Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Warm October

It seems that for the past few years, it has been staying warmer come October.  At least it has here in Michigan.  For instance, this week we could see a high of 80° on Saturday. It has been sunny and nice out all week so far, which has been an amazing change from the cold and wet of the previous weeks.  

Just yesterday, when I got home from work, it was 70°, not a cloud in the sky and I just couldn't resist taking Diesel out for a walk.  And being that it was so nice, I decided to wing it and just walk for the pleasure of it with no real route in mind.  

Along the CRT - East of Adams Rd.
We had to start out on the Clinton River Trail like always, because I couldn't pass up the opportunity to escape from the asphalt and surround myself with the peacefulness of the trail.  As I was enjoying the many new fall colors to be seen, Diesel was busy searching the trees for squirrels.  The squirrels have been super busy lately, running in and out of the walnut trees, and barking at one another.  It didn't take long for him to spot a few black squirrels and we saw quite a few fox squirrels as well.  
Downtown Auburn Hills

Once downtown, I was happy to see that new flowers had been planted along the road way, really capturing the essence of autumn.  Downtown Auburn Hills sure has come a long way since I was a kid, but one thing I can count on is a quick soft serve cone at the Twist & Dip.  It may not be run by the same owners, or carry any fancy ice cream flavors, the Twist & Dip has always been a nice place to get a cold treat on a hot day.  Today wasn't exactly hot, but it sure was nice, and there aren't going to be many more days like this!  Diesel got his usual of a doggy dish; small bowl of vanilla with a doggy biscuit, and I just got a baby vanilla cone to satisfy the craving.  After all, we are out walking for our health.

And since our health is important, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to add a little to our route and see how a detour would be.  We first swung through Riverside Park, walking along the river bank.  One of my favorite places in Auburn Hills.  The park may be small, but it has a nice trail along the riverbank, a play area, a nice gazebo, a pavilion, and restrooms.  A great place to enjoy lunch, or an evening downtown.  They have hosted a few different events at the park, most recently the Clinton River Trail Fall Classic that I participated in, as well as an Annual Exchange in the spring, and concerts on Fridays during the summer. 


The Clinton River
Not ready to head home yet, I thought it would be nice for Diesel and I to head down Squirrel Rd, and make our way back to South Blvd, and then Adams going that route, I figured it would add at least a mile to our walk.  It's funny how the simplest things can have you reflecting back on fond memories.  And its not like I haven't been down these roads before, I have many times in fact, but there is just something about walking the sidewalks where I used to ride my bike as a kid, really can bring a smile to my face. Even after a not-so-good day of work. 

It started to cool down and Diesel and I made our way down South Blvd. and I was glad I had worn my hoodie.  Even though the temps have been nice during the day, as soon as the sun sets, you are reminded that it is October in Michigan.  One last picture I took along our walk really sums up what I love about this time of year.  And maybe it can be the motivation I need to hang the Halloween decorations. (Trust me, 80° this Saturday is not going to make it very easy.)  So I leave you with this, a beautiful shot from the corner of Adams & South Blvd. 

I just love the colors of the trees right now. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Bit of Fresh Air

Sunday night I started to get a stuffy nose, and sure enough come noon on Monday I had a full blown cold in the works.  I left work early on Monday and came home and got some rest.

Today, still not feeling the best I decided to call into work. Diesel and I spent most of the morning snuggled together in bed.  He will take the spot of anyone who has left it. And besides taking up a lot of room, he's quite the cuddler.  As a matter of fact, as I am writing this, he has just awoken from another nap and has come walking down the hall from the bedroom stretching his poor legs.  Such a lazy dog if we'll let him.

Around 1 o'clock or so today, I couldn't help but notice just how awesome it was looking outside.  The sun was out, the sky was blue, and I could tell there was even a bit of a breeze.  A quick peek at the weather on my phone confirmed it.  Should we go for a walk? Will it make me feel any better? Could it actually make my cold worse? I just couldn't resist it though and I got my stuff together for the walk.

I got some water for us, and ate a quick banana while he finished his breakfast. He could tell something was up.  And sure enough, once he saw his leash he was ready to go.

I love all of the colors that come out in the fall
We took it nice and easy, and headed on down to the trail. Avoiding the millions of potholes that fill my street.  It always surprises me how many people are out on the trail in the middle of the day, but its good it gets its use.  We walked down the trail a bit and I was starting to get worried I was wearing too heavy of a hoodie, but I think it worked out ok.

The Clinton River in Riverside Park - Auburn Hills
We stopped at the Twist N' Dip and got Diesel a dog dish, which will probably be the last of the season.  I ate a nectarine I had stashed in my pocket and then we continued on.  I thought it could be a nice day to head into the park again and see how the river was flowing.  As we walked on down the road we stopped and chatted with a man outside of Duffy's that thought Diesel was a great looking dog.  Not to brag, but he is!

At the park, we walked along the river, and stopped to see some ducks.  The park was pretty quite today, with kids back to school.  The lunch crowd had started to thin out a little as well.  After we hung out there for a while, I decided that we should get on back home and rest for a bit. 

And rest we did!  Diesel took a nap while I watched a few episodes of Buffy on Netflix.  Now the nice weather has shifted to rainy and cloudy, but that's autumn for you.  At least my mums are getting water, and they'll continue to fill out my planter boxes a little more.  I love looking out the front window at all the awesome fall colors as they change day to day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Clinton River Trail Fall Classic 2011

written 9-17-11

Burr!  It was a chilly day out there this morning, but Diesel and I got up early and headed down to Riverside Park in Auburn Hills to volunteer in this years Clinton River Trail Fall Classic. 

The CRT Fall Classic is an annual bicycle tour and 5K walk that takes place each year along the Clinton River Trail.  For a small registration fee, participants can choose either a 5K walk, or 5, 16, 24, or 40 mile bike routes.  Each participant gets a t-shirt (if preregistered), maps for the various routes and lunch upon returning.  Vendors are also set up in the park offering various goodies.

Walkers start out at Riverside Park and head west on the CRT to Opdyke Rd and back. Cyclists start at the park, but head east on the trail.  The 5 mile trail takes you to Crooks Rd and back, the 16 mile trial is to Dequindre and back.  For the more ambitious riders, you can pick up the Macomb Orchard Trail on the other side of Dequindre and either turn around at West Rd for 24 miles, or continue all the way to the Clinton River Bridge just past mile marker 12, and head back.

Originally, Diesel and I were just going to participate in the event as walkers, but I came across a posting on the Friends of the CRT Facebook page asking for volunteers.  Since we live so close by anyhow, I figured why not.  I got to wear a spiffy neon yellow vest and direct the walkers and cyclist from the park to the trail.  It was a great opportunity for us to meet so many people who enjoy the trail just as much as Diesel and I do.  We even had a chance to pass out a few of our cards and hopefully gain a few more readers to the blog.

Once I knew most of the crowds had made their way to the trail, we stopped back in at the registration table and got my t-shirt.  We browsed around a bit talking with the vendors and then headed out to complete our walk. 

Diesel and I have walked this side of the trail a few times, however we've never gone as far as Opdyke, we usually turn around at the I-75 bridge, and walk back.  I never knew just how nice the rest of that walk could be.  The section of the trail between I-75 and Opdyke is mostly wooded, and you can spot the backyards of a few houses but otherwise the trail is pretty secluded.  We saw quite a few squirrels and even a bunny while walking, and even had the chance to chat with a few more walkers along the way. 

It took us about a half hour to get to Opdyke and then another half hour to get back, so not a bad walk at all.  I took quite a few pictures that you can see by scrolling to the bottom of this page, though I wish I would have remembered to turn on my Noom so I could track my stats. 

Once back at the park, Diesel and I shared a few snacks and talked with more volunteers and participants about different routes and about the trail. It was a nice morning despite the overcast and the lower than welcomed temperatures.  All and all it was a great morning.

If you walked/cycled the Fall Classic, please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you! 


If you would like more information on the Clinton River Trail, check out the Friends of the CRT Facebook group or visit www.clintonrivertrail.org

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is Near

written 9/5/11 

On Friday, before Labor Day it was close to 100 degrees here in Metro Detroit. As I sit here today, this Labor Day Monday, it has been in the high 50's all day.  How the temp dropped nearly 50 degrees in 3 days... Oh yea, that's right I live in Michigan. Anything is possible.

Today was very overcast, with the sun only peeping out here and there.  I stopped by Auburn Oaks Nursery after breakfast and picked up some more perennials for the flower boxes and the front garden.  After getting those planted I figured that I should take the dog out for a walk.

We headed on out of the neighborhood as we always do and it definitely felt like an early fall day.  The leaves were crinkling as they drifted on down the road, and you could see the trees were starting to change colors.  As much as I look forward Halloween coming, I have to be sad the the end of summer is soon upon us. And after those few brief weeks comes the good old Michigan winter.

The trail was quite busy today with so many people enjoying the cooler weather.  We made our way downtown and decided that it would be nice to cut through River Woods Park, and head back around that way.  I had actually thought it would be a longer walk but it turned out to be just about the same as our other walks, 3 miles are so.

It still ended up being a nice walk and we met a few nice people along the way.  I am looking forward to more walks as it starts cooling off, though I am working on some ideas for what I will write about over the winter as I am not a huge fan of being cold. I appreciate any ideas you can toss my way.

Starting Again

Sorry to all of my readers for being a bit absent lately.  The weather has been rainy and icky these past few days and I haven't really gotten out on many walks with Diesel.  Not to mention I have been battling my allergies and it seems to be draining all motivation to do anything.  I've even skipped out on two personal training sessions!  I've been working this week on trying to get back on the good side by going to the gym every day after work, getting my butt kicked by Toria and trying not too eat too much crap. 

Hopefully, this weekend can be the start of a new healthier week.  Earlier this week I signed up with Door to Door Organics a produce delivery group.  I am hoping that the new, fresh fruits and veggies being delivered to my home every week will give me that needed push to start bringing my lunches to work. Not to mention its also getting colder out and I hate going out for lunch when its cold. 

Also this Saturday, Diesel and I will be walking a 5K hosted by The Friends of the Clinton River Trail.  The Fall Classic is a great opportunity to support the community, the local hiking/bicycle trail, and meet people who love the trail as much as I do.  Before the CRT was even a designated trail, I would walk along those abandoned railway tracks to pretty much anywhere I wanted to get in the Auburn Hills Area.  And no, the tracks back in the day were not the spooky things you see on TV.  They ran the length of the town and crossed by many homes and business and into neighborhoods where my friends lived.  The tracks were just a shortcut.

Well that's all I have for now.  Just wanted to pop in and let you know I am still around. I'll be posting an update on the CRT Fall Classic sometime this weekend.  Hope everyone is enjoying the end of Summer cool down. 

For more information on Door to Door Organics, please visit https://michigan.doortodoororganics.com.

To participate in the Clinton River Trail Fall Classic, visit www.clintonrivertrail.org

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Evening Walk

written 9/1/11

The other night I had the urge to talk a walk downtown, but Mikey and Diesel were up state and I don't do silly things like that when I'm alone. So I put it off, and decided that one night before it starts getting too cool outside, I would do it.

The moon over the CRT
Tonight ended up being that night.  Not having to work tomorrow was an added advantage because I knew I would want to come home and immediately upload my pictures and start writing. So about 8 o'clock or so, Diesel and I headed out on down the road.  It was still close to 85 degrees out, and a bit on the muggy side, but it wasn't awful.  I sprayed down with some bug spray, did a spritz across Diesel's back as well.  I was not going to deal with mosquitoes all night!

We started our walk as we usually do, crossing Auburn and heading west down the Clinton River Trail.  There was quite the serenade from all of the wild life. The cicadas were out in full force and you could hear them all over.  The bat's were flying up and down the trail so low to the ground that I could make out the detail on their bellies. 

Downtown was bright and alive despite the shops starting to close up.  There were teens on their skateboards pushing curfew as the sky grew darker.  There were kids and their parents lined up for some after dinner treats and the Twist n' Dip. Outside Duffy's tavern, a group was enjoying a cigarette and talking about the nice weather.  We walked past all of the shops, many of them new, but a few that still remain from my childhood.

Rather than walking down Grey Rd as we usually do, we circled around and walked back up the other side of Auburn.  The street was nicely lit all the way to Adams and it was a nice stroll back to the neighborhood.   And honestly I wasn't worried about anything going bump in the night, that is until I hit my own dark street and remembered that we could encounter a skunk!  I kept my eyes open and we made it back to the house without any unwanted visitors.

Downtown Auburn Hills
It was a nice walk through my old downtown.  I used to ride my bike up and down those roads as a teen, though it wasn't as nice and lit up as it is now.  And the streets are much nicer and have working walk signals now too. I probably won't do too many night time walks but it sure is nice to get out every once in a while.

When is your favorite time to walk?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gadget Geek

Today, as Diesel and I headed out for our walk I found myself doing things, that 5 years ago, I never would have thought to do.

I pulled out my phone just about as soon as Diesel was attached to his leash, turned on the GPS function and started the Noom app.  This application on my phone then started recording my time, distance, speed and kept a map of the route I had begun. Soon after that, I found myself checking into Foursquare to reclaim my title as "mayor" of the Clinton River Trail. As the check-in was posted to Twitter, I informed my followers that I would be posting a new blog soon using the hashtag, #DieselStomping.  Along our walking route I snapped a few photos of the sunset.  All the while, the little voice from Noom reminding me that I had to step it up if I wanted to make it all 3 miles in under an hour. WTH?