When I first moved to Tempe my big thing was to hike the mini mountains as often as I could with Pepper (my dog). In time we began trail running it together, stopping at the top to enjoy the sunrise ahead of us. I’m not sure why we stopped going as often but I think its about time that we resurrect that activity. The relationships that I expand on won’t always be with humans. hence the name tails and trails!
This past weekend Tom and I went on a hike on south mountain and I decided to bring Pepper. We ran for about a mile and Pepper clearly told me that it was time for a rest as she stopped and picked a spot in the shade (right on the trail) to rest. We walked for another 1/2 mile after that and I decided it was time to turn around for poor pepper. It seems as though she was out of shape. It gave me time to reflect on my relationship with my dog. Before Kairi (my newest pup) Pepper and I were a dynamic duo. I’d take her on as many hikes as possible and run her every other day. Pepper’s happy face, made me happy. Her time outside has dwindled as I’m not yet capable to take two dogs out. So after this weekend, I’m making it more of a point to get pepper back on the trails. Pepper and I will rebuild that relationship through the outdoors, but it will be hard when I feel guilty for taking one child dog and not the other.
My time with Tom was well spent, though I did feel bad that our trail running that I had promised him turned into more of a hike. He was very understanding and made sure to share much of his water with Pepper. Our plan was to run Javalina trail to Ridgeline to Beverly Canyon and back to the parking lot. We almost made it to the end of Javalina. Since Ridgeline is more up and down I decided for Pepper’s sake to stay on the graded trail. I’m not sure If I’ve told you the story of Tom and I but It seems fitting to put here.
Tom and I grew up knowing each other through our brothers. They were best friends throughout middle school and most of high school. Tom and I went to middle school and high school together as well, but being a grade apart we didn’t interact too much with the exception of a science olympiad tournament where we competed in egg drop together (he remembered this detail much better than I can recall). More recently he’d been running with my best friend Emily down in Tucson and I’d slowly been getting to know him. He came up for the PF Changs race with her in January 2014 and they stayed with me. After Emily ran our Ragnar Trail race in Snowmass, CO everyone wanted to try one out here in AZ. Tom took the lead on this one and set up a team for us. This is when I’d say I really learned who Tom was. You often hear the phrase “He’s the nicest guy” and usually they are with some exception to follow, but Tom really is the nicest guy. This trail run was really the beginning of our close friendship that grew into something a little more. Running, nature, hiking, drinking beer outside and many other outdoor activities are what we bonded over. Needless to say we have a lot more we want to do and many I’d like to share with Tom.
Till the next great adventure!