Saturday, August 23, 2008

morning list

I want to write about happy dogs today.
it being an odd-numbered day, dogs are allowed on the upper trails of millcreek canyon. I love this system: that odd-numbered days are for dogs and even-numbered days are for mountain bikes. that someone has decided that it's too difficult (dangerous) to have horses, hikers, dogs, and mountain bikes all on the trails at the same time. that someone made this decision to allow different usages on different days. and that because of the fact that our weeks consist of an odd number of days, that one weekend dogs get to play on saturdays and the following weekend they get to play on sundays. it just seems to work out so well.

I have a friend who works for the forest service, and he enlightened me to the fact that much of what his organization does is try to manage these natural resources in ways that meet the great variety of needs we all have. to try to please those who want to cross-country ski on quiet, virgin snow as well as those who want to blast through uninhabited country on their snowmobile. those who want to fish, and those who want to water-ski and boat. those who want to hike, back-pack and camp in tents with those who want to drive their motorhome to a concrete pad and hook-up to amenities.
and those who want to let their dogs scamper on hiking trails with those who want to ride their mountain bikes on those same trails.
current millcreek canyon rules made for lots of happy dogs this morning.

which made for a happy me this morning.

I love this canyon, you know this. but it is not an easy climb, and parts of it seem impossibly steep, at least to my quads and hamstrings. so I am always working hard, especially in the top half (not to mention that initiating first half-mile or so). and I was alone this morning, allowing plenty time for my thoughts to settle into "argh, can I really keep going?" mode.
and then a car would pass me, a window lowered and a big canine head poking out, mouth open, tongue lolling, ears pressed back and the biggest smile possible covering its entire body.
this makes me grin.
which lightens my load and keeps me pedaling.
because in so very many ways, I am as happy as those dogs to be out doing what I love on a beautiful almost-fall morning.

this is today's list of reasons I ride in the morning:

* the clean, cool air
* that most other people out exercising in the morning seem to share my happiness to be alive
* to see the bridge at 33rd topless, and to watch the new bridge inching its way into place
* so I can eat more when I get home, and all day, actually
* to see all those happy dogs on their way to heaven on earth
* to begin the day with an accomplishment
* to see only one cyclist coming down the hill before me
* to be cold, actually cold, when the rest of the city is wearing tee-shirts and preparing for a 90 degree day
* to yell "good morning!" after they passed at the two girls running downhill as I was going up who totally pretended I wasn't there. maybe tomorrow I'll write about some female egos.
* because I can, and I am grateful for that.

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