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.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

An Early Start

When it is early and cold and dark like it is right now there is little incentive to get out that door. At an hour like this even Atticus is not excited about getting out the door to whatever awaits. Instead he lays on the bed Sphinx-like, watching me, wondering just what I'm doing in the dark. It's as if he is saying, "Shouldn't we be sleeping still?" Ah, but Tom, Field and Willey are waiting and so is the Patriots game (3:00 pm). My plan is to be on the trail at 7:00 am and home by 2:30 at the latest. Heck, didn't we just start the Tecumseh hike the other day at 2:30 pm?

When it is like this, it's hard to imagine life outside in the dark and the cold. These are the times when my imagination takes me to being the only life around. I've always said that hiking in the sunshine makes all the difference in the world. On a cloudy, snowy winter day you can feel bereft of all joy. It's a Dementor thing. But break out the sunshine and my spirit soars. Ain't no sunshine today so it's time to make myself get out that door.

See you this afternoon.