Dedication

Words, I realize, do not do enough, but I wrote this essay over a period of time, my dedication to our loyal hound and companion Sandy, who we said goodbye to in May at fourteen-and-a-half. It was published today at Whole Terrain, a journal dedicated to reflective environmental writing. Here is my dedication to a loyal friend and trail companion. sandy-on-trail

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Trail break

Sandy girl was happy to be out on the pine trail. sandy on trail

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In the field

To sit in a field in the cool afternoon with your dog, that is the way to let your To-Do list stay on the desk, for a moment, and to get back as close as you can to being a kid in summer exploring back in that field behind your house. With nowhere else to be.

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Sandy back on the trail

Sandy was pretty excited to get four paws back on the trail.

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The Long Trail

A man stopped his red Ford pickup beside me as I was pumping air in the tires. I had my head down trying to get the bike setup quickly so I would had a good two or so hours on the long canal trail at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, before I pedaled back with the orange sun fading beyond the everglades. “Pardon. How far does that trail go?” he asked.

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The Heron

It has been cooling in the afternoon, and six p.m. hikes have become a wonderful reward when I can get away from the writing and grading papers. It was towards the end of such a hike last week when we came across this Great Blue Heron. I stopped to let Sandy cool off in the pool running over from one of the brackish creeks at Oleta River State Park. I looked up and saw the heron:

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Testing the SPOT GPS Tracker on the trail

I headed to the Southwest corner of the smaller lake at West Delray Regional Park, where a trail loop shaded by Pines awaited earlier today. Here is a GPS MAP of my exact location.

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Back on the trail

I was sick for ten days, and the whole time all I could think about was getting better so I could lace up the hiking boots or clip into the bike pedal. Today was the first day I felt somewhat normal; I think I was about seventy-five percent recovered, which is good enough for a little hike around the nearby nature preserve.

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Singletrack sweetness

Two trips to Oleta River State Park. Eleven and a half miles of adrenaline. Seventy-eight more miles to go, to reach my goal.

Ready to go

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