The people who are taking Covid 19 seriously are not necessarily staying home. They are going to the metro parks all over the city. They are walking, jogging, fishing, cycling, birding, and enjoying the out-of-doors despite the blistering heat.
Geared up with masks, water, sun screen, hats, sun glasses, and a bowl for Dora’s water, my friend Dan and I set off for Three Creeks Park early one day last week to try to get in our walk before the melting point.
The first sight to catch Dan’s attention was a beautiful blue heron, pictured here. Next, as we walked around the pond, a little family of ducks entertained us as Mama Duck led her babies toward the water, possibly for their first swimming lesson. They part waddled, part flew, and part paddled an inch above the ground, practicing and trying to keep up with their mom.
The wind mill you see has a purpose other than lending visual interest. It keeps the water from forming algae. Several trails presented a variety of options, depending on whether we wanted to walk or bike. Since we had no bike with us, we chose the walking trails at first and then tried the trails that allowed both cyclists and walkers. About half the time, the cyclists we encountered would call out “On your left,” as they approached us from behind, as cycling trail etiquette calls for. The others, who obviously were not used to sharing trails with walkers could be considered rude and inconsiderate. But given that most of those riders were overweight and were not wearing helmets, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and just called them rude names under our breaths. We both are cyclists at heart, so to be honest, we were jealous of the cyclists, but I can’t ride a tandem and still be six feet away from my captain. For now, my exercise has to necessarily be walking.
Dan caught a photo of Dora and me crossing a little wooden bridge over the Alum Creek, but to my knowledge, we did not see the other two for which the park is named.
We passed a fisherman and a man who was flying a toy helicopter out in a field. As the sunshine got hotter and hotter, Dora chose which side of the trail we would use. We’d be walking along, and then suddenly, she’d swerve over to the left side of the trail and then back to the right. We realized that she was leading us from one piece of shade to another. In case you’ve never noticed, Dora is a very smart dog.
In each park we’ve visited, our average distance for walking has been right around 3 miles. The heat has been keeping us from increasing our distance. But today, we got up to 3.6 miles, mostly because we had to make a choice when we got back to the pond. If we went the shorter way, we’d run into a field of goose poop, deposited by a gaggle of about 30 geese, so we chose to take the longer way around, which gave us a few tenths of a mile more to claim.
On these hot days, our ritual has been to let Dora find the car in the parking lot, which I always think is impressive. Then while Dan gets in and gets the AC going, Dora gets a big drink of water. I offer her water on the trail as well, but she enjoys this one the most, because it means we’re done. Don’t get me wrong. Even though we’re all hot and tired, and Dora’s tongue is almost dragging the ground, she loves getting out to the park.
Stay tuned for Three Creeks Take 2.
The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir
Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life
Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland