The boys haven’t let me out of their sight. And I’m cool with that.
Billy and Murphy were staying in Arizona with Aunt Suzy while I sort things out in the next phase of our adventures in California. Now we’ve been apart before. I used to travel with the OKC Thunder, usually for no more than three or four days. The occasional business trip, conference, etc. was usually the same. But a month? Tough for me and confusing for the boys. Thank God Suzy dotes on them as I would.
Among my issues as a human, anyone could tell you there’s nothing more painful and defining than when my daughter and I were separated on a daily basis by a job change and divorce. We can talk, though, and fly and so on… and we did our best. Nicole is and always will be the focal point of who I am. I couldn’t be prouder.
But when it comes to companionship throughout my life, dogs have been a major constant/connection to soulful happiness. From my little boy Tuffy (when I was a baby), through Slipper, Biff, Truly, (Homey and Roxy and Nini and Keiki through family and partners) and now Murphy and Billy, I am a pack adventurer.
Now this is the Law of the Jungle —
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk
the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack…
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
So when I got to Arizona to spend the weekend with Murphy and Billy and Aunt Suzy, and to bring her a new family member, Buddy, an 11-year-old MinPin rescue she has adopted, the warm comfort of the pack shined all around us.
Murphy and Billy (it’s OK Suzy) have grown a wee bit soft on their desert vacation. We have been on two mild hikes in the Sonoran Desert’s Lost Dutchman State Park. Billy got a face and paw-full of cactus needles (he’s fine) and Murphy wore a sore spot on the side of his foot on one climb. But it was nothing but fun for us, wearing them out as they expect in the late afternoon. Each day since getting back with the boys (still in AZ), they have looked at me longingly in the mid-afternoon, our normal “go time” for daily adventure. And so, we go.
I’ve been trackingour adventures using a few different apps, and I do wish they all connected nicer (especially the hiking apps.)
We started at the Saguaro Day use lot, hiked into the Tonto National Forest on Treasure Loop trail past Green Boulder 2580′, and after contemplating the easy way back on the same trail, we went for a more scenic return down Prospector’s View Trail, Jacob’s Crosscut Trail and then reconnected with Treasure Loop. We saw an amazing set of hunting falcons and signs of plenty of local critters, all who left us alone. Excellent park, many picnic tables (mostly covered), campgrounds, nice rangers station with helpful and informative rangers. I hope to take Murphy to The Flatiron some time this year… it’s 4861′, so too much for Billy.
Here are a few of the hikes since I’ve been back…