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.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hot Lunch on Black Cap

Do you remember that term from your school days or am I giving away my age? Because there were nine children in my family we never paid for the hot lunch at school. We brought a bagged lunch. Today, Atticus and I took a hot lunch (break).

Atticus decided I'd been sitting at the computer far too long lately so he sat just two feet away and stared at me. You try writing that way! Okay, so I get the message, Little Bug.

Neither one of us like the noon hour. I prefer the early and late shadows of the day and the softer light. With the sun directly above it's feels obtrusive and it blanches the color out of life. I'm a mere beginning photographer but even I know it's not great for photos. Atticus doesn't like the noon hour because it is too bright. S ince his cataract surgery his eyes are more sensitive and he surreptitiously seeks the shade, even if it's just a bit of shade that covers only his eyes and nothing else. Sometimes I'll stop on the sidewalk here in Jackson to converse with someone and I'll notice that Atti sits with his eyes in either person's shadow. On hikes he seeks out rest points under trees taking on the look of a little Cleopatra-like Diva who wants to be shaded.

But we both needed to get out so we went out during out least favorite time of the day, drove to North Conway and walked up Black Cap. It's a 2.4 mile loop with incredible views. The elevation gain is mostly gentle, but not when you've been sitting and writing and eating too many carbs as of late. I felt it. But still, it was good to get out. In the future we'll head out to start or end the day, when it is cooler (notice Atti's panting tongue), the air quality is better (notice the smog in the shots of Washington), and there are less bugs. (They were biting like crazy on the summit.)

One of these days when we head to Black Cap I'll count how many 4,000-footers I can see from up there. I wouldn't be surprised if it's close to 20. That's a pretty impressive view for a little peak just a hop, skip and a panting jump from the strip in North Conway.

No comments: