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.

Friday, January 11, 2008

North Kinsman Was Hiked On January 10, 2008; Dedicated To Trail

On the day Sir Edmund Hillary died, we awoke in Newburyport, made a wonderful visit to Plum Island Coffee Roasters for a latte and some friendship, then headed back home to Lincoln. Once here I putted around before hopping on the Lonesome Lake Trail for the 10 mile round trip to North and South Kinsman. It was a great day to be hiking, and a great night to finish in. We started about 12:30 and got down just after 7:00 pm.

North Kinsman was dedicated to Kim Dunham’s dog, Trail. Kim’s the North Woodstock, New Hampshire postmaster and has been wonderfully supportive of both myself and Atticus since we moved here.

This is what Kim wrote about her Trail:

Trail came into my life quite by accident, or maybe I should say that fate brought me to her. In the spring of 2005 my good friend lost her companion of 14 years, Domino (see Owl's Head dedication). Domino succumbed to complications from diabetes. Several weeks after Domino passed on, I brought her leftover diabetic supplies to the Nashua NH Humane Society. Being a dog lover and owner most of my life, I could not leave without a visit to see the dogs available for adoption. I rounded the corner and there she was! This adorable 6 month old mixed breed looked me in the eyes and I knew I was about to gain a new best friend. I brought her home and our life together began!

The next morning Trail and I headed for Pack Monadnock Mountain for a hike, as I did almost every day before work. It was obvious that she had never been in the woods, never smelled all the fascinating nature smells, never probably even been for a walk. That day is where the name "Trail" was born as it became obvious that she was meant to be on the trail with me.

Since then we have moved to the White Mountains and Trail has become quite the hiking partner. She never seems to mind when I need to take extra breaks and she keeps all my minor hiking mishaps to herself. Every day I am thankful for Trail, even when it is -10 below and she wakes me at 2 a.m. to go outside. Oh yeah, and by the way, I do believe that little Domino has looked down on me with a wink and a smile.