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Elvis and I -- end of Winter 2010,
Knox State Park

Last week, we got an invite for "Save the Park" -- a group of concerned citizens upset that New York had slated our beloved Knox Park for closure, effective April 1st -- :(

Well, I packed up Elvis, and off we went!


Knox is a BEAUTIFUL park -- we have been coming here for years --


-- it's full of natural beauty -- 600 acres of it!

Originally, it was home to the Knox family, who turned it over to NY State in past years, to become a park.

Well, with budget cuts, come park cuts --

-- but my question is, how do you close a park?


Well, after hearing a lot of speakers and saying a lot of HELLOS, we were off to explore, little Elvis and me.

Let me say first, though, how PROUD I was of Elvis --

-- a pit bull, through and through, and an absolute gentleman with all the people at the meetup.


Whether it was kissing babies or sniffing other dogs' butts, Elvis was 100% on --

-- not once did he jump too much, nor did he have any confrontation with other dogs --

-- just a lot of sniffs!

In a park predominated by labs and goldens, I was proud of my little man -- !!


So then, with that, we were OFF to EXPLORE -- !!

For this walk, I brought my camera along --

-- earlier it was too difficult with controlling Elvis and trying to juggle camera and pup, so this was our sunset serenade -- :D


 
And what natural beauty it is...

The funny thing is, a quick turn to the left, away from the sun, looks like this --

-- pretty, but not as pretty as the sunset...


... and a quick turn to the right -- interesting, indeed --

-- but again, no sun -- !!


Ohhh... sun or not, I like this one -- !!

 
So off we went, westerly. And let me tell you, it was WINDY and CHILLY -- !!
 

What I love here is the reflections off the cross-country skiers' tracks...

... and this, a bench I've looked at countless times, imagining the day I might sit here with my parents, or my future family...

Eeks -- with all this daydreaming, the sun continues to set...

... lower...

... and lower -- !!

Till it's almost too dark to photograph much -- :|

 

But wait... a quick southerly view gives me my all-time favorite view of the park --

-- I just loooveee the hills...

 


Okay, okay -- we've gotta go in to the forest -- it's FREEZING out here --

-- little Elvis agrees -- !!

Tromp, tromp, tromp -- !!

It's interesting with Elvie-pie --

-- not a SHIVER came out of him outside --

-- though had I known it was so chilly, he would have had a girlie coat on him, pronto -- !!


   
What I love about this one is the curves of the land...
   

And before we know it, we're in the forest...

... which, from these pictures, actually looks sorta scary -- !!

Mind you, this whole time, Elvis was leashed --

-- why not?

To me, he has plenty of explorin' and fun on is 26' giant Flexi --

-- and also, there's never a worry about him running off or getting in to a situation with another dog --

-- why set him up to fail? He certainly doesn't deserve it -- !!


In to the depths... where the wild things are --

-- in my imagination -- !!


What I loveeee about these next pictures is not only the contrast of the sun and the trees --

-- but the spider web that shows up in the sunlight --

-- something I totally missed when taking the pictures -- !!


More webbery -- !!

And the last shot inside the forest -- with a valiant sun, and a peaceful landscape...

So now, out of the thick of it, we can breathe a little easier...

... as Elvis enjoys the last of the warm sun on his beautiful coat.

   
Ohhhh... this is everything.
   

And then, another...

... so much beauty, all around --

-- and it's absolutely free, with no strings attached...


Really, days like this make you realize the gift of being alive...

...it's like heaven came to earth.


And then, before we know it, the sun has set.

But, mind you, I was able to get the absolute best of pictures --

-- the ski tracks reflecting the last of the sunlight.


I just love it so.

On my way back to the car, officer friendly had to pull up in his impala -- :| -- and belch out to me, "if you want to take pictures, park your car in the lot, not in the driveway" --

-- even though I told him we were exiting and had to stop quick to get these last pictures --

The take-away?? I was so happy, his gruff and unhappy demeanor didn't phase me -- :D

 


So there we went, Elvis all buckled up and ready to roll.

Please note, crating your dogs when transporting just makes good sense -- for you and them, lest you get in an accident, everyone will be much more safe -- !!


So with that, off to home we went --

-- with hopes that this lovely park will never close --

-- it is a big deal around here, in summer or winter --

-- and we'll do all we can to keep it that way!!