Finding isolation while hiking in Post Falls

It is OK to get out and go for a walk.

This is what is keeping me sane these days while my dog photography business is shut down as nonessential. I get to keep busy, though. I still freelance write for clients, I still build WordPress websites for clients and I work from home for my part-time job at The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

But I need to get out of the house, to breathe some big air, to just be alone in isolation, so Bella and I started searching All Trails for a good hike.

Heavily trafficked.

Heavily trafficked.

Heavily trafficked.

Shoot. Most of the trails close to home are busy, and even moreso since regular weekday workers have been unleashed into the great outdoors.

This isn’t just about social distancing. It’s about just being alone with Bella and Mother Nature.

No social media.

No voices.

(Just the ones in my head.)

Total silence.

Finally, we found one that said “moderately trafficked” and off we went hiking in Post Falls.


bella the maremma sheepdog in post falls

Top of the trail

A walk in the woods

If you’re familiar with the area, you might think we headed for Q’emiln Park, a lovely spot for hiking in Post Falls.

But no.

It’s a busy one.

We opted for the Community Forest, its parking lot at the top of the trail on Riverview Drive.

The top.

There’s this one hike in Banff National Park in Alberta that I’ve longed to do but avoided because it starts at the top.

Which means the back end is all uphill. Yuck.

This, however, is rated as easy, so it wouldn’t be so bad.

It’s an easy stroll down to the river, and the hills are peppered with buttercups and widow’s grass.

bella with wdpw's grass wildflowers in post falls, idaho

Widow’s grass

And … <gasp> … the glacier lilies are out!

glacier lilies in post falls, idaho

Glacier lilies

They’re among my favorite subalpine/alpine wildflowers (the tops being fleabane and paintbrush).

The perfect spot

I knew we’d get down to Spokane River and I’m always drawn to its rocky banks.

Because #dogsonrocks.

dog photos on rocks at Spokane River

On the rocks

For that image, I had my Sigma 70-200 on my Nikon D750, but I immediately switched to my Nikon 20mm prime for a little taste of #lifeinwideangle.

wide angle dog photos on Spokane River

My goofy girl

Wide angle images just seem to celebrate Bella’s goofiness. She’s usually very serious, even stern sometimes, but when we’re hiking, she really seems to enjoy herself.

And I need you to see that.

Getting lost while hiking in Post Falls

Oh, it happens all the time.

And it happens because I let Bella pick the trail. Yes, the human, who is supposed to be smarter and higher on the food chain, lets the dog pick the trail.

I didn’t learn my lesson well enough the time we got lost at Dishman Hills with a dead smartphone and couldn’t access trail maps.

Bella veered off the main trail, as she is often wont to do. We found ourselves on a thin moss-covered trail in between a couple of basalt walls, likely popular with rock climbers in the area. It was a perfect spot for more #dogsonrocks.

maremma sheepdog in the woods

In the woods

Then there was nowhere to go. We could have, I suppose, scrambled up a hill of big chunky rocks but, carrying a few thousand dollars in camera gear, I had no desire to fall.

Or end up at the vet with a broken dog.

Bella went high enough for me to get her on the rocks.

maremma sheepdog on moss covered rocks in post falls, idaho

Way up high

I called her back down and we quietly made our way back to the parking lot, fully pooped after 5 miles.

All around the circle

Isolation was the theme for this week’s worldwide pet photographers blog circle.

For the most part, we found it while hiking in Post Falls. We encountered a few people along the way, so our progress was a little delayed.

Even before we went into this brave new world of social distancing, I would step off the trail with Bella and give people room to pass. Quite simply, she isn’t a big fan of new people trying to touch her and, given her beauty, many are drawn to her.

It’s my job as Mama, though, to keep my little livestock guardian dog safe.

Now let’s see how my pet photographer friends found isolation. Start with Darlene Woodward with Pant the Town Photography serving Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Click the link at the bottom of her post to get to the next photographer, and so on until you find yourself back here.


Right where you belong.

Share the love

If you think the rocks on the Community Forest trail are the perfect spot for your dog photography session, let’s get together!

Or, you can share the love.

Yesterday, I set up egift cards in my Square store to make it easy for you to give a portrait session as a gift.

Click the pic (or this text) and go right there.

26 thoughts on “Finding isolation while hiking in Post Falls”

  1. Pingback: 1 rocky adventure for unforgettable dog photography | Noses & Toes Pet Photography

  2. I love your second photo of Bella at the top of the trail, but my favorite is Bella with the Widow’s Grass. I also like to hike where there are few people and total silence.

  3. Pingback: Before and after a great hike up Antoine Peak | Dog Photography

  4. I was right there with you. On the trail. Feeling nervous that I didn’t know where we were at, but quietly comforted inside with the surrounding beauty. What a lovely post and like others have said, it makes me want to get out of suburbia and find a trail and disappear for 5 miles with my dogs! The flowers are gorgeous. What a terrific post as we’re all on lockdown. You helped us break free for a few minutes.

    1. It wasn’t as bad as the time I got lost on Dishman Hills. Even though I knew where I was, I had no idea where I was. It was December and the sun (and mercury) was going down fast.

  5. The number of times i get lost on trails with Kota – oh my! Beautiful images – love the glacier lilies – so pretty! My favorite image is “on the rocks”. Great post!

  6. Yeah, I feel for everybody living in high populated areas. Where to go? When we lived in the city, we had our secret places we drove to. Now, while we had to make many other concessions, we have our own land. Who knew how advantageous that was going to become.

  7. We’ve had recent blasts of snow here in Ontario. As I sit in my home office, I see the sun is shining today, and I’m looking forward to taking the pups out for a run around the farm. It will be a while before we have beautiful flowers to admire, so I appreciate you sharing your beautiful flowers with us. Thank you.

    1. Ugh, I can’t believe it’s still snowing up there. My brother just got blasted in New Brunswick, too. I hope spring hits you soon!

  8. I loved seeing all of the photos, but especially the flowers since they are new to me! It sounds like you and Bella had the perfect day!

  9. I love the way you wrote this week’s blog post! Almost like we were there and following along with you. Bella is a beautiful dog so I can see why people might want to touch her (but sounds like she is like my Abby – I come to you, you can touch me – otherwise, leave me with my owners please). We have a couple of places we can go to walk and thankfully most are a few blocks from home and not crowded. Most of the parks by me are all closed – no city, county or state parks… we are very limited.

  10. It sounds like it was an amazing hike and so wish I could do something like that with Layla. We have managed to go to the dog park on the warm days, I sit far from everyone and just soak in the sun which seems to be helping plus Layla seems to be happier but a hike through the woods, what a dream

    Be safe

  11. What I miss most because of the restrictions in my part of the world is the big outdoors. I don’t drive so although I live near to a National Park I can’t get there without transport and of course I cannot ask a friend to take me. I, and my dogs, are longing for freedom. Still, it’s a small price to pay for my health.
    I love your photos of Bella – and how you let her choose the trail. Not something I’d risk doing, with my non-existent sense of direction we’d never find our way back.

    1. Oh gosh, Karen, I hope this is over soon so we can start to figure out what our new normal is. And I hope you can get out soon. It is a small price for all of us to pay to keep our vulnerable populations safe and healthy.

  12. Kelly Middlebrooks

    Oh gosh, I love how you made me feel like you weren’t worried at all about being lost! lol Wonderful images! I can’t wait for our spring to come so we can get out, too. ;O)

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