Yesterday morning, I got caught up in the news, and let time get away from me. By the time I headed out the door for my morning walk with the dogs, I had to hurry, or I would be late for work. I put on the eighteen minute “walk-to-run” program, and allowed not a single distraction. No time to admire the sun shining through the autumn colors; no time for photographs. The dogs got their morning exercise with hardly a rest, and we were all a little breathless by the time got back home.
I made up for it in the afternoon. I put a big handful of kibble in one pocket, to use as praise and encouragement for the dogs along the way. I slid my camera into the other pocket, to capture some of the beautiful foliage. We set out to enjoy a mild and glorious fall day. This time, I let the dogs set the pace. I chose the route.
We started off down Cotter’s Trail, then turned onto the grassy path that winds through woods and open fields. We followed it until we came to the back of the Murray’s big yard, then along the border of their property to the wood-chip covered two-track that curves through the trees. Wet from last night’s rain, it took a little navigating to keep my shoes dry. That path took us to Hoopfer’s camp.
When the guys are there, as they were last week, sitting around the fire pit having refreshments, the dogs enjoy making friends. When it’s not being used, the dogs simply enjoy the big, clear yard. They break into a run, and circle every structure, tree and stone before following me up the driveway.
At the end of the driveway, we are once again on Cotter’s Trail. If I turn to the left, I’m headed back home. Instead, we turned to the right, and followed the trail to its end, where a cluster of newer sheds and outbuildings share the clearing with the little cabin that originally belonged to Cotter.
Finally, we got back on the trail and took it back to the Fox Lake Road, and home. The colors are at their peak, or nearly so; the sunshine added both brilliance and warmth. It was a perfect day for a long walk.