Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Body Warmers

Last winter, during their speed record for hiking all 48 4,000-footers in one winter, Tim Seaver and Cath Goodwin had a great deal of help along their 9-plus days of epic tramping through the Whites in the form of Jeff Vino and Andy Hawley. Tim is not only one of the two fastest White Mountain hikers on two feet, he’s also a very gifted photographer and their record was made all the more special by his witty trip reports and the photos that accompanied them. Tim picked out one as his favorite. It was of Cath, Jeff and Andy atop Moriah. This is a link to Tim's website:

This winter, Atticus and I have been doing our best to hike a few peaks and raise some money for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We’ve had company on half of the peaks we’ve climbed. And lately we’ve had the good company of Tim’s three companions. Today, atop the summit of Mt. Tecumseh, there was a moment when the warmth of these three really emerged. It’s in the top photo above.

I truly appreciate the assistance these three have given in making sure Atticus is safe and warm on the hikes they’ve been apart of. Whether it’s been Cath ceaselessly sharing her encyclopedic knowledge of trails and weather and condition or Jeff and Cath scooping up Atticus to keep him warm during various breaks along the trail or Andy and the others breaking trail so he could follow behind. And today, Andy softened enough to actually be photographed holding Atticus on top of the summit.

Earlier in the winter Atticus has also been kept company and warm by Steve Martin, who is a co-conspirator in caring for hiking dogs in the Whites. And I have to also thank two friends from home, Tom Jones and Aaron Lichtenberg, who have kept Atticus warm and safe on their hikes with us this winter.

Hikers are often advised to bring along hand and feet warmers. On some of the hikes we’ve done this winter, we’ve been lucky enough to have some valuable body warmers along for the journey.

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