As I mentioned when I reviewed the novel this weekend, Sherman and I walked to the library to pick up my copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Technically, there is a small branch of Edmonton Public Library very close to my house, but getting there by car means braving serious traffic and I would need to pay for parking. As well, the little branch closest to me is just that: little, and it doesn’t have the on-shelf selection of my preferred library. Friday was the first cool (ish) day–down to a mere 24 degrees from 30 something on the preceding handful of days–and I felt like getting some exercise outdoors rather than slogging away in a building or a pool. I once saw a statement that declared, “Anywhere is within walking distance, if you have enough time.” It’s a good motto for the summer months, when I actually have a little bit of time to work with.
Walking in the sunshine brings about a number of extra considerations. I have to coat myself liberally with sunscreen, like sauce on a chicken thigh on the barbeque, which is an interesting coincidence considering my natural skin tone is very similar to a skinless piece of chicken. Sherman’s pink nose also needs a smear of sunblock, or he runs the risk of burning his snout and eventually risking the possibility of doggy skin cancer. We like our pasty selves, thank you. Along with the sunblock, I wear a highly-stylish fanny pack that holds my house keys, Sherman’s poop bags, and whatever else I need for our little jaunt: my library card in this case. My fanny pack also has a complicated loop and velcro system that lassos a water bottle, which I can’t do without in the heat.
And so, with me in my sneakers and Sherman wearing his Halti, we set out for the library. It’s an eight minute drive via the major streets, but I decided to walk a route that crosses lovely communities, passes by three schools, and is largely shaded by big trees. The walk to the library took us 50 minutes, and even though the weather had cooled considerably since the previous day, Sherman paused and gave me confused looks repeatedly. I suppose he found it difficult to understand why I would take him for a hike to a distant location he’d never visited before. It was a beautiful walk, if a little long, and the wind blew enthusiastically for the entire trip to keep us fairly cool.
I had to leave Sherman tied to a recycle bin outside the library, where he flopped on the cold payment and panted in the shade. He was waiting patiently when I returned, but seemed a little reluctant to make the return walk home until we got our trip well underway. To be honest, I would have loved a lengthy rest in the shade as well, but the name of the game this summer is improved health and reduced rear end, so we plugged along.
There are a number of things it’s better not to research ahead of time. Root canals and brazilian waxes are among these situations where a person benefits from being in the dark. Our walk also falls into this category. Had I done my research ahead, I would have realized the trip was far longer in my sneakers than in my car. Google maps informed me upon our return to the dollhouse that the trip was about 3.8 km each way. So, that’s a 7.5 km ish walk on a summer afternoon.
We are healthy, dammit. Look at us go with our sunscreen and our library book retrieval! Sherman doesn’t really appreciate the purpose for the trip, but he seemed pleased when his next walk was considerably shorter.
copyright 2012: http://bluespeckledpup.com