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Dear Members,

1. We are a dog lovers/hikers/trekkers group. Our focus is Sunday morning dog hiking/trekking events. That's it - all the rest is fluff.

I currently sponsor a north shore, 3rd Sunday morning dog trek... and... I truly understand that most won't or can't attend north shore events due to distance, time, work, etc. As such I need suggestions - north, south, east and west... drop me a line (See paragraph 3). Depending on the event, date & location I will do my best to attend. None-the-less, from here on, there will be at least one event every single month! Keep in touch.

2. Our groups goal is to meet with other dogist's who like low impact, eco-friendly & healthy dog hiking (I prefer the term trekking) and dog related events. Dog's are pack animals - humans too - and group events are great for your dogs psyche. Especially for "one-dog" households. Maybe your human psyche too? It's a total hoot when we move out with a dozen-plus dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds, barking & yelping and... I am not kidding... some jumping up on all fours! The hounds hound, the German Shepard's/French Poodles trash-talk and the terrier's want to rumble with everyone. Where's the love? Where's the love?

3. Our primary focus will be to visit and explore various trails, parks and preserves in greater Chicagoland. As your Organizer I can't be everywhere. nor can I possibly lead every hike so I am counting on you - the Membership - to suggest trails, dates, times, etc. and most importantly, volunteer to step-up as the event's trail leader/guide/etc. Please do NOT recommend a event if you do not want to lead/guide it. Idea's and suggestions are a "dime a dozen". Leaders aren't.

4. Our monthly CORE event is a TWO HOUR trek (one hour out, one hour back) on the Green Bay Trail leaving from the Wilmette Trailhead. It is a heavily forested, well groomed, mostly paved & flat RR trail with gravel-dirt side's that roughly follows the Metra tracks north from downtown Wilmette to all points north! It initially travels through some gorgeous north shore neighborhoods and rise's, at times, to 30 feet above street level! (Believe it or not, many first-time summer trekkers don't even notice this - it is that heavily forested.) Sometimes the tree canopy is so thick, especially mid-summer, that absolutely no light makes it to the trail floor. I lead these treks.

===>Our trailhead/meetup site is at the south-east corner of Lake Ave. & Green Bay Road, Wilmette (IL) in the METRA Train parking lot - parking is free on weekends. Our meetup is DIRECTLY (and I do mean directly) across from the Wilmette Fire Station, 1304 Lake Avenue. We meet on the 3rd Sunday of the month and move out at 10 AM (unless the weather is real, real nasty). We are back at the trailhead by noon.

===>Want a Green Bay Trail Map? https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps/green-bay-trail/ Don't let the total length of the trail shock you - we only go one hour "in-country" and then back one hour. We then have an optional noon-ish tailgate. Its BYOB (humans) and BYOMB - Bring your own Milk Bones (dogs).

5. Minimum Suggested Gear List - for all Treks: Water, water bowl, weather gear (cargo pants?), poop bags and your personal tailgate BYOB/treats.

6. WEATHER POLICY: Naturally if the weather is exceptionally nasty we will cancel. Be sure to check your email the night (or morning... 8:00-ish) before a trek - especially if Tom Skilling is in a bad mood. I will not cancel for a minor "chance of showers/snow" forecast. Thunder, extreme heat/cold and Armageddon type stuff... yes.

7. We are not the only dog hiking/dog friendly Meetup group in the Chicagoland area (duh!). If another group is having a event that catch's my eye I will put a link to same. Think of me as your "Curator Of Doggery". Having said that, I WON'T post every event suggested to me. As your "curator" I will cherry pick.

8. Lastly, I will also post some various non-hiking dog-related events that may be of interest: Dog parades, low cost dog fun(d) raisers, tail-gates (heehee), dog pic-a-nics, cat & squirrel BBQ's, etc.

9. Be sure to visit our "sister" site, Dog Trekkers -Wilmette/North Shore Pack (lots of photos): https://www.meetup.com/Dog-Trekkers-Wilmette-North-Shore-Pack/

10. A (human) Treat: Senator George Graham Vest's short, three paragraph, summation speech (c. 1855) "Tribute to the Dog". It will bring a tear to your eye in a good way. http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/vest.htm

barks & yelps,

jim mccarthy, fearless leader

PS: Somehow, and I do mean somehow, our "sister" Meetup site, Dog Trekkers- Wilmette/North Shore Pack, got picked up by Men's Heath Magazine, Women's Health Magazine and Runners World Magazine (... we do NOT run! ... I sure won't!) Of the three, the best graphics are... https://www.menshealth.com/active-living-guide/event/dog-trekkers-wilmettenorth-shore-pack

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