We hear the giggling first.
Then they appear, two girls from out of the mist and rain. They are wet, muddy and happy. The older one, about Janelle’s age, is being pulled by a huge, gray dog, large enough that she could ride. The smaller girl, perhaps seven, wears a bright green and yellow rain slicker with turtle patterns. She leads a tiny dog, so wet and dripping that its fur drags in the mud behind it.
Rain is falling and thick clouds hang low in the valley. Janelle and I were just about to begin the long slog to the summit of North Doublehead when the two girls appeared from the trail and beelined to a car parked next to ours. “Hi!” they both say at once. The older one reaches into her raincoat and pulls out car keys and opens the door of the van next to us.
We look on, wondering if the ten-year-old is going to drive away. Boy, they start them early in the North Country!
“Beat your parents down, huh?” I say.
“Uh-hmm,” the older one laughs. “Good thing we got her keys!”
I glance over at Janelle, but she’s just watching them: two kids, her age, tackling the rain and cold and not seeming to care. She’s badly wanted to hike with someone her age, but such kids have not been easy for us to find. I wish she’d just come out and talk to them, make friends, ask them to hike with us next time.
“Did you have a nice hike?” I ask.
“Great!” The little one is shaking with energy, or trying to stay warm. It’s hard to tell. “You hike up into a cloud.”
We need their enthusiasm, feed off of it. Five minutes ago, this hike was going to be a mud march. Now, Janelle’s smiling.
“Ready to hike up into a cloud,” I ask her.
She grins. “Number 30,” she says. “Let’s go!”
Edit note: On Sunday, Janelle and I climbed the 30th mountain of the 52WAV, a mile-stone we were thrilled to reach. The last couple weekends have been rough as the weather has refused to cooperate. But, we inch toward our goal! We still hope to complete the list before Thanksgiving.
In other news, The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie now has a Facebook page! We’d still love for you to sign on and subscribe to this website, but if you’d prefer to follow along on Facebook, we’re happy to offer that option as well. Just click on our Facebook link in the right hand column of this site which will take you to our page. Once there, LIKE us and you’re all set!
Finally, come soon, video! We took some footage on our hike up North Doublehead and we’ll post a short segment Friday morning. Until then, thank you all for your support. Peace and onward! B and TC