Zen Dog

Yesterday morning Waldo and I had a magnificent hike out at King's Gap. We hadn't done this in a long time. Usually it's too buggy in the summer to be out in the woods around here, but yesterday I woke up early to cool, crisp air. Let's go! About half way into our hike we came to a point where a one mile loop, the Locust Point Trail, heads off to the right. It's a nice hike but I wasn't planning on going that way, thinking that Waldo was going to be tired enough as it was and that any extra distance was asking for trouble. But my little four-legged hiker insisted on going to the right, so off we went. And in very short time we found ourselves in a wonderful state: no distractions, no thoughts, just moving along, following the path, which must be very much like a tunnel to Waldo. No stopping to mark territory, to sniff; just becoming part of the trail, hiking in unison at a perfect, steady pace. No distracting noises, lots of shade. A minimal touch of breeze. Lots of moss on the trail bed. Our breathing even seemed synchronized. Zen. This lasted all the way around the loop. When we reconnected with the Boundary Trail we seemed to get thrown back into a more normal state of awareness. (And, curious detail, we walked by some scat that I believe was bear; I've been comparing images of bear and deer scat on google, and I'm confident it was bear. If there had been a bear on the Locust Point Trail we may well not even have been aware of it, we were that gone. Or that there?) In any case, the return to normal time was fine, and when we came to the stream on the King's Gap Hollow trail, Waldo had a grand time sloshing around in the shallow water. It was about a 3.5-4 mile hike all together. A hike I won't soon forget: that time on the Locust Point trail was magical.

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