Last week, someone said something in passing to me about how they’d read once that lots of super successful people were solo walkers. Like, historical thinkers enjoyed going on walks alone to clear their heads—and often come up with new ideas.
I couldn’t stop thinking about this. So yesterday afternoon I packed both pups into the car and drove to Crowder’s Mountain for a four-mile hike to its peak.
It was a perfect day for it. The fall colors right now are unbelievably vibrant. And it was one of those perfectly crisp and clear late autumn afternoons. So, I turned off my phone, strapped on their harnesses, and the three of us set out.
It wasn’t all glorious. Rosie has inch-long legs and so today my right arm is sore from carrying a chubby dachshund up half a mountain. Of course, my left arm is sore from holding back Pawley, who would have preferred to not be on a leash and rather chase all forms of wildlife on the mountain. I’m the only person in the world who returns from a hiking trip with sore arms.
But it was pretty wonderful. I don’t think it made me the next Charles Dickens or Mark Zuckerberg. Yet. But consider me sold on how relaxing a walk alone in the woods can be.
I’ve had Rosie for almost 11 years. That’s 77 in dog years. The average human life expectancy in the U.S. is 78. So, basically I’ve had Rosie for a lifetime. (This is how I do math.)
When I’m away from home—as I am this week—I don’t miss much. I freaking love to travel. But I really miss this chubby little dachshund. I have another dog, Pawley, who I adore. But Pawley is a dog’s dog. (Some days it feels like she’s basically a feral coyote that I’ve tried to domesticate.) Rosie is a different story. She prefers her sleep to be in fresh sheets, her dinners to be spaghetti, and her baths to be lavender scented.
So when I leave I always miss her. But I’ve long thought that the best part about travel is coming home to a place you love. And Rosie always makes me extra happy to come home.