(Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)
Our brief flirtation with an early sunny spring was subdued Sunday, but it was still a fine day to walk the dog.
And Robbie, "the king of the trail," was happy to greet walkers and others on the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail in Felida.
"Everybody stops to pet him," said Charles Williams of Robbie, a 10-year-old rough-coat collie.
"He's named after Rob Roy, the Scottish folk figure," Williams of Felida said of his beloved canine.
That's Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734) if you're checking.
Williams, a retired child psychologist, said he loves walking Robbie along the path because of "the cheerfulness of the trail. People say hello to one another. And the dogs do what they do -- they sniff.
"He's a true gentleman," Williams said of the pooch that cost him about $700 a decade ago. "His father was a Canadian national champion. … He's been called a horse and a lion, by children."
Aaron Shinn and son Buck, 16, also were on the trail with Charlie, their 11-month-old yellow Labrador, who they got last Independence Day.
"We love him," Aaron said, two plastic bumpers in hand. It was a bird-dog training day.
"I throw the bumpers across the creek and he swims across and looks for them in the grass," Aaron said. Father and son, who is a Columbia River High School student, like to hunt birds in the Cathlamet area.
Aaron said it did not bother him that Saturday's sun was replaced by Sunday's mist and gray.
"It's Washington," he said. "We go out regardless."
Along came Diana Coburn and husband Dave with their dogs, Henry, 8, and Murphy, 7, both miniature schnauzers. The family is from Ridgefield.
"Every week or two we come down here," Dave said of the popular trail.
"The weather's really not bothering us," Diana said.
The Taylor family was dogless but in high spirits on the trail.
"There's two egrets and a bald eagle up ahead," announced Carver Taylor, 6, taking a break from bike riding with his sister, Gracie, 4, and mom Jackie Taylor.
Jackie Taylor is a teacher at the Gardner School in Salmon Creek.
Making the day happier, Carver saw that the Glasgow family members — Joe, Julie and Oscar — also were on the trail. Oscar, 8, goes to the Gardner School with Carver and both boys have Jackie Taylor for a teacher.
She's a teacher, "and, she's my mom," said Gracie. "My daddy's at home watching ESPN."
As for this week's weather, Steve Todd of the National Weather Service in Portland says to look for the same.
"We're not looking at anything real heavy (for rain)," he said Sunday night. "We've got a chance every day. The amounts look pretty light."
So, no matter the skies, the trail along Salmon Creek is there for you.
Dave Kern: email@example.com or 360-735-4534