Well, ‘we’ = me (until my son visits next month). Today is Sunday, no mail delivery. A walk among the mountains is the equivalent of churchgoing for me. I put on my mud caked shoes and headed out (after sweeping up clods of dirt I left behind). I have always loved walking. Heaven for me is one long walking trail. I use to live in a community that I was able to walk to work, the store and even church. I could walk for exercise,too. The possibilities were endless. The neighborhood, Mt Laurel, was designed to be a walkable community. Wide sidewalks, trails, shops, only a few blocks away. Sadly, the folks there choose to hop in their car to go two blocks, rather than walk. It’s slowly becoming a ‘golf-cart-community’.
The benefits of walking are endless. Why am I the only one that seems to enjoy it? Hardly anyone in Mt Laurel walks to town. My daughter still lives and works there. I’ve tried to convince her to sell one of their cars and at the very least, get a golf cart. Heck, no gasoline, no car insurance, no car payment! Here in this neighborhood, everyone (but us) has an ATV (the equivalent of the Mt Laurel golf cart, it would seem). Even Brewskie the dog bails on me when his owner is home. He’d rather wait around for a car ride than join me for a walk. Sigh.
Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. ~Henry David Thoreau
I think I am what’s left of a vanishing breed, the pedestrian. Today I set out to hike up the hill behind us. My reward for the hike straight uphill is always many breath-taking views along the way. Unfortunately today, some territorial dogs met me en route. They let me know loud and clear that I was not welcomed on this road. I trudged on, hoping their bark was worse than their bite. Once at the top of the hill I could still hear them warning me that the road belonged to them. I decided to avoid a potential bite to the shin and climb down the mountain, making my own trail. I’ve seen Brewskie do it. It shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, if you’re a dog, it’s not.
Since Spring hasn’t sprung quite yet in northern Idaho, the brush hasn’t filled in. I was able to maneuver OK. I’d gotten about 12 feet down the mountain when I realized, there was no turning back. What crazy off-road journey have I gotten myself into today? I didn’t have my walkie-talkie, the side of the mountain was slick, with abundant sprinklings of moose terds. I dare not slip. Why do I continue to try to find a short-cut that tends to take twice as long. One day I’ll learn my lesson. Today was not that day.
There is a happy ending. I spot our house through the woods. The dogs do not find me. The neighbor doesn’t shoot at the rustling noise in the woods and I will live – to hike another day.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir