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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two Different Hikes; Two Different Peaks: Cabot & Cannon

When we finally made it out the door this afternoon I was feeling a bit weak and spiritually torpid. By the time we reached the trailhead for the Mt. Cabot Trail the day matched my mood and the way my body felt as dark clouds swallowed all the sunshine, swirling winds kicked up snow in miniature tornadoes and an occasional snow squall. We had the pleasure of running into Ed Hawkins on the trail, the third time that has happened this winter. Atticus and I eventually made the summit by simply putting one foot in front of the other. On the summit the sun did come out but to be honest, it did nothing to raise my spirits. (No inspiration today, so no slide shows either.)

We were driving back to Lincoln and I was feeling just as unmotivated as I have been the last few days and the sun had now set leaving us in the dark. What to do when you're not feeling quite right? I walked into the fire and parked in the parking lot for the Peabody Slopes at Cannon Mountain. We started up the peak by way of the slopes, once again, one foot in front of another, me moving slowly, Atticus looking at me like I was lacking for wits. Then the snow started, a strong squall parked right overhead and unleashed large flakes on us.

Like I said, it was just one of those days. I wasn't about to let my aching body stop us on Cabot and I wasn't about to let the snow stop us on the steep climb up the slopes to the summit of Cannon either. It wasn't pretty but we made it without being run over by any of the groomers and the snow did eventually stop.

I'm glad to be home, glad now to be getting ready for bowl of soup, a cup of tea from Licorice & Sloe and an early trip to bed. Two more peaks down. Total for the winter is now 23. (Top photo is of walking through the lower woods on Cabot Trail. Second photo is a deplorable self-portrait atop Cannon. You can tell my mood by the tint of the photos.) By the way, Cannon was hiked for Kim & Rick Caston's cat 'Cannon', named for the peak.