Tag Archives: walking

Klondike’s Christmas Trip

A thousand miles, nine days, six dog parks, three beaches, one wonderful mother/mother-in-law/grandma and one first visit (for Klon)  to where I grew up. Lots of wagging, sniffing, trotting, napping and (especially right after the trip) deeply exhausted Klon sleep.


Driving from our house in Berkeley to my mom’s in La Jolla is eight to ten hours, pretty much the entire length of California. Seemed like a bit much for us and way too much for Klon, who had never been in a car for more than 90 minutes (at least since he joined our household).

So we decided to spend a night in Santa Barbara, a beautiful, charming placed located a little more than halfway to San Diego in distance, a little less (depending on LA traffic) than halfway in time.

We took a ton of pictures. Here are some of our favorites.


Checking in at The Goodland in Santa Barbara. The Good Land is part of the Kimpton hotel chain, and like all Kimpton hotels allow dogs of all sizes to stay for no additional cost. Klondike immediately decided it was a good place when offered treats at the check-in counter. We came to agree with Klon for people reasons – a great staff, wonderful restaurant and bar, reasonable cost. All in all the perfect California casual luxury experience.



Board in The Good Land lobby showing general weather and surf conditions, and of course the names of all the dogs staying that evening. We staid at two Kimptons during the trip, and they were both great for person and dog.



After checking in we walked with Klondike, who wasted no time in discovering Lemos Feed and Pet Supply. As you can see, Klondike somehow managed to overcome his shyness and go behind the counter to request a treat.



Klondike and me looking very pleased.


Would love to see what Klondike sniffs. I think there is a whole world of smells out there that people just can’t imagine.


Klondike at the Del Mar dog beach. Due to high waves the larger dog beach was closed. However, this was mostly a people issue and Klondike was perfectly happy to visit the adjacent, slightly smaller dog beach.


On the road grooming stop. Mieko took off enough fur to make a medium sized sweater, which is pretty typical for a Klondike grooming session.


Klondike and I enjoy some synchronous yawning.


Klondike relaxing during his first visit to my mom’s home. My mom has a cat, Parker, who was kept locked up in the large playroom upstairs during our visits. This was a win for us, as we didn’t need to worry about unhappy encounters, and for Klondike who at least twice, over the course of maybe five visits, managed to raid the cat’s food dish. Snap snap yum yum.


Klonbeast makes himself at home, chillaxing in the kitchen.


The Audrey, Klondike’s grandma, bought him three really nice and meaty lamb femurs. Here he is enjoying one of them.


Klondike, Mieko and I enjoyed walks on and around La Jolla Cove several times during the trip.


Still at La Jolla Cove, Klondike checks out the pelicans and sea lions.


This picture was shot inside Warwicks, a very beautiful and well curated  book and stationery store. Warwicks has been a great, and very dog friendly, place to walk around from as far back as I can remember (I was probably five or six when I made my first visit there), and still is. http://www.warwicks.com/


Ears flapping, nose sniffing, Klondike is on his game.


At the Douglas Family Preserve, a beautiful 70 acre park in Santa Barbara over Arroyo Beach (with a trail going down). Off leash dog walking is allowed in parts of the park.


The beast is exhausted from his dog parking and deeply asleep in the back of the car.


At the mission church in San Luis Obispo, our last stop on the way back before home.

All in all a fantastic trip. Mieko and I had fun and seems like Klondike had a blast, though it wiped him out – he pretty much crashed for two full days after we returned home. But he is entirely back now, and if anything more alert and more insistent  that his pack stay together than ever.


Fall colors = more pizza – Klondike’s food blog

IMG_7474Mr. Klondike has generously taken time out of his busy schedule to personally write the following entry:

I have eaten two full slices of pizza last week, just because I was sniffing. People can’t see the pizza slices on the sidewalk because the scattered leaves work as camouflage.

I go on a walk with my person,  sniff, find the pizza piece, start eating. My people only realize what’s going on after the entire piece has gone into my mouth. I swallow. Score!

I am closer to the ground, but that’s not really why. It’s incredible that people seem to rely on their sight when scanning for food on the sidewalk. That’s dumb. They should use their noses.

Rating: ★★★★★

Comment: More!




Walk Report: Robert’s Regional Recreation Area



Klondike and I love this place. Most recommended to all dogs and their people, too.

It’s our second favorite place to walk in the Bay Area, after Point Isabel (report coming soon).

Robert’s Regional Recreation Area Official Page and Google Map & Directions

Why Roberts is a Great Place to Walk

  • Beautiful, large and well maintained, Robert’s feels like it’s well outside the city, even though it’s not
  • Dogs are allowed off leash twenty feet and further from any trailhead.
  • Convenient to most of the Bay Area – 30 to 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco (depending on traffic), 20 minutes from downtown Berkeley, 15 minutes from Oakland
  •  There are enough other people and dogs around to feel safe and provide some four footed socializing, but never (outside the gorgeous picnic and pool areas) does it feel crowded.
  • Large and crisscrossed with trails so you can pretty much pick a route that suites the length and challenge you want.  Walks with big hills, small hills, almost no hills – pick what you want. Ditto on the length of the walk. Just make sure you look at a map (they give them out) or ask a friendly ranger for advice
  • Trails have a great mixture of shade and sun
  • Lots of safe, convenient parking
  • Surprisingly good cell phone reception in most places

Of Course, It’s Not Perfect

  • $4 to park and a $2 dog fee. However, as far as I can tell they never actually ask for the dog fee
  • Mountain bikes are allowed on most, maybe all, trails. It isn’t the kind of place where people whip around fast, but you do need to be aware
  • Park service maps are a bit hard to read. But then again, the rangers are great and most of the trails seem to be on Google maps

Score: 90% (would be 95% without the bicycles)


Here’s a recommended walk

This route is about two hours with lots of sniffing. You could probably do it in as little as 90 minutes with brisk walking. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to carry water for either you or your dog, but if you don’t mind the weight it wouldn’t hurt.

Click For Large, Zoomable Map
  • Start at the lower parking lot fire gate. To park near there, just go in the entrance, pay your parking fee and drive to the far end of the upper parking a lot. A very short road connects it to the lower parking lot.

Here’s a bad picture of the firegate taken from the side (not the front, where you’d go through). And no, the actual firegate doesn’t have an arrow and the words “Enter Here” suspended in midair. Just in case anyone was wondering.

Fire Gate - 1

  • Hit Graham trail (there is a sign) and turn right

(Sorry, no pic. But it is clear, you won’t have any problems)

  • Hit Dunn Trail and go to the left

Dunn - 1

  • Follow Dun trail and you will come to a fork with Montiero Trail on the right. Ignore it and stay to the left (which is pretty much straight) to stay on Dunn trail.

Dunn Mun - 1

  • Take a hard left to get on Baccharis Trail
Bacc - 1
  • Baccharis hits West Ridge Trail. Go LEFT on West Ridge Trail

West Ridge - 1

  • Stay on West Ridge Trail. This means staying to the left after passing Madrone trail

West R Madrone - 1

Make new friends. Remember, everyone loves you!

New Friends - 1

  • Keep following West Ridge. You will go past a picnic area.

Remember it’s not polite to take food from the table, especially belonging to people you don’t know. I think Klondike briefly wondered about this, but good manners prevailed.

Pic 1 - 1

Pic 2 - 1

  • Take a left on Robert’s Ridge

Pic 2 - 1 (1)

  • Roberts will take you back to the parking lot. You’ll know you are almost there when the sign tells you to leash up your dog

Pic 2 - 1 (2)

That little path takes to the upper parking lot, which connects to the lower parking and bam! Your walk is done!

Pic 2 - 2

Bonus shot of Klondike trotting on the trail


Zoo animals – Klondike’s food blog


Mr. Klondike has generously taken time out of his busy schedule to personally write the following entry:

Excellent dietary supplements are to be found on the sidewalk and in the bushes while walking the neighborhood. My people do not want me to forage, and they often try to open my mouth and take out the food. Which is in itself a great game, but I’d like to be able to swallow. I beat them about half the time.

I was exploring the Western territories (area west of house) this morning with Catering (aka Mieko), and found these. I understand they are called animal crackers. I smelled them, quickly turned around and got one animal before Catering even understood what I was up to.

Excellent flavors! Great mouthfeel! I am not even sure which creature I got to sample, it was maybe a camel. Or perhaps a bear. In either case, it was the first time I ate an exotic animal whole. I got pulled away from the the pile a moment later. Too very bad Catering has such conservative views on my diet.

★★★★★ More!

Near the end of this same walk I found an acorn on the ground. I picked it up, even cracked the hard slippery shell, but then it fell out of my mouth and Catering stopped me. Too very bad again.

☆☆☆☆☆ No stars. Didn’t get to taste it.







Only Dogs Understand Why Motorcyclists Ride

Berkeley Klon

Klondike typically rides in the car with back feet on the rear seat and front feet on the center console. But today he decided to mainline Berkeley’s spring air right into his nostrils. As driver and guardian I felt a bit nervous about having his head out the window, but as a motorcyclist I kind of get the thrill.