Reconnecting

Hey, you missed the turning! Where are you going?

I thought we'd go somewhere different. Somewhere we used to go, back in the old days.

Why?

I thought it'd be nice, that's all... We don't get to go out much on long walks anymore. Don't you miss that?

Is is far? I kinda need to pee.

It's not that far. Don't you remember? Twenty minutes or so.

Oh, man! I wish you'd told me. I could have gone before we left.

Quit whining.

Why?

Because I'm trying to drive, and the whining is getting annoying. You never used to do that.

I do now. Whining's cool. 

Not from where I'm sitting.

Get used to it. Are we there yet?

No.

Okay. I'll just whine some more.

Great. Thanks Rufus.

No problemo, Elton.

Elton?? WTF?

If you get to name me after some queer songwriter...

Rufus Wainwright is a great songwriter. What did you want to be called?

Thor. 

Hmmm. Maybe if you were a German Shepherd. But you're a Spaniel.

Whatever, Elton. Are we there yet?

Yes.

Come on!

I'm coming. I just have to grab the gear.

You're taking forever. I'm going to run over here for a bit.

Well, don't go too far!

As if! When have I ever gone too far?

Well there was that time with the elk. And the reindeer. And that hare. Hey... come back here and wait for me!

You're so

slow!

Yeah, well, I want to take a picture.

Of what?

The river.

Why, man?

It looks awesome!

It's just a river. You can't walk on a river. Let's go!

Just hang on.

Oh for pete's sake. You're taking another one?

It's for the blog.

You're still writing that thing?

Well, I'm trying too. It's kind of hard at the moment.

You should let me write it. I've got all the time in the world. I could do a guest post on ultralight canine footwear.

You don't wear any.

I've been meaning to talk to you about a vapor barrier liner system.

You're a dog. Seriously... Let me take this picture and let's go.

I thought you said we were going now!

I have to put on my snowshoes.

Oh no...

What?

You're going to start going on about how awesome your hiking gear is, aren't you?

I wasn't going to "go on" about it. Just mention that my MSR Lightning Ascents are performing well, but the buckles still annoy me occasionally. There. All done.

Hmmm... We'll see. Which way now?

Left.

Why can't we go right?

I like going left.

How come everyone else goes right?

I don't know.. Maybe it's a Finnish vs. English thing. I like going clockwise.

Well, I'm going right.

No you're not.

Watch me, sucker.

This way.

Nah, this way's much better. I'm off. See ya!

I've got cheese.

Okay. Coming.

So how far is this little walk of yours?

Not far. Up the hill and down again. You really don't remember? We used to do this all the time.

Oh hang on... this isn't one of those walks where you expect me to sleep

outside

 is it?

Oh, so you remember that!

Oh yeah. It was raining and freezing cold in the middle of summer. I started to shiver and nearly died.

It wasn't that bad. I gave you my fleece! Drama queen. Rufus really was the perfect name for you.

Which way now, Elton?

Well, if we go left we got to that laavu, but it's longer. If we cut through the forest it's shorter, but there's no trail and the snow looks pretty deep.

Thanks for stating the obvious. Let's take the short cut. It looks more fun.

It looks pretty hard going.

I thought those snowshoes had "maximum floatation"?

They do... but this is the wrong kind of snow.

Are you working for British Rail now?

Let's go the laavu way. At least someone's walked that way.

Whatever.

Hey – I think there's some sausage here. You want some?

Nah, I'm good.

I think I've figured out why they walk the other way around.

Oh, really? Your lemon-sized dog brain has discovered higher reasoning, huh?

It's pretty obvious. They go up the hill, then come down and stop here at the laavu for food. If we go the way you obstinately insist on going, there's nowhere to sit down at the end.

You're not saying much. I'm right aren't I?

No. And anyway, there's a picnic table at the top of the hill near the viewing tower. We're going to stop and have tea there. Let's get moving. I've got it all planned.

Uh-huh. We'll see about that.

Okay, this

is

pretty hard going.

I'm doing fine.

Yeah, well, you're walking behind me, aren't you.

