Joan Merriam: Water, water, everywhere – California News

Joan Merriam: Water, water, everywhere – California News

Summer vacations are over. Kids are back in school. Nights are getting cooler. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of warm weather outdoor fun for you and your dog!

September and October can still hold wonderful opportunities for outdoor adventures.

A favorite for many dogs is anything to do with water.

This is especially true for “water dogs” like Newfoundlands, Portuguese and Spanish water dogs, Irish and American water spaniels, and all the members of the retriever family — although my Joey is a peculiar exception to the rule.

He loves standing in the water, but that’s as far as he goes. I can almost hear him saying, “Swimming is fine for those other golden retrievers, but I’m not gonna do it.”

Even after this brutally hot summer, last winter’s rainstorms left an abundance of water in our rivers, creeks and lakes — and now’s the perfect time to enjoy them, after the crowds have departed and the snowmelt waters have warmed.

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This month, I’ll journey into the Sierra to point out some dog-friendly alpine lakes and hiking trails; in my October column, I’ll be taking you and your canine companion to a few nearby low-elevation lakes and rivers.

Before you head out, pick up some forest trail maps at the Tahoe National Forest headquarters on Coyote Street.

You can get more detailed directions and trail facts on Internet sites like alltrails.com and trails.com; you can also find a great overview of and links to hiking trails in Nevada County at gonevadacounty.com.

What follows isn’t exhaustive by any means. It’s just a Joan’s-eye-view of a few high-country lakeland hikes off Highway 20 and Interstate 80 to…

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