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Circuit du Grand Duc

Thursday, 3. April 2008 21:15

On my list of things to do before we leave on a trip to the US is to catch up on some of my blog entries (other lovely tasks include things like doing my US taxes and cleaning out Sophia’s closet to make room for all the new clothes and toys that she’s sure to get for her birthday). I haven’t even posted any pictures from our Provence trip. I think if I show up in the US without posting those pictures, my Mom might send me back home to do it (while offering to hold on to Julien for me).

So the Circuit du Grand Duc is a hike that we did back in February. My main reason for wanting to write about it is so that the next time I want to go on the hike with all of the mimosa, I can look it up on my blog. I spent a great deal of time looking through our various hiking references before I found it this time around, so I don’t want to forget it again.

The Mimosa trees that thrive in the Mediterranean bloom in the middle of winter — mainly late January to March. We actually went on this hike last year sometime after the Mimosa had bloomed and I remember thinking that we should definitely try the hike again when it was still blooming, so we did.

I will now admit that I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. First of all, we have this blooming in our backyard.


And secondly, we missed the main entrance for the hike. You go up a fire road until it comes to a crossroads and then both times that we have been on this hike, we have missed the trailhead (note to self for next time: it’s on the right side near the picnic table). The hike offers great views of the sea if you figure out where to start it from. I know this because the first time I ran along the right trail for a bit just before we left in order to say, “Oh yes, there are nice views here.” Still, it was a nice hike and there was quite a bit of Mimosa on display. It would also be a great place to hike in and have a picnic.

Circuit du Grand Duc

Oh, and Aunt Meg, does this satisfy your Jesse craving?

Category:France, Hiking | Comments (2) | Autor: Erica

Sophia at Pont du Loup

Monday, 5. November 2007 10:41

Sophia, originally uploaded by emorris1.

Joe looks at my blog every once in a while and says that I need more photos. So here you go…..

Joe took this one while hiking with Sophia near Pont du Loup.

Category:France, Hiking, Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica


Monday, 30. October 2006 13:48

It was supposed to have been a nice little hike in the Valmasque. It was supposed to have been a nice afternoon where everyone would get some fresh air and Jesse would be able to run around a bit.

First, Sophia decided she didn’t want to be in her stroller, which kind of set Joe off. I put her in her stroller anyways. She cried for a bit, but got over it. We didn’t have the best start.

And then Jesse met the Mike Tyson of pit bulls.

We had had Jesse off leash, but put him back on when we saw the couple and their dog (which is our normal procedure — off leash when no one’s around, back on leash when we see people). We had walked past them when Jesse tried to go back to check out the other dog and got away from me.

Two seconds, it couldn’t have been more than two seconds, and he was still on leash but the two dogs were growling and fighting, and then you could just hear growling and Jesse whimpering. The pit bull had his ear and would not let go. The guy had his dog on leash and was hitting him on the head to try and break him off. Joe had Jesse and was also holding his ear hoping to prevent any more damage. I jumped in to try and pry the dog’s mouth open before I realized that 1) I wasn’t doing anything, and 2) that was really, really stupid. So I just backed off and it didn’t end until the dog had completely bitten through Jesse’s ear.

Ear wounds bleed a lot. Poor Jesse. He had one long gash down his ear and the bottom part completely bitten off. I think it’s only about a half an inch or so, but I can’t be sure since it’s been stitched and bandaged by the vet. I’ll be able to see it tomorrow when we go back to have it checked. The other dog ended up with a gash under his eye that also needed stitches. Joe ended up with a minor bite on his hand and some scratches on his arm.

I feel awful because it wouldn’t have happened if I had had better control over Jesse. I offered to pay for the other dog’s vet bill, but the owner declined my offer. He also apologized saying that his dog is normally very good but that other dogs just don’t like his dog. And he told Joe that his dog had been in a fight a couple of weeks ago and had had an ear injury from that fight. So there’s a part of me that’s glad that he didn’t take me up on my offer because he was walking an intact male pit bull without a muzzle in an area where most of the dogs that you see are off leash (pit bulls and Rottweilers are supposed to be muzzled when they’re in public in France — and sorry Jen, I know that pit bulls can be great family pets, but I do think that you also need to know what you’re doing with these dogs).

I’m thankful that it was only an ear injury. I’m thankful that we still have a dog at all. I’m thankful that no one else was seriously injured. I’m thankful that I had our vet’s phone number in my cell phone. And, I’m thankful that Sophia was in her stroller a little bit down the trail so she didn’t see the fight.

As soon as Jesse’s feeling better we’ll be working on some remedial training for him so that we can prevent another episode like this.

Oh and in case you’re interested, I looked online today and found several sites that recommend pulling dogs away from a fight by grabbing their back legs and then circling them away from each other. Everything that we did was listed in the “What not to do” sections since the dogs could have easily turned on anyone there.

Category:General, Hiking | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Val de Siagne

Saturday, 27. May 2006 21:44

Val de Siagne, originally uploaded by emorris1.

I just spent the last hour thinking that the computer ate my blog entry (the Sospel one), but I found it by chance under the wrong date. Oops! My bad.

We’ve been doing quite a bit of hiking lately since it’s a great way to be out-and-about with both the enfant and the chien. This weekend we found a great website describing hikes in the area and decided to explore. The website rates all of the hikes in terms of difficulty level and time needed to complete the hike. We figured that we’d start with an easy one since we were planning on going into Cannes for the evening (more on that later).

Val de Siagne hike, originally uploaded by emorris1.

So, with Sophia in her Chariot and Jesse (mostly) off-leash, we descended into the Val de Siagne. This valley used to have a bridge crossing for trains — and 2 minutes ago I would have told you that the bridge had been designed by Gustave Eiffel, but I just reread the description that actually says that it was mistakenly attributed to him as he was only the draftsman. Either way, the Germans destroyed the bridge in 1944, so all that’s left are the footings of what must have been a pretty impressive site.

Anyways, when we go on hikes these days I often think of who will be visiting us here that might be interested in hiking, and would they be able to do this hike. For a hike to classify as Easy in my rating system, everyone who visits us should be able to do it. This one doesn’t qualify! It was quite a strenuous hike, and made me really glad that I didn’t just throw caution to the wind and try one rated Sportive! Who comes up with these ratings?!? I have noticed in France that they tend to be a bit more realistic on their duration estimates. In the US, you can often feel good about yourself because you did the 4 hour hike in a little under 3. In France, if they say it will take 2.5 hours, it’s going to take at least 2.5 hours. This one took us closer to 3, although Joe and Jesse did stop to jump in the Siagne river.

Category:France, Hiking, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica