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.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's Moriah Today, I Do Believe

Good morning. Interesting weather days ahead. No snow to really worry about and this morning the sun is shining happily through the windows of my apartment while Atticus is softly snoring. (Is there a more peaceful or innocent sound than that of a baby or a dog snoring away in deep slumber?) Today is supposed to be comfortably in the mid-twenties. Comfortable for winter that is, especially when one is sweating on his way up a mountain with a large pack on his back. Tomorrow and Tuesday, now that's a different kettle of fish altogether. calls for a high of 11 degrees tomorrow and minus 16 tomorrow night. That, and the Patriots game time start of 3:oo may limit our hiking choices. Monday the forecast calls for 11 degrees again, but a "real feel" of minus 6. Then it begins to become more normal again. This cold will help with the stream crossings and that's a good thing. Now we just have to decided where to go in the next couple of days, if anywhere.

Two years ago Atticus and I started winter hiking. On one morning we drove up from Newburyport to hike Lafayette and Lincoln. I cannot remember the exact temperature but it was very cold. We pulled into the parking lot at the trail head. I hopped out, as Atticus did, and in about five seconds he hopped right back into the car. It's safe to say my little friend is a good barometer of what we should and shouldn't be doing and I trust him to make most of those decisions. So that's what we will do tomorrow and Monday. I'll let the Weather Dog make up his mind.

This morning, however, I think we are heading off to Moriah, which is much more pleasant than the Mines of Moria that come to the mind of some of you when you read that name. We'll head up the Stony Brook Trail so that we can enjoy the ledge walk over the last 1.3 miles. It's a 10-mile round trip so I think we won't be starting until 10:30 or 11:00. It takes about an hour to drive there so we best get going.