Alden fell asleep in the car on the way to Blue Mountain, and even though he was only out for maybe five minutes, on waking up at the parking lot he blinked and looked dazed as if he’d been asleep for an hour.
The parking lot was full of cars, trucks, and a few horse trailers, and we had our first few dog meet-and-greets before we hit the trail. Putty was in high spirits and on extra-alert, darting back to bark at one oblivious golden retriever four times before deciding he’d had his say.
We headed up the gentle slope, Alden wanting to hold my hand and yawing, me mentally calculating whether we would do the “usual” loop, the “short” loop, or the “so short it hardly counts” loop.
No birds. The most notable features of the walk:
1. Ice-rink slippery underfoot in places. Bogs, the wrong choice of footwear.
2. One hilarious and pitiable accident of breeding, something like an overweight basset-golden retriever cross.
3. We did the “so short it hardly counts” loop and I didn’t feel resentful or grouchy about it.
We talked about other hikes for other days. Talked about when the bluebirds would come back to the nesting box we passed. When we might be able to go skating for real, not only down the trail in our boots back toward the car. And how warm the sun felt, moments after it pushed through the clouds.