I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

This morning, after noting that his left leg still has some cycling muscles, but that his right leg is a sorry looking little hunk of flab, Chip said, “well, it’s good to go through these things now and then, because it reminds us how good shape we can get in.” Then he said, “Next year, you and I will do the race solo. We won’t ride as aggressively, but we’ll go longer.”  I haven’t been on a bike in four weeks either. My heart isn’t quite in it, and I don’t want to ride to far away from home. Instead, I will take a five mile jog with Pearl as soon as I park Chip at the lumberyard this morning. My legs are sore from the last one, but 45 minutes, at a time not chosen by me, is all I can seem to get in right now, so I’m taking it. But here’s the thing I want to tell you–  jogging right now feels better, more critical to my well-being (especially emotional) than all that cycling did. When Pearl and I cut back down on the beach from Mud Bay Road toward home, on the path through the wet beach grass and blooming fireweed chest high, I think, this is nice– This is really nice. It’s amazing how many issues of heart and soul and mind are resolved by simply trotting around with a sympathetic dog.