Got up early and went for a hike in Rice Canyon with my brother and my dog. There was a thick marine layer when we got up and it was very overcast when we were hiking. As soon as we started out on the trail, we encountered a coyote. He was running around in the rangers yard. He actually sat down on the slope watched us as we went down the trail. He acted like a “tamed” dog, but we knew enough to stay away from him. We figured he saw how pretty Hiker was and he was enamored with her (LOL). The grasses were very tall and green due to the late rains we have been having and the creek had water in it. This was the first time I've hike this area when the creek wasn't dry. There were even a few wildflowers in the meadows. We hiked to the top of the trail where it dead-ends and then started back down and this time we encountered a gopher snake stretched out across the trail. We knew it was not a rattler because it was too cold for a rattlesnake to be out plus it was not coiled and ready to strike. It was about 4 feet long and about as big around as a garden hose. I am dreadfully frightened of snakes whether they be poisonous or not. Keith was brave and went up close to it and chased it off the path so Hiker and I could proceed. We were wet and muddy by the time we got back to the car and Hiker was a mess! I had to bathe her when we got home and I was surprised at how good she was when I did. She used to fight me the whole time I was bathing her but this time she stayed calm. I'm thinking it was because I had taken her to the groomer for her last bath and she enjoyed it there, so she was enjoying it now. After Hiker's bath, Keith and I went to Round Table Pizza for lunch. Keith left for home awhile ago and it is very quiet here now.