Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tyson Tolls to Kinsman North Summit

On the Lonesome Lake Trail
We do our best to check the weather forecasts when planning our hikes to avoid inclement conditions as much as possible.  In Franconia Notch, however, the weather is very unpredictable and often differs from that of the surrounding areas.  On Saturday, October 22, 2011, a partly cloudy forecast soon turned to drizzle and then to sleet as my partner Tyson and I made our way to the summit of Mt. Kinsman North (4,293 ft.).

Enjoying a pre-hike treat in the car
Tyson, a mostly to possibly pure bred Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever did not seem to mind the drizzle at all.  This smart, active two year old was as thrilled with his arrival in Franconia Notch State Park as he had been for the entire car ride to the trail head.  While most dogs are content to simply hang their heads out the window or lie comfortably sprawled on the seat, Tyson mostly preferred to sit upright in the middle of the back seat with his focus on the front windshield actively searching for clues to his ultimate destination.

Posing on the bridge along Lonesome Lake
As we made our way along the Lonesome Lake, Cascade Brook, Fishin' Jimmy and Kinsman Ridge Trails, Tyson and I considered taking an even longer route by visiting the summit of Mt. Kinsman South as well.  By the time we were nearly 3/4 of the way to the top of Mt. Kinsman North, the rain began to fall more steadily and the temperatures began to drop.  Taking a wait and see approach, we opted to make a decision once we reached the first summit and to enjoy our photo opportunities and views along the way.  One of the more scenic stops along our route was at Lonesome Lake where Tyson happily posed for several photos that could be added to his adoption profile.

Taking in the views at Lonesome Lake
Tyson and I encountered several groups of hikers and a few other dogs on our journey.  True to his breed, Tyson can appear leery of some strangers when first approaching them, but he happily accepted all of the hikers on the trail and was especially receptive of them once I initiated a conversation and indicated my acceptance.  One fellow hiker even got a lick on the nose from Tyson before I had the chance to officially introduce him.

Fogged in at the summit of Mt. Kinsman North
We spoke with several other hikers at the summit of Mt. Kinsman North who enjoyed meeting with Tyson, learning about his breed, giving him a congratulatory pat on the head and taking photos of his accomplishment.  Tyson showed off his sit command in front of the hikers in the hopes that one of them would share a bit of their snacks.  Of course, he enjoyed his own lunch of kibble as well as some dog biscuits before beginning the descent.  Given the level of fog and the sleet that we encountered at the top, we opted to save the summit of Mt. Kinsman South for a less rainy day.

Tyson was very agile on the slippery descent
We were happy to leave the sleet behind and have a little extra time available for a potentially slippery hike down the mountain.  Tyson proved to be even more agile on the way down the trails.  It was as if he had committed the route to memory and quickly selected the right steps on the steepest portions of the descent.  Tyson was also very mindful of my pace and did not pull on the leash or cause me to lose my balance.  I find it difficult to believe that this was Tyson's first climb up a mountain.  Given that he was picked up while wandering as a stray in West Virginia several months ago, it is quite possible that Tyson may have spent time roaming through the woods and honing his hiking skills.

Tyson and I discussing the return route
What I do know for certain about Tyson is that he is a wonderful, smart, attentive dog who is fortunate to have been given a second chance thanks to the volunteer efforts of Canine Guardians for Life, Inc.  He will make a wonderful companion for someone who is looking for a dog that enjoys new adventures and loves to be active.  Tyson is currently in foster care where he continues to work on his obedience skills, enjoys the company of other dogs (especially the ladies) and doesn't pay any attention to the cats in his home.

To learn more about Tyson or to make an application to adopt him, visit his profile on  You can also see and share a full online photo album of his journey to the summit of Mt. Kinsman North.

If you like our blog and are on Facebook, please be sure to like the Foster Dog Summit page, too!

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