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, April 15, 2011


It's not just the mountaintops or the rocky outcrops with outstanding views. It's not always the trails that traverse above treeline, nor the walks through majestic woods. Sometimes the magic comes in just sitting by a stream.

Yesterday morning Atticus and I took a lengthy road walk along the hilly streets of Jackson and returned home so I could write. Then later in the afternoon he roused me from my desk and I tucked our dinner into my backpack and we walked deep into the woods until we came to a stream too wild and deep to cross. It's there we sat and shared a meal together, listening to the song of the raging water. When we were done, Atticus got up and moved to the edge of a large rock and sat and watched much of the winter pass by below us.

We could have sat there for hours but darkness descended on us and I hadn't brought a headlamp. As I watched him, and looked around at our surroundings, and then walked out of the woods, I was so grateful for the decisions we made that led us to live in these mountains, to change our lives so that we could have moments like this on a daily basis.


The Ladies of Beaglebratz Manor said...

Hi - I'm Kim. I have two Beagles, Shiloh and Shasta who are the loves of my life. I have just finished watching your spot on Animal Planet for the ????????? time. After seeing it the first time I wanted to see if I could find you on the Internet but life got in the way and I forgot to search. This time, my computer happens to be in the same room as the TV so before I did anything else, I finally made the search and I was so glad I found your blog. I am not a hiker although I wish I could but rather I live that desire through others who can and do hike with their dogs. I don't have time right now to investigate your blog more but I will be back. When you have time, I would love it if you checked out our blog at Team Beaglebratz. We are your newest followers so I know where I need to return.
Kim, Shiloh an'Shasta

1HappyHiker said...

Oh man! Tom, this is yet another instance where you really nailed it, at least from my perspective. Just like you, there are so many "little" places (such as the one you described) that I often visit. And also just like you, I am so grateful for moving to these mountains so that I can experience these mini-magical moments on a whim.


Karl said...

Well said, Tom! Your perspective of the mountains and nature is wonderful. Sounds like it was beautiful moment and I'm glad you shared it with us...


Thomas F. Ryan said...

Thanks, all. John & Karl, it's clear you can also appreciate that the best things are not always what we expect them to be. We are constantly surprised is these wonderful mountains we live in.