When this blog began, Bailey Tuckerman Kent was an 8-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog living in the western mountains of Maine with his writer dad, Rich. These are their stories.... and don't forget, click on most photos to enlarge.
After climbing Sunday River, we stopped by to visit his Mom, Maggie. At 11 years old, she has slowed down a bit so says her mom, but she's still a loving pup. She and Bailey roamed the yard a bit and I worked to get photos. In America, the average Bernese Mountain Dogs lives to the age of 6.5 to 7 years old. It's usually cancer or hip dysplasia that brings about their demise. Not much fun to think about, but I was heartened to see Maggie doing so well.
This afternoon, I took Bailey to the ski area for a hike. We go there several times a week during the spring, summer, and fall. There's a trail race at Black Mountain tomorrow, so I figured the 15 or 20 cars
in the parking lot belonged to race volunteers. Because Bailey's somewhat
clumsy with his greetings, I led him away from the lodge and up through the
cross-country ski stadium to the alpine slopes. As always, I put my head down
and started motoring up the mountain. Within seconds I heard "HEY!" I
looked up and then to the right. A wedding party… the bride in a white flowing
dress, her attendants in a subtle color I can’t quite name, the groomsmen in
their shiny tuxedoes, and, romping amongst them all, a big smiling mountain dog
welcoming everyone to his mountain.
My mother raised five kids, and she used the word “mortified”
a good deal with us. Now, I know the word’s true meaning.
Over the first 2 weeks of my sabbatical, I've enjoyed sustained writing time in the morning and hikes on most afternoons. I've even done a bit of painting and mowed the lawn; I also dropped out of a couple of speeches and travel opportunities in hopes that I can find my writer self again. I'm still a bit jittery about time and keep waiting for some outside assignment from the University. So far, my friends at UMaine have respected my time away.
Recently, I hiked Black Mountain to take pictures of the new trails. These photos and the link to my complete Facebook page album will give an idea of the mountain's expansion.