Once again, our attempts at a good walk have been foiled.
The dogs are bored, and I’m getting discouraged.
Clover and I went down the road for our walk a few times, when the extreme cold or ice didn’t stop us. Guilt at leaving the little dog at home was the only damper on our enjoyment. A bit of a thaw allowed the three of us to get out together to walk the old logging road into the woods. Still, not close to our usual routine for frequency or distance.
Now, we have more snow!
In other years, there has been a long dry spell between the end of hunting season and the beginning of lasting cold weather. Time that we could walk through the woods, keeping grasses and snow trampled down. Time to reacquaint ourselves with the path, the landmarks and wildlife along the way. Time to get accustomed to our route so that we’d know the way when it was buried in deep snow.
Not this year!
In other winters, the snow has come down wet and heavy, forming a nice crust that would carry my weight. Then, we could leave the path. We could explore deep into the woods, knowing we’d have our footprints in the snow to lead us back home.
Not this year. Not yet, anyway.
We had our first snow early, and it hasn’t let up. Five or six inches at a time it has fallen, accumulating quickly into a deep landscape of fluffy snow. So light, snowmobiles could not go out on it; so soft, it would not carry my weight, with or without snowshoes. I don’t think an entire week has gone by without a fresh layer of snow being added to what is already here.
In years gone by, one companion was my old dog, Maggie. Maggie loved a good walk! Part Malamute, part Lab, she was undaunted by the weather. Cold didn’t bother her. Though she had bad hips, she could “swim” her way through snow that seemed impassable to the rest of us. She would lead the way. Clover and I would follow.
Not anymore. Maggie left this world a few years ago. Her spot has been filled with Rosa Parks.
Rosa has much the same coloring as Maggie. She is similar in shape, carrying a bit of extra weight around the middle. She has the same bossy attitude and snippy temperament. She even has similar health and food issues! However, she is considerably shorter and one hundred pounds lighter than Maggie was. This winter, that’s a definite consideration!
Clover is feeling her age, of late. She doesn’t have the endurance or stamina she exhibited even a year ago.
Me, too! Tramping through deep snow is hard on my knees and exhausting all around. I can go a short distance, but long walks are out of the question in this weather.
This winter has slowed all three of us down!