Balanced. With Columbus? Maybe not.

Posted by & filed under the hiking diaries.

Hiking. And trying to train Columbus at the same time. Regrettable decision.

Last weekend before babysitting Landon, I squeezed in a morning hike. We’ve been bringing Columbus for training and he’s so good in class. I decided I’d switch to his slip collar instead of the halti, and work with him walking nicely on that.

Not doing that again.

Okay, here’s the hike we did:

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Balance Rock Trail to Balance Rock Road and last minute I decided to hike Donbrowo Trail because it’s kind-of an orphan trail. There are a few of those that just connect one spot/trail on the mountain to another. This connects the administration building/parking to the ski lodge (although you have to walk down a ski trail to get all the way to the lodge.)

Here’s the parking lot at the entrance to the trail. You’ll notice on the map that I didn’t highlight the trail all the way out to Mountain Road. That’s because it’s just walking across a parking lot. That really wasn’t part of my goals of hiking all the trails. Doesn’t count.

That’s my Forrester….

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Balance Rock Trail is part of the midstate trail.

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And thus has yellow and blue markers.

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There is a trail behind this sign. The sign points you to NOT take it. I learned further along that it connects to Balance Rock Road. But if you take it, you miss the balanced rock!

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Which you can see in the distance.

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Up close. Columbus may be a lot of work (gosh, I feel that’s an understatement), but he sure is handsome. And those rocks are HUGE.

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Here’s where we join up with Balance Rock Road. And we headed left. Across the way is Old Indian Trail. I’ll be taking that again another day to finish up the other part of Balance Rock Road.

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This is the trail heads back down to that sign that pointed us not to take it.

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Balance Rock Road crosses a bunch of ski trails. I didn’t take pictures of all of them.

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But here’s me on one, looking onto another.

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And a panoramic view looking both down and up the trail.

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I never get to see this because I don’t downhill ski. (Well, I have, but I don’t think I ever have at Wachusett.) This is Bullock Lodge. I think they serve hot coffee and cider and donuts here, maybe? Not really sure. But we went up to explore.

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This is the front, with some nice seats, which I took advantage of (wasn’t really tired, but wanted to drink in the spot for a moment).

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This made me smile. I spotted it on the side door.

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These are on the lawn in front of the lodge. Some ski-themed things. Love that snowboard bench. People are so creative!

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There was a pond near there. Columbus took a dunk.

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Such a beautiful time of year!

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We surprised a bunch of turkeys laying on the side of a trail. At the point of this picture they all had started getting up.

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Here’s where I checked the time (the kids were heading up with Landon and I was meeting them in Worcester for lunch). I decided I probably would be rushed if I hiked this trail but then remembered Tracey usually runs late so took the chance that she would again this time. She didn’t let me down and I wound up with plenty of time to spare.

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This is the end of Balance Rock Road (to to left of where I was standing when I took the above picture). It goes out to Mountain Road but there are “no parking” signs there. So you really can’t start at that end.

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Donbrowo Trail hugs Mountain Road at the beginning.

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Here are the remnants of an old house! Behind it is a ski trail.

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The trail ends at the parking lot where they have the check-in station for driving up the road.

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There picnic tables there. Never noticed them before in all these years of driving Mountain Road.

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Here’s the sign to head back. We retraced our steps.

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At this point of the hike I was getting very fed up with Columbus’ pulling. So I decided make him heel. Only he kept edging forward. So I started swinging my arm in front of him. That wasn’t working so well, so I started swinging the leash. That wasn’t working so well, either. So I picked up a dead branch and swung it in the space he needed to be behind for his heel.

The darn dog kept edging up anyway. He eventually got it for the most part, but boy is he either dense or stubborn.

Back at the end of Donbrowo, we got to walk down the ski trail to get back to the parking lot.

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Then we headed home, I showered, and headed out to meet the kids and Landon and begin our babysitting fun!

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