Tonight we took an evening trip to Scrappy's landing. To explain: the street we live on runs at a short distance alng the river. Between the apartments and the river is the remains of the old Wabash and Erie canal feeder, and just beyond that is a greenway trail. When we first moved here this was a somewhat overgrown dirt foot path; while I was laid up, they decided to cut all of the trees and such out of the feeder ( a really dumb idea IMHO) and gravel and widen the path. As a result, instead of having to take one of the two hidden "bridges" across the feeder, or going to where the street turns west away from the river and the back of the apartments abuts the Plex and taking one of the Bridges there, now you can cross about anywhere you find a wide enough spot. Following the trail north you come to a side trail into the woods between the feeder and the river (which varies between about 200 yds to two trees wide); this trail winds down to a clear spot at the river bank, which we named Scrappy's landing.
Upon reaching the landing, Scrappy usually has one of two goals: follow the trail on down about 100 yds where it ends at the ditch that connected (or connects, somewhat) the river to the feeder, or try to find a way to the water's edge to get a drink. Now, a drink to Scrappy means getting in the water until your weenie touches water, and stand there drinking. Scrappy's landing is a roughly three foot drop to the water, unless you go off to one side and sneak down the trunks of a couple of trees that have chosen a semi-amphibious lifestyle. Scrappy attempted this, but was hesitant, perhaps the result of last summer's IPFW pier incident. (Another aside here: last summer IPFW was putting the finishing touches on a footbridge across the river. Part of this process include a stone pier that jutted halfway across for their heavy cranes. We decided to walk out and check things out. When we got to the far end, Scrappy ignored the facts that a) the pier was made of loose stones and b) water is deeper in the middle of the river. Needless to say, the combination made his attempt to wade right in less than sucessful.)
So we took his second choice and went down to the feeder ditch. This is about six feet across and maybe a foot drop to the water. He found the place where the other friendly animals got their drinks (judging from the intensity of his sniffing), and after a good minute's worth of himm-hawing, nosed-first in. Testing the footing, he went about a foot into it and got his drink, followed by following down the bank until he found some extremely muddy hole that something made and proceeded to try to dig his way in. I would say, " a hole something recently made," but you've got to know Scrappy. I left him satisfy himself to the point where further investigation would have resulted in a shower when we got home, and made him get out.
Coming back down the trail to the landing is a bit of a trick, because the trail is harder to see on the way back and Mr. Boy has a tendancy to turn down non-existant side trails on this particular stretch. Anyway, we fought our way back to the trail. A bit north, one of the neighbors put a small wooden bridge across the feeder. Stone leads to each end, but it is unanchored and tends to float during floods. The plastic edging they put in to fight the erosion they created when they cut all the crap out of the feeder (which, as I said, was a dumb idea) is higher and the drop steeper right at the bridge, and I tried to steer Scrappy a few feet over where it was easier, but he just had to cross where dad was- his only such consideration on the whole trip. And home James from there. Lots of fun, good exercise, and Mr. Boy's got his sea legs back- all in all a pretty good trip.