Boadilla Paths Take 2

Since Brennan and Tristan were so excited to hear all about myself and Noah's journey on Sunday, I felt it would be a good idea to take them on Monday.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day (even better than the day before).  I packed us a little lunch and some water and we were off.  I almost didn't bring the dogs, but I forgot something and when I went back to get it I just couldn't leave their excited waggy butts behind.  They were THRILLED!

When we first got there I was wrestling with a car seat, camera, 2 excited kids, 2 overly excited dogs, and a full backpack so I didn't quite manage to get leashes on the pups.  Honestly I wasn't trying too hard.  I stay calm and assertive like Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) says and everyone, even the kids, are really good.  The dogs momentarily took off down the street marking trees along the way.  I told the boys they'd catch up with us.  I was right.  My dogs always come back.

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I wasn't able to get them leashed before they caught sight of the herd of sheep.  Bosley stopped right away, but Charlie was GONE.  He must be part sheepdog.  He came right back after a quick circle and a chat with the sheepdog though.  I got them leashed and kept them that way until we were well enough away from the farms.  I love this trail because I don't have to have them on leashes.  I think it's important for dogs to have some freedom.  Charlie is still in training though so after a few bouts of not listening he was tethered to me the entire time back home.  He needs to learn he's walking with the family, not with Bosley and not wherever he wants.  He didn't seem upset by this at all.  Bosley was free the entire time, right by our side.  It was a good thing for Charlie to see.  Soon enough he'll be off leash.

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The sheepdog was not too happy with us when we humans caught up with our dogs.  She barked at us and followed us to the other farm house.  Just basically reminding us that when it comes to those sheep we need to keep our dogs away from them... they're hers!  They boys were especially excited to see the lambs and goats.  They almost got to touch them, but after the scare with the dogs the goats were on high alert and the sheep followed suit.  We continued down the trail, but this time on a different route to get even closer to the castle.  My plan was to get to the end of the trail, have a picnic, and come back home.  It was about a 1.5 mile walk out, so a 3 mile hike total.  It might seem like a lot for a 2yr and 4yr old, but we always walk and hike and encourage our boys to push themselves physically.

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It wasn't long before we caught sight of the castle and it kept inching closer and closer to us.  The boys started getting whiney, but I handed them granola bars and the delicious distraction got them to the end of the trail for our picnic.  We saw the whole ESAC compound, even saw one of the satellites change position.  It was a little frustrating for me because I knew I could just trudge through the woods and cross the river and finally be at the castle, but there was no way the boys would last.  We still had to make it back.

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Our picnic lunch was awesome.  Even the dogs sat down with us and enjoyed the shade.  While we were eating a car drove by, which made the dogs crazy, but it's nice to know people routinely drive on these paths if I ever want to give up hiking and just get to the castle already.  I think it's more about the journey than the destination with this particular place.

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The way back wasn't as easy.  It was getting hotter and the boys were tired.  Understandable... but, we had to get back to the van regardless.  I already knew this in advance.  The point was to push ourselves.  I brought along a bunch of carrots, which are crunchy and sweet and cold and even wet your whistle.  They also happen to be a big favorite of the boys, which makes them great motivators.  I made them deals.  If you make it to that tree I will give you another carrot.  When we see the farm houses again I'll give you another carrot.  

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Since we had to go so slowly the way back I was able to really capture the scenery this time.  It was so much clearer than on Sunday.  Gorgeous!!!  I feel so lucky to be living in such a beautiful place.

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Everyone made it back fine and with very little whining.  They were so proud of themselves and I couldn't stop raving about what a wonderful job they did... their muscles are going to be so big!!  Brennan fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home and Tristan actually sat through an entire movie :O  They both ate their dinners without a fuss that night and slept like logs.  Good times :)
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