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The Long and Winding Toad

Reflection of Andy, Archie, Tilly, Luna, and Kitt in a driveway mirror

Andy wanted to go for a hike today, and had a longer route planned. I said yep, because I needed a long training hike and wanted to hang with Andy. He picked me up and off we went.

When we walk, I usually walk with Archie. Of the three dogs, I like Archie the least, but I have found, as with most beings, when I shower him with affection, he is less annoying to me. Tilly is the same way, her aggressive greetings and jumping frustrates me. I've been headbutted in the face and kicked in the groin by Tilly I don't know how many uncountable times. I've adapted to her greetings by showing affection, which seems to lessen her demands for attention, and by holding her down firmly while praising her for not jumping in greeting. Both seem to be having an effect, which I'm happy about.

So, off we go, Andy, Tilly, Luna, Archie, and me.

Many of the paths I hadn't been on, some I recognized. I was amused that I looked at my watch 30 minutes in. I'm usually better about not looking at my watch and not caring about the time or distance covered. It was going to be a long hike, if I looked 30 of 180 minutes into the hike.

Andy picking up poop as Tilly and Luna stare at me.

On these long hikes (and on normal walks in general), Andy prefers the dogs poop at the beginning of a hike, usually near a trash bin. The dogs seems to want to poop around the same time, which makes for a big bag of poop at the end of the scooping. The dogs don't always accomodate Andy, "I'm become an export at carrying poop, and also at holding three leashes in one hand while scooping poop in the other." I was suitably impressed.

I carried barely 13 pounds on this hike, mostly a symbolic weight. My back was oddly stiff at the end of the hike. I'm somewhat puzzled why, though. My back is less stiff with 25 pounds on my back.

After the hike, Andy and I picked up lunch at Aqui, then went back to Krikitt Downs to eat. After lunch and hanging, Andy and I talked for a bit. I talked about where I had been the last eight years or so, the arc of my life. I apologized for being a crappy friend. I suspect this is going to be a week of apologies. He listened, for which I was grateful, and accepted my apologies. My crying afterward may have been from gratitude, but was more likely from the relief of setting down a heavy burden.

Yes, there were toads on the hike.

And a Yoda.

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