When I saw the weather report today, my heart sank. Seven consecutive days of thunderstorms stretched across the television screen. The storms for today were due to roll in around 2 pm, so I immediately began shifting my plans. Mom couldn't hike, so the dogs and I left earlier than usual to get some exercise. It was the Gold Hill hike again, largely because it's easy and I never have to worry about getting caught in a storm there. The trees are tightly packed, and I often think it's a relatively safe place to be--certainly safer than a hike above the timberline.
As we started up the first incline, I couldn't free myself of disappointment. I really wanted to try another hike today, but things just didn't seem to be working out. Mom pulled something in her back, so the original plan had to be scrapped. Then the news that we were due for yet another day of rain and storms made me reconsider other options. I walked through the colorful wildflower fields at the lower part of the hike, but I wasn't moved by them. The thunderstorm graphics on the weather channel kept popping up in my mind. In fact, my mood didn't really start to lift until we had to take a break at the swing. Wolfie seemed to be pretty tired, and I was sure that the hike would have to end there again. So I sat on the swing and lamented the demise of my perfect vacation, but the mountains were so pretty that I began to relax.
After Wolfie's breathing slowed, I got up, ready to head back down. I had the dogs on their leashes, and I told Wolfie that he could choose what we would do next. I often do this at home when we start out on a walk, and he actually chooses different routes from one day to the next. When we reached the main trail again, Wolfie made a decisive turn to the left, which took us further up the mountain. That boy always makes the best decisions; this time, his choice took me past vast fields of yellow daisies tucked into the trees, and so he cleared the rest of my clouds.
The rain never did come.