As part of his continuing education Bear and I have been hiking each weekend, I take him on a mix of trails he’s well familiar with as well as some new ones, to give him some new sights and sounds and see how he does on different types of terrain. He’s been doing great, on this occasion I took him up Brown’s Mountain, when we met a woman on a horse he immediately stepped to the side and sat and earned praise from the rider and a treat from me.
When we got to the overlook near the top of the mountain I planned to take his picture with the summit behind him but I couldn’t as this was my only view of him. He was transfixed by the view of the desert below, to the point he wouldn’t drink his water and even only ate his carrots if I reached around and placed them in his mouth, so he didn’t have to avert his eyes for even a moment.
I wondered if he knew our house was off in the distance by the mountains to his right? That the dozens of trails we had walked lay near and far below us? That seeing him blossom on our walks first in the neighborhood and now in the desert brings me such joy? He gets so excited when he sees me put on my hiking clothes he starts chasing his tail, and when we arrive he bounds down the trail with such enthusiasm I once wondered aloud if he was making up for lost time. Which perhaps he is.
I realized he had probably never been up this high before and let him soak in the view for a while. A fighter jet roared overhead to celebrate our achievement, or perhaps to fly over the Super Bowl on the other side of the valley. A woman the size of an ant appeared on the trail below and he let out a quiet growl to let me know something wasn’t right. I assured him she was so sleight because of our great height but he wasn’t convinced. When he was finally ready to go our wandering wizard had reached the overlook, thankfully she had transformed back into full size and Bear was happy to continue on our way.