The best time of the day to get a long walk in is before dawn.
At least for me. Your mileage may vary. Mine certainly does.
I am normally up before dawn, except the “High Summer” when it’s hot and the sun gets over The Bahamas at Four-Freaking-Why-Am-I-Up-Again O’Clock. It is a holdover from when I was doing marathon inline skating workouts and semi-competing all over Philadelphia and Fairmount Park. Going from City Line to Valley Forge as a third of a workout means you go early, you go long.
Bring plenty of snacks.
But this is much more mundane. There’s a reason now to do these walks. Keeping the dog sane.
He is Rack, the Mc Nab SuperDog(TM) who can run faster than the speed of light through a wormhole that we discovered behind the shed in the back corner of the yard. He’s also tearing up the turf since he can corner sharper than a dime. All those right angle turns will take energy and when you are leaning over to bank the turn at 89.999 degrees, you’re going to rip up a little grass.
Maybe I should put something up there, shift his path a little bit.
But I get up with my usual schedule at the Five O’Clock In The Morning Bonus Hour and get the walk in while it is still what passes for cool here in the place where weather can usually be described as “Being in someone else’s bathroom while they take a long hot shower” Warm.
Just go in your bathroom, turn on the water full hot, close the door and wait for the air to steam up.
Yeah, like that.
But it’s what passes for Spring, the highs are still in the 80s and the mornings are quite pleasant.
So time to take the dog out for A Long Walk of about a mile and a quarter. Lots of switchbacks, and turns around my neighborhood so that I am not walking the same block twice. You don’t want to do that at 5 AM because, things. Someone might be out and about and wonder why you are too.
However that didn’t happen that particular day. It is because we, and many other countries, have an insane habit of Spring Ahead, Fall Back. Daylight Savings Time. Like that really “saves” anything. More like cutting the end of a string off and tying it to the beginning to make it better.
While you get the time back eventually, it never is actually lost. Just annoys you while you readjust your schedule. Has me thinking “Will you people make up your mind?”.
But nobody else was thinking that this morning. By nobody, I really mean nobody. Quiet like a tomb. Creepy like a cemetery. Chill down your spine creepy.
You see, when I walk down Wilton Drive, the spine of the business district in Wilton Manors, I expect certain activity. Delivery Trucks bringing food to the restaurant to be restocked and cooked later. The barbacks and crews cleaning the bars. One guy sitting in the desk in the travel agency talking business to someone over in Europe somewhere. Same stuff different walk.
This day? Nothing.
I did say like a tomb. Not a soul walking around except me wondering where everyone was.
It’s like someone decided to adjust their clocks or something!
I got off The Drive, and headed back on the second half of the walk through the neighborhood. Past the darkened apartments where nobody had their yappy little dogs barking at the skies. No airplanes overhead. No other dog walkers.
Nothing. Got that pin? Drop it, I’m sure you could hear it. Not even the breezes were moving that morning.
I did manage to spot Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, or what I believe are them, where they belonged and moving slightly each day. They’re in a line, or more accurately, an arc, across the skies. I’ll lose Mars first, then probably lose track of the other two. But for now, it occupies my empty mind.
Looking down at Rack I say “weird morning huh?”
He wags his tail once or twice, then goes back to sniffing a leaf.
“Nobody out yet!”
Did I mention that his English is getting stronger? He gave a vigorous wag to that as if to say “Definitely”.
“We’ll be home soon enough, this walk is just strange”
Even a stronger wag, and he looked back at me to nod “Yes”.
He knows what the concept of “Yes” is since I taught him that it gives him things he wants. You should see the little comic nodding his head to get out the door. He’s about to nod that head off his neck.
But we plodded through the neighborhood, out of the apartment areas, past the McMansions, and into the Old Florida Homes that look much more reasonable here. Low slung to hunker down in case of a storm, a one level home lets the trees block the winds for you in case of a hurricane and they’re much more likely to survive when the two or three level condo loses its roof.
That roof that will end up in your swimming pool, of course.
We get on Our Street and keep going. Rack is tired now, after a mile and a quarter of walking.
“That’s it buddy, time to wash your feet. Some day you’ll stop painting your white legs yellow!”.
He nods his head “Yes” again.
I grab the hose, wash them down, walk him through the grass to wipe the pads off and we’re done.
Another creepy walk down. I guess that’s what happens when everyone is still asleep.
Nothing. Nothing at all. Just a nice walk around town.