Tag Archives: Cotter’s Trail

Dogs (the April A~Z Challenge)

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On Friday, the 30th of March, weather reports predicted a big storm coming our way. High winds and cold temperatures were expected. Plus maybe several inches of wet, heavy snow. Maybe freezing rain. What did we expect? When this month had come in like a lamb, of course it was going to go out like a lion!

On Friday, though, it still looked like spring out here on the Fox Lake Road. The road itself was completely clear of snow and ice. The snow was melting away from the tree trunks, even in the deep woods, and my yard was more than halfway bare. Daily, the big dog was finding toys she’d left outside, that had been buried for months under the blanket of white. Daffodils were poking their first leaves out of the ground, and the rhododendrons were in bud. The temperature was in the 40s, and the sun was shining brightly when I got home from work.

“We’d better take advantage of this day,” I told the dogs, and they seemed to agree. The big dog, Darla, is always up for a walk. She headed right out, no need for coaxing. Even Rosa Parks, who often has to be begged or bribed to come along, was right on my heels. We crossed the road and took Cotter’s trail through the woods.

Sometimes the snow on the trail was firm enough to walk on; most of the time, though, every footfall broke through six inches of mush. That’s tiring, and hard on my knees. I hadn’t changed into boots; my cloth shoes were going to be soaked. On another day, I might have turned back. On Friday, though, the sun was shining, and both dogs were tail-wagging along beside me. We walked the whole distance in, then back out. We were all pretty proud of ourselves for it, too!

The storm did come through, as predicted, with about five inches of wet snow. Before it had time to melt away, another winter storm followed it. This morning, the dogs are barking up a storm¬†inside as the young man that does my plowing clears almost of foot of snow from my driveway. I’m glad the dogs and I took advantage of spring weather when it made its brief appearance!

No Wandering

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There are hunters in the woods today.

Here in northern Michigan, this is opening day of whitetail deer hunting season. There are cars and trucks parked on roadsides and in “turn-arounds”, with no driver in sight. As night comes on, the lights of vehicles are visible deep in the trees as hunters leave their blinds for the warmth and camaraderie of restaurants, bars and cabins.

The dogs and I stay home this time of year.

No walk down the Cotter’s Trail; there are at least three groups of hunters down that way. No wandering down the trail to the hunting cabin behind me, as it’s being used this year, too. I won’t try to walk down the Fox Lake Road, with the woods on either side. Hunters are generally a friendly bunch, but they are still strangers to my dogs, and turn up in unlikely places. Hunters are careful, but they still carry guns.

We stay home.

I walked three miles at work today, mainly running from the housewares section – where I am still arranging things – to the telephone or the cash register.

At home, I took the dogs for one circle around the yard, only.

Inside, I worked through my exercise tape while rice was cooking.

I made soup this evening – Avegolemono, with chicken broth, rice, lemon and eggs – and ate two big, lemony bowls of it.

I think next I will take my good book – Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – and go curl up on the sofa.

It’s a nice day to be a “homebody.”

Snow Day

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We have about five inches of fluffy new snow here on Beaver Island.

I had the day off.

With two bits of business writing I was determined to get done, a new exercise routine planned,¬† several things underway in the studio, and a living space that could use a serious once-over…procrastination was the order of the day.

The sun was shining.

Yesterday’s winds had calmed.

The dogs were in perfect agreement.

Morning, just after coffee, I bundled up and headed out.

Down the driveway to the Fox Lake Road and a short jaunt over to Cotter’s Trail. We followed the trail about halfway in, then took the drive that leads past two pole barns and into the wide path through the woods back to the Murray’s summer home. Usually from there I’d go up the driveway to the road, and home from there. That’s about a 45 minute walk.

Today, we circled the yard, walked past the pond and re-traced our steps back through the woods. Back at the Cotter’s Trail, we veered to the right. We continued down the trail past Crazy Larry’s old campsite, past the deer-camp sign, Tom Mann’s little shelter and the cabin that used to be Cotter’s (and so will always be known as Cotter’s, though the ownership changed nearly thirty years ago). We continued into the woods toward the West Side Drive.

The dogs were willing to continue our adventure, but my legs were burning from the long walk in deep snow. I made my turn before we came out into the clearing, and we headed back home.

By the time I was ready for our afternoon walk, the snow mobile riders had been out. Their runners firm and pack the snow, leaving a nice path. They had followed the power lines that run parallel to Fox Lake Road. That’s the way we walked. First south, through the meadow and up to where the road makes a sharp turn, then north, past my house and on to where the power lines cross the road, and home from there.

I still have my long list of things I should have done today.

There’s still time.

It was a great day to be out in the snow!