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.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Company That's been our first week thus far. Today was "off". I am happy to report that my leg has benefited from the day off after every hike and in the coming days will be ready for back-to-back hikes. I felt if I pushed it too hard it had an opportunity to turn into something much worse than it should be. Another factor for the "off" today was the weather. It was not horrible but the forecast was for some mixed precipitation midway through the day and that's exactly what we got. It started off as freezing rain, then more ice, small flecks of hard snow and then finally larger flakes. We ended up with five inches down below. Not sure what the mountain tops received but we'll find out tomorrow.

I am very selective about our hiking companions. The best ones are those who understand that each hike has to center around Atticus. We change routes, even change mountains, at the last minute to protect him. Tom Jones was a good companion last winter but he's yet to come up from Newburyport this winter. He'll be here soon enough, he tells me, which is a good thing since I miss our good friend.

Another good partner from last winter is Jeff Veino, a rather strong hiker, he was part of the support team for the Tim Seaver/Cath Goodwin winter record ramble a couple of years ago. I can count on him being there for Atticus on any of the hikes we do. As a matter of fact, Jeff not only came through for Atticus on the trail, he also opened his wallet and made a donation to The Friends of Atticus at the same time he was buying a new home. He's generous and loyal. Atticus also likes him because Jeff shares his pumpkin seeds with him on the trail. Jeff's in town tonight and is spending the night so we'll hike together tomorrow. Not sure what. I guess tomorrow morning's weather will tell us what we are going to hike. (That's Jeff in the photo above with Atticus on Mt. Madison from last winter.)

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