Ashland Watershed - Oredson Tood to White Rabbit 1-4-23

Photos by Francie

Ashland Hiking Home

Today 6 of us decided to brave the high winds and take a hike above Ashland in the Oredson Todd Woods. We were greeted at the trailhead by Heath, an enthusiastic Chocolate Lab who volunteered to be our hike leader. A lady told us he lives in the area. 
As we started out, we were out of the rain and the wind wasn't blowing too hard. After about a half of a mile we came to a nice little waterfall. After crossing the bridge, we saw a sign saying they are trying to restore the area with new plantings. There has been excessive erosion and soil compaction from trespassing.  There is also damage from the 1997 flood.

As we climbed up we were treated to views with some awesome looking clouds. The wind started to pick up and we could hear a tree cracking. We waited for everyone to gather together then quickly moved through that section.

We continued up the Mike Uthoff trail then down to White Rabbit Upper Trailhead for lunch. Leslie decided to get Heath's phone number off his tag on his collar in case we needed to contact his people. We had him join us in the group picture.

On the way back after lunch we encountered some very strong winds. Again we picked up our pace. Leslie could see that Heath looked thirsty so she gave him a drink of water that she put in a plastic bag.

After going further down the trail, Heath started going a different direction. We figured he had been with us the whole day, so I called to him and he came back and joined us all the way back. We were getting towards the end of the hike and it sounded a little like firecrackers going off. It was another tree cracking in the wind. Once we reached the part of the trail where you can see the homes, Heath took off and headed home ignoring the turkeys.

After the hike, I sent a picture of the group with Heath to the phone number that was on his tag. I thanked them for allowing Heath to hike with us. The response was, “Awesome, thanks for taking him. He lives a great life.” I let them know he did 5.5 miles. The response was “The old man's still got it” That led me to ask his age. He is almost 11 years old. He is such a good boy.