There was practically no ice with the exception of a couple of 10 foot patches on the Saddle Trail and the mud was not too bad. A big difference from last week when the Saddle trail had a half mile of tricky ice and the fire road above the fire road intersection (aka PO junction) had three inches of boot sucking mud.
The dog on the left is one of several Old Rag Dogs. They live down near the the lower Old Rag parking lot and love to walk the trail. They know their way home so you do not need to worry about them in that regard. They sometimes adopt groups of hikers probably based on an intuition about who might provide treats or maybe just because they like you. In the warmer weather there are various crevices up under boulders that they like to get into and take a nap. Some of them are extremely sound sleepers and often will appear dead. They most likely are fine so you need not worry about them. In the event that you can tell they are actually hurt they usually have their owners contact information on their collars. Last year when a lot of hikers expressed a lot of unneeded concern the Rangers persuaded their owners to keep them at home. I consider them old friends and always enjoy saying hi to them when we cross paths so I am hoping that they are not forced to stay home when the crowds return. That said, it is probably best for them to stay close to home.
SUNSET APPROACHES THE ROCK SCRAMBLE