Wisconsin to Minnesota

On our last full day in Wisconsin, I had hoped to ride another trail, but high temperatures and no shaded parking made even the dawn patrol option too big a risk for Hops. We hiked the trail instead, interacting with all the ticks and other biting bugs.

There were some lovely lupines, though, that match very closely the Texas bluebonnets that I love. Wonder what these are…

Our final evening we had some cooling rain (sigh) and beautiful views…

horses frolicking in the wind

And the next morning we got up early to walk the Listeman Arboretum before the drive into Minnesota.

I have a buddy in Northfield, Minnesota who I met years ago at a bike race (in Minnesota). We’ve become close friends remotely, but have only seen each other a few times IRL (always in Minnesota), so I was excited to come back and see him again.

We had big plans to do some riding together, and it’s been so hot recently that I made plans with a doggie daycare/kennel facility. I drove into Northfield on a Monday for Hops’s appointment to take a temperament test – his first – and while he is a loving dear with humans, he occasionally grumps at other dogs, so I was mostly confident that he would pass, but still waiting to hear. First surprise: they took his leash from me and said I could return in three to six hours! I had no idea I was to leave him at all… and I confess, it was pretty disconcerting. What do I do now? I got over it and got on my bike – after all, this was a free half day’s doggie daycare. So I got in a little urban/bike path ride.

I saw a beautiful striped snake, an otter in a little pond, and what I guess was a woodchuck. My local friend says they’re not sure they even have otters here anymore – they might be headed up to Canada – but there was no question what I saw, so that was exciting!

Back to pick up Hops: first of all, no problem at all with passing his test. He did great! And they even included a little congratulatory gift bag – shout out to Cannon Valley Vet for that nice touch! (Good goodies in the bag, too – not only dog treats but a pen [always needs more of those], a koozie, and a keychain flashlight that I love.)

Hops seemed in high spirits, and not at all upset at being left in a strange place. He often is, on this trip – his separation anxiety is much worse now that we spend ~23 hours a day together. But he was fine with this daycare episode. So the lesson is: my own separation anxiety is a real thing in the world, too. Good to know.

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