I'm not stupid.

Jesus!

Where?

What?

You said, "Cheese!"

No. "Jesus." This damned snow.

So where's the cheese?

There is no cheese! It's the snow. The stupid snow shoes are sinking straight down. I might as well not be wearing them. I bought the long versions specifically because I was tall and they're supposed to make me float above the snow like some kind of weightless angel, but they don't. This sodding snow is too soft and fluffy. I'm knackered and we haven't even got to the hill yet... Hey! Where'd you go?

Huh? Oh, I found something more interesting over here.

What is it?

A piece of dirt.

Thanks.

Or maybe it's reindeer shit. Hmm. Let me see... Yep. Reindeer shit. 

Awesome. So I'm less interesting than reindeer shit to you?

Pretty much.

I have cheese.

Now you're talking!

I dunno. Maybe we should turn back. This is hard going.

What are you? A man or a chihuahua? 

I'm an unfit chihuahua of a man. It's pathetic. This isn't even a proper hill.

Then quit whining. That's my job. Come on. I'll lead the way for a bit.

Okay. But I might have to stop every now and then.

Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on you.

Cheers.

Hey look! That sign about the amusing lichen is here, and that rock thing you're always going on about is just up ahead. 

The glacial erratic? That means we're nearly at the top!

How did I know you were going to say that?

Wow, Rufus! We made it! We're at the top! Look how deep the snow is! The snow and wind have completely erased the trail.

How are we going to find our way?

Don't worry, I know a dog with a really good sense of smell.

Heheh. It's pretty cool up here, man! Look at that sign! It's almost buried in snow!

Yeah. And that's not the only thing.

Whaddaya mean?

Well, remember that picnic table I was planning to stop at for a nice cup of tea?

Uh-huh...

Well, one small flaw in that plan...

Yeah. Maybe not such a great plan.

Perhaps we should forget it and keep moving.

Yeah, we can always stop at that nice laavu at the end of... Oh... Wait a minute. We're going the wrong way around, aren't we?

Very funny, smartass.

So we're up here at the top of a hill. The trail has vanished under 1.5 meters of snow. The wind is howling. It's -10ªC. It's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

What??

Come on, man! Blues Brothers!

Is that what you get up to while we're out? Watching my old DVDs?

DVDs? Hello, Grandad! iTunes?

How about you cut the sarcasm and find the trail, big nose?

You're one to talk... How about some cheese?

You ate it all.

I can smell it still!

That's my cheese. For emergencies.

Your cheese??? I thought we were a team? 

Can't you find weevils in birch bark or something?

Here. I'll share the cheese. Anything for a peaceful life. Now come on. It's cold and I don't want to take off my Laufbursche huckePACK and put on my down jacket...

Here we go again...

Hey...

What?

You're walking on my snow shoe tails!

It's easier.

Not for me. I can't lift them with you standing on them.

It's really deep! I keep falling in.

I know... but it won't be for long. Once we get off the top and out the wind the trail will reappear. Just keep off my tails and stay behind me.

Hey look! There's a couple of Finns coming this way! Also known as "the right way." I'm going to go and annoy them.

Okay.

This is

much

 better now. They made a path for us.

Yeah. We made one for them too, though.

Yeah, true. Hey - take a heroic photo of me.

I'll do my best.

Awesome! I look noble.

Well done, Thor.

Heheh.

Hey - I wanted to try out this live video thing too. Bambuser.

That's a bit of a stupid name. But sure, go for it.

What do you think? People all over the world just saw you live!

By "people all over the world", you meant about 3 losers with nothing else better to do than watch a dog run through snow, right?

Well, "losers" is a pretty harsh criticism. I do that all the time.

I rest my case. But whatever floats your boat, man. I'm just enjoying myself.

You are?

Yeah. Aren't you?

Yes. I am. But we're almost at the end.

I sense another romantic landscape photo op coming up...

You could be right.

Lovely.

It is, isn't it? So what do you say? Had enough? Time to go home?

 I guess so.

This was good though. I'm glad we came here. I think we needed it.

Yeah. It was just like old times.