September 03, 2006

The Rock Gardens

After a few walks, more successful than the one to the Canada Games Centre, I decided to go for a walk with Nanuq and "Chicken" and try and find the Rock Gardens. I had heard of the Rock Gardens, a popular climbing spot, but had never been there.

Taking the road not travelled, we cut through the trees in the general direction of where I thought the Rock Gardens would be. It wasn't long before we found them. The site was bigger and the climbs were even better than I had imagined!

I stood on one side of the steep-walled valley, overlooking the climbs on the other side. I wanted to go over and check them out, so I walked along the valley edge, picking up a trail and following it to where a rustic wooden ramp climbed a small rock wall.

I walked up the ramp. Nanuq ran the short distance around the rock wall. But Chicken just couldn't seem to figure it out. She stepped onto the ramp, but must have decided that using the ramp wasn't something she wanted to do and walking the fifteen feet to the end of the small rock wall must have seemed like too much effort, so she went in the opposite direction to investigate a squirrel nest instead.

I called and called and eventually, by walking around to the end of the rock wall, she put two and two together and walked up that way.

Now we were on the other side of the valley. I looked around and found a nice little trail down into the valley. I went down, and Nanuq followed. But Chicken wouldn't. It must have seemed too steep. Nanuq ran up and down and up and down, showing her how it was done, but she just wouldn't do it and went to investigate something-or-other where I couldn't see her.

Climbing back up, I called her and called her and eventually, she followed me down another trail to the base of the climbs.

I stared up the climbs and, in my imagination, picked out the routes I would like to attempt if only I had my gear with me and a climbing rope and climbing partner.

It was time to leave and I decided that the most direct way back would be to cross the flattened metal fence near the end of the valley. Nanuq jumped over and I jumped over, but even with a lot of encouragement and coaxing, Chicken decided that it wasn't something she wanted to do and trotted back up the trails to investigate whatever it was she was pretending to investigate.

I called her and called her, but she just wouldn't come. Eventually, Nanuq and I hopped back over the fence and sat down at the base of the climbs, hoping she would come close enough that I could leash her.

After five minutes of calling her name, Chicken finally joined us and, much to my surprise, allowed me to put the leash on. I led her across the fence. I think she was rather surprised at how easy it was to walk across the flattened metal fence, and possibly a little embarassed at her reluctance to do it before.

The rest of the walk home was fine, except that she ignored me every chance she got. I am beginning to wonder if she is, in fact, deaf or very hard of hearing.

The next time I go to the Rock Gardens, it will be to climb. Nanuq can come along, but Chicken will stay at home.

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