I decided Apollo and I needed some physical therapy to deal with an entire week of rain which prevented either of us from enjoying the newly arrived spring conditions. The last time we walked happened to be exactly one week ago. To make up for six sedentary days, I decided to traverse the entire sidewalk system of West Mary Street in Lansing.
We set out at a quarter to nine and headed west from home to First Terrace, where we crossed to the other side of the street and headed north towards Olive. We passed a flowering red bud tree (see photo at right). We continued north towards Nina, where we dog-legged back west to First Street, which parallels very closely with Main Street (aka as US-73/K-7). While on Nina, a small Benji-like dog attempted to intimidate Apollo from behind a chain link fence. We’ll revisit this canine curmudgeon on the return trip.
Apollo always does well waiting to cross the busy intersection at Mary and Main Street. We proceeded west along Mary street, staying on the north sidewalk. I only spied one other person walking their much smaller dog ahead of us, but they turned onto the Town Centre boulevard that connects the terminally undeveloped land between Mary Street and 4-H Road.
West Mary Street makes several sweeping curves through the wooded hills and creeks as it meanders between Main Street on the east and DeSoto Road on the west. We passed by a muddy construction site for some additional multi-family housing, within easy walking distance of the nearly new Lansing Elementary School (in the background in the photo above).
We passed one walker and were passed by four joggers on our jaunt westward along Mary Street. I saw my first cardinal of the year, but didn’t attempt to photograph it with my cell phone. I prefer to have my good digital camera with my telephoto lens attached to photograph birds. We finally arrived at the top of the long hill, where Mary Street dead ends against DeSoto Road at a quarter after nine. I finally achieved my goal of a minimum hour long walk, since the return trip would take at least thirty minutes. I took the following three photos while letting Apollo catch his breath and cool off (being a black dog means he absorbs all the sunshine and it’s accompanying heat) from the top of the hill.
I crossed to the south sidewalk and Apollo decided he should become a hunting dog on the return trip down the hill. He foraged through the tall, wet grass, determined to pull me with him into the mud and the woods in search of deer. By the time we leveled off, his snout, paws, legs, underbelly and first third of the leather leash were soaked with dew. Several times he nearly pulled me off the sidewalk while sniffing and snuffling through the dew-drenched grass and soggy ground. I saw ample evidence of the presence of deer by the tracks they left in the mud. The wooded areas along West Mary Street team with them and I often see them emerge at dusk when Apollo and I venture out on sunset strolls.
I sighed with relief as we approached the construction site because the fence prevent Apollo from straying to far off course. The construction materials seemed to have other ideas about the fence though. The rest of our walk along Mary Street proceeded apace and without further forays into non-sidewalk environs.
We crossed back to the north sidewalk just before crossing the highway and continued back to Nina Street. Once again the Benji-like small dog charged the fence, snarling and barking and this time Apollo caught me completely off-guard. He lunged to meet and greet the dog at the fence. I temporarily suffered a wrenched left shoulder, elbow and thumb and had to scold Apollo for his un-gentleman-like behavior. I guess it’s time for some remedial obedience training with the large pinch collar instead of the small choke chain Apollo usually wears. My elbow didn’t stop aching until we crossed Olive and walked under another beautiful flowering red bud tree (see photo above).
We turned the corner east onto Fawn Valley and walked the half a block to our yard. Just one of the advantages of owning the southwest corner lot on Bambi Court. Apollo waited patiently on the porch for me to disentangle him from his leash (he set a record this walk, although I lost track of how many times) and open the door. He rushed to his water bowl and then collapsed for a nap under the table at my feet while I composed this blog post. I noted the time (ten o’clock) and took off my pedometer, which had recorded 7,695 steps (is that’s 15,390 for Apollo?) taken on our one hour and fifteen minute Sunday morning walk.