Turns out, that's what Lucia is. I sent in her DNA to a research company (Embark) to see if she had any breeds that stand out.
The results confirmed what I assumed, but wasn't 100% sure about. She was adopted as a puppy while I was in Vladivostok, so I knew her heritage would be mostly a mix of breeds. But I guessed she had traits of German shepherd and some kind of terrier. Embark's results verified what I was thinking. You can see all their details here.
One of the best places to get a view of Quito's mountainous landscape is at the top of the Teleferico. It's a sky tram up the side of Pinchincha. The 2.5km ride takes 10 minutes before you arrive at the top of Cruz Loma. The total height is 4100m, almost 13,500ft. From the top you can hike to the summit of Rucu Pinchincha (4680m) which is a 4km (5hr) round trip.
Mindo is located about 80km from Quito, Ecuador. It's well known for its flora and fauna. It is located in a valley in what is called the Mindo Nambillo Protected Forest , an ecosystem inhabited by some 500 varieties of birds and 90 species of butterflies.
On the way there, Dad and I had to detour onto a mountain trail due to a mudslide that had closed down the highway. After we arrived in Mindo, we learned from one of the touring companies what we could see nearby. The first stop was a little residence that offered a private view of their backyard, which provided a sanctuary for hummingbirds.
Further up into the mountain, we found a tram that took us across a valley and to the waterfalls.
This trail took us down to Cascada Nambillo.
Dad the Traveler!
As you can see, the rain made the trek a little muddy. While driving back home we discovered the landslide on the highway was still forcing cars to detour into the small mountain trail. All the traffic throughout the day took a toll on the muddy trail, making it difficult for some front wheel drive vehicles to make it through. After an hour wait on the highway, we eventually made it through the muddy detour with no problem and arrived back in Quito.
During my trip to our U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I took some time after work to stroll the city's boardwalk, called the Malecon, and see the sights.
Guayaquil is actually larger in population than Ecuador's capital city Quito. It's rest near sea level and provides all the amenities that comes with being a coastal city. Great seafood, beautiful waterfront views, and fascinating urban architecture, I look forward to coming back and seeing more of the city.
While I was away for a few days, Lucia had her own adventure. I told her she was going to summer camp, but she knew that translated to a dog kennel. Fortunately, we were put in contact with a great vet who also runs a very nice kennel just outside of Quito. It's run by Dr. Ellen and her husband, who both run a veterinarian clinic called Ecuavet. Over the labor day weekend, I took Lucia to check it out and get use to the surroundings. Upon arrival, she was welcomed warmly by all the current canine residents. So I knew she'd do well while I took my first trip for work.