I ended up waking up about 6:30am on Saturday. I didn't intend to wake up that early, but Maddie had to go to the bathroom and she was afraid of the stairs—not only did she have problems with traction (the stairs were slick,) but they also had no vertical back, so I don't think she could really see the stairs.
I debated going back to bed, but decided I'd make pancake batter now—that way it had time to rise. Maddie and I sat on the couch for a bit after I made the batter. I realized then that I hadn't brought syrup, but fortunately we had plenty of jams & jellies from our trip to Bob Evans the night before. After letting the batter rise for about 20 minutes, I started cooking the sausage and pancakes. Once I got that all cooked, I went upstairs and woke Jenn up. I then made the eggs—Jenn wanted "over easy" and I made scrambled eggs for myself.
After breakfast we decided to head to Cedar Falls. Since the day was supposed to be nice (and the nicest day in a couple of months down in region,) we figured we better get an early start on the day. Since it was still pretty chilly, we put jeans on, packed up the car and headed to Cedar Falls.
We definitely beat the crowd there. While we did see some people, the trail was empty enough that I was able to let Maddie run free most of the time. I only leashed her when I saw people coming up on us, or if they were just a head of us. While she does a great job staying near by, she still loves to meet new people—and most people don't like a wet, muddy lab greeting them. :)
When we first entered the trail, about 500' feet into it, we turn a corner and there's a huge pool of mud—probably 9' wide by 20' long. Sure enough Maddie runs straight into and starts hopping around. When she comes back to me, it looks like she has 4 black boots on. If there's a pool of mud, you better bet Maddie will find it. I think she likes playing in mud as much as she likes playing in water.
When we got down to ground level, there was a nice little pool in the bend of the stream, so we let Maddie splash and swim around, while we enjoyed the rock formations. We stayed for a bit while I threw sticks for Maddie to retrieve. Unfortunately, most of the sticks in that area were soaked, so they didn't float very well.
The actual waterfall at Cedar Falls is very impressive—I'd love to see it after a huge rain, I bet it's awesome. (To see the falls in motion, click here.) The rocks around the pools at the bottom of the falls were pretty slick, so Maddie kept slipping around. We stayed at the falls until other people started showing up, so we decided to hit the trail again and try to get up to the upper falls view.
The stairs going up we like the stairs at the cabin—while not slick, they didn't have a vertical backing. It took a little coaxing, but finally Maddie trusted me enough and started up the stairs. After managing the first flight of steps tentatively, she ran up the rest of them.
The upper falls area was nice, but not nearly impressive. The only area were you could have gotten a good view over the waterfalls was closed off. I'm not sure if it was only closed because of how wet and slick it was, or whether it's always closed. There really wasn't much to see from up upper level, but we got a couple of cool pictures. Jenn even took a nice picture of the moon. The moon stayed visible most of the day.
On the walk back to the parking lot, there were a lot of cool rock formations. If there wasn't so much to do, I probably could have explored that area for a lot longer. Jenn even took this picture that came out really cool. I'm not sure what the camera did, but this is the picture exactly how it came from the camera. I think it would make a cool wallpaper for my desktop. Jenn also got a good pictures of Maddie & I shaking—in the picture it almost looks like I've just given her an award and she's shaking my hand. It's pretty funny.
From Cedar Falls, we decided to drive around a bit just to familiar with the Hocking Hills area. We also decided to drive around Lake Logan to see if we could find a good place to take Maddie swimming later in the day. I really wanted to get her somewhere we I could swim her hard.
We got back to the cabin around noon or so—maybe a little earlier. We had a small lunch, then Jenn took a power nap, while I rested and played my GBA. (I was playing "Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow"—which is pretty cool so far.) I let Maddie do some more exploring while we rested.
We headed out around 2:30 or so. We headed to Lake Logan first, but couldn't find a good spot. I try to stay away from people fishing—having a dog splash around doesn't make for a good fishing environment. Since there were so many people out, we decided we'd try Rose Lake—which we thought might be a little less crowded, since you had to hike to get there.
Going to Rose Lake turned out to be a good idea. The hike takes you through a very impressive pine forest. It's probably a 3/4 mile hike to the lake. We ended up having to make our way to the other side of the lake, since everyone was fishing on the side the trail comes out on. After walking through the muck, we were able to find a nice area for Maddie to go swimming. I got a two really good Quicktime movies of Maddie swimming. The first is her going out for her toy, the second is her returning from that trip. You can even see her webbed feet the water is so clear.
Maddie's very good when it comes to playing in the water. She'll bring whatever you're throwing into the water and bring it right to your feet and then she'll drop it. If you don't throw it again within 10 seconds, she'll give you a quick bark that basically says "Hey, throw the toy again!" It's very cute to see her out swimming.
We stayed at the lake for 90 minutes or so, and then headed back to the cabin. Jenn & I hit the hot tub after we got home. We relaxed for an hour or so, and then I got out to start dinner. I cooked brats over the grill and Jenn made baked beans on the stove. After dinner, we sat around relaxing for an hour or so and then headed to bed around 10:30pm. Maddie was worn out and pretty much just laid around all evening. Jenn got a good picture of her hugging a pillow while napping. We decided to do dishes before going to bed—neither of us wanted to worry about it in the morning.
I couldn't have asked for a better day...