Mongo and Dad decided to take Spork on a hike to Dewey Lake. Actually, Dad does most of the deciding, but he still prefers to bounce these ideas off of Mongo, who is almost universally positive in his response. Over the years, Mongo has developed into an excellent “yes-man”.
Dewey Lake and nearby Tipsoo Lake are two excellent spots to take scenic photographs of Mount Rainier. Tipsoo Lake is right off HWY 410, and is on the agenda for many of the charter bus tours of the park. Dewey Lake is on the opposite side of the highway from Tipsoo Lake and down in the valley. It is a six (6) mile round-trip hike to the lake. It is about nine (9) miles round trip to hike from the highway and go all the way around the lake. Far less tourists ever make it to Dewey Lake.
It can be difficult to avoid the crowds at Tipsoo during summer. Early dawn is one of the few times when there is still a little solitude to be had on the lake shores. However Tipsoo is a very small lake which can be walked in just a few minutes.
Dewey Lake, however, stands as one of the monarchs of alpine lakes. This long, broad lake boasts scores of shoreline pockets that offer up the elusive solitude often hard to find in a mountain lake basin. Stunning scenery also awaits, with tall Naches Peak towering overhead and a rich forest cradling the opposite lakeshore. If that isn’t enough, Dewey hosts an impressive population of trout for the anglers among us. Indeed, the lake is stocked periodically by plane–fish are emptied from tanks in free-fall dives during low overflights of the lake.1
So early one morning, Dad bundled Mongo and Spork into the back of the truck, and set out for Dewey Lake. Once again, they left later than Dad would have liked to, but one makes do with what one has.
They arrived at the trail, and started on towards the valley. Dad had carefully researched the authorities in charge of managing this trail, and determined as long as he started on the trail in National Forest, he could avoid traveling within Mount Rainier National Park.
Not that Dad dislikes the park, but in the National Forest, Dad does not need a leash on Mongo. Spork gets a leash wherever she goes. Spork is a bolter. Bolters can make hikes extra exciting.
Mongo will eat almost anything. Things he will eat include tomatoes, apples, pears, lettuce, socks, hats, and rocks. The last three have proved costly to remove. During one vet trip for intestinal distress, the vet looked at the x-ray and said, “Well, there’s a few pebbles and some loose change in there, but that should all pass. ” So it did not come as a surprise that Mongo liked cauliflower. In fact, he’s not the only dog in the family to like cruciform vegetables. Back in the day, one golden retriever, Hudson, waited until Dad had planted all the broccoli and cauliflower starts in the garden. Then as soon as Dad went inside, Hudson pulled up all the starts and ran joyously around the backyard munching on them. Dad caught a glimpse of Hudson reveling in broccoli through the window and sprinted out the back door to find more than half the plants gone. A fence was eventually had to be installed around the garden to keep Hudson from pillaging the vegetables, when Dad became frustrated that all the almost-ready broccoli florets were disappearing!
However, none of the girl dogs in the family seemed to enjoy leafy greens. One golden girl, Dixie, did enjoy sneaking strawberries from the planter next to the back door, but that was about it.
So while Dad was using cauliflower as a substitute for cream in an alfredo sauce, it came as no shock that Mongo enjoyed a few cauliflower twigs that Dad tossed to him. The shock came when Mongo missed a piece of vegetable that Dad tossed at him, and it landed near Spork. Spork is legendary in the family for being finicky. She’s been know to turn her nose up at dog food if it has too much filler in it!