Today after church (and after lunch), David and I took Penny for a hike down to Sandogardy Pond. David had asked if we could go out on the pond, as it has been frozen over for several weeks now. That’s something I had been wanting to do too, so I said “We’ll see.”

We saw several squirrel tracks, and some that I think may have been left by a pair of foxes. There is some sort of carcass on the access road to the pond, and we checked in on that again. Lots of animals have been feeding on it based on the tracks. I still don’t know what kind of animal the carcass belonged to – it’s about the size of a small-to-medium dog, with coarse grey hair. It could be a raccoon. It’s hard to tell because most of it is buried in the snow.

We got to the pond and there were two pickups parked there. Then we saw a guy out on the ice making a hole. He was about 150 yards from the shore. There were lots and lots of snowmobile and ATV tracks all over the place too. David pointed out the ice fisherman, and I suggested that there had to be another one too, because there were two trucks. We scanned around and found the other one. He was out there with a small boy – somewhere between 5 and 10 years old. They also had a dog. I saw the dog’s tracks before I saw the dog, and I’m pretty sure we saw the dog before it saw us. We decided to hike all the way across the pond, which I’d say is well over a quarter mile, but not quite a half. The pond itself is 60 acres, and only a little bit longer north-to-south than it is wide east-to-west.

About halfway across the other dog noticed us and came bounding over. For some reason, Penny didn’t seem to notice until the other dog was right up to us. She just doesn’t pay much attention to other dogs. They read one another’s name tags, and Penny seemed pretty unconcerned. I tried to take a pictures, but Penny wouldn’t get far enough from me to be in the shot. I guess she was a bit concerned. I gave the camera to David. By then the other dog decided it would be a good idea to try to scare us away. I guess. It started barking. David took this picture about then:

Get off my pond!

Get off my pond!

About then, the owner called the dog, and it left us. I suggested to David that perhaps if we made the breaststroke moves with our arms, we could claim that we had done the breaststroke across Sandogardy Pond, and thus claim the Swimming Honor. There are five levels of swimming in Pathfinders, and right now the only thing between me and the fourth one (which is called – Swimming) is to do the breaststroke for 100 yards. I’m good for about half that distance before I just get too tired! Maybe if Jonathan and I can keep up our exercise regimen and kick it up a notch, I’ll have the stamina to do that in April when the Pathfinders go to the pool.

I took these pictures of David while we were out there:

David on the Ice

David on the Ice


David and Penny on Sandogardy Pond

David and Penny on Sandogardy Pond

Hiking out on the ice wasn’t really all the easy either. The snow out there was about six inches deep, and that makes for some tough slogging. A couple of years ago I bought some rawhide so that I could use it to make a pair of snowshoes. I just haven’t made time to actually make the snow shoes. I want a pair that looks a little more “Indian” than the practical PVC ones you can buy for exorbitant sums at sporting goods stores everywhere (well, everywhere around here). It would have been good to have had them last year too, as we got something like 10 feet of snow (really!)

We eventually made it back to “dry land” and then hiked back t othe house. Penny helpfully found several tree branches for us to throw, including this one:

Fetch, Penny!

Fetch, Penny!

Penny would make a good firewood gathering dog.

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