On the Mattabesset trail with Genie

January 12, 2010 / Walking with my dog into the hills, over snow-covered trails, in the long afternoon shadows.

Last weekend Genie and I walked a small section of the Mattabesset trail and took in the view. She is a real climber, my girl. The hill kind, not the social kind. It’s fun to watch her tail during the hike, a reliable indicator of her comfort level. Afraid of no animal except the human, no vegetable, no mineral, and no heights, my girl is the mountain goat of dogs, the ferret of the woods, and the outdoorsy one in the family.

This white expanse of ice is known as Black Pond. I don’t know how it came by that name. It is simply what you get when you type your question into the Internet. People were out on the pond that day. There were still a few souls traipsing over it when Genie and I went home, and you could see the tracks of many more. It reminded me of a sad story I had heard a few days earlier of a man in the U.K. who died trying to save his two dogs who had fallen through some ice. I drove home especially carefully.

Water can reveal the de facto porousness of apparently solid rock, but frozen water does it so much better. While we were up on top we met a guy who spontaneously shared his personal geological Wikipedia article on the hills. They are filled with volcano-spawned trap rock, and you can follow the Mattabesset trail into Massachusetts. And that tower in the distance is the test facility of the Otis elevator company, and I know we need the materials but it’s such a shame how that open cut mine scars the land.

I couldn’t disagree.

5 responses

  1. kris

    I can’t believe you lived in Brisbane and now you live here. It seems like a storybook to someone for whom a cold day is -2 deg. cent. and a heavy frost on the rhubarb.

    I like the look on Genie’s face: it’s wolf-dog, a super-alertness as she feels the wild blood of her wolf ancestors rises in response to the forest.

    January 18th, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

  2. Adrian Cooke

    It’s wolf-dog, a super-alertness as she feels the wild blood of her wolf ancestors rises in response to the forest — I love this! Funny, I have always imagined Tasmania in a similar way: faraway, cold, beautiful, countrified :)

    January 19th, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

  3. kris

    Tasmania is all those things, but I live here so it lacks of mystery and exoticism of north-Eastern U.S. in the winter time.

    On wolfishness: our labradoodle gets much the same look, but given he was described last Thursday as ‘that tubby dog with the perm and the goatee’, it can be hard to recognise. But I know a wild heart beats beneath his over-fed suburban belly.

    January 24th, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

  4. Karen Cooke

    Stunning photographs Adri, and there’s nothing like a dog to get you out on the exercise trail hey! I would dearly love to see M’town in the winter again.

    April 19th, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

  5. Adrian Cooke

    Thanks KC, she always wants to play. So when are you coming back?!

    April 26th, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

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