger at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery. Stephanie greeted us warmly with a “welcome back guys” and we raised a pint in honor of great beer and the wonderful weekend ahead.
The other four rolled into our condo around 10 p.m., having stopped in Arlington for dinner on the way. We chatted until our eyes wouldn’t stay open and then drifted off to sleep, dreaming of happy trails.
We woke in the morning to clouds, but no precip – a great sign! After a leisurely breakfast, we headed out to Pipestone Canyon. There was some confusion about exactly which route we were going to ride. Two trailheads later, we were off…on the WRONG trail! Oops!
In our eagerness to get going, we inadvertently rode up Fuzzy Canyon, not Pipestone Canyon. No big deal really. We rode back to our cars and found the proper trail up Pipestone Canyon to Cambpell Lake. About 2/3 of the way there, sleet started falling, which turned to snow the higher we got. We weren’t really prepared to bike in these conditions, but we were going up hill, our exertions keeping us warm. After a short sandwich break at the lake, though, we were on the way to hypothermic and still had to ride 4 miles downhill back to the cars.
Nick and I were hammering down the road as fast as we could to try to warm up. Just as we got to the trailhead, the two women we’d passed earlier and their dog came into view. The dog was pretty big – a heeler mix of some sort, probably 45-50 pounds. We slowed down and the dog loped past Nick, then me. Seemingly out of the blue, it whipped around and started chasing me. Before I knew it, the thing chomped my thigh and raced off to see if Nick would be a tastier treat. In an inspired moment of brilliance (or fear) Nick took his foot out of the pedal and kicked the dog square in the face. After the owner finally got the beast under control, I pulled my pants down to check my leg. Yup, he got me.
The owner was very apologetic, but I was so hopping mad that I had to tell her to please go away for fear I’d punch her or say something I’d regret. She wandered up the road and I doubled over, wailing. I don’t think the tears were about the bite. It was painful, but not that painful. I cried because my faith in dogs – which had slowly been coming back after being corned by a couple – was destroyed. I cried because I couldn’t imagine someone with a herding dog being so stupid. I cried because my body had been violated.
With tears streaming down my face, I pedaled in anger all the way back to the car and hightailed it the shower to wash out the wounds. The other four pulled in a short while later and plied me with scotch. There’s pretty much nothing that the right amount of scotch can’t fix. We took a quick trip to the Twisp Brewery, made a heaping pile of pad thai, broccoli and fixins for dinner, then headed to bed to ready ourselves for another day of riding.
On Sunday, Eileen and John cooked up a huge batch of bread pudding for breakfast. This was good, since our poorly-researched ride on Virginia Ridge involved getting lost for a good long while on very steep trails that seemed to go up for hours. At more or less the top, we were greeted by a wild mountain rooster. He had some pretty sharp looking spurs, so I kept my bike between him and me. (Didn’t want to add rooster talon injuries to the dog bite.)
The best thing about getting back to the cars around 2 p.m. is that there’s plenty of time for another meal at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery. After that we still had time for a leisurely drive home with stops for picture taking along the way. Except for the dog bite, I’d say this was a pretty fantastic weekend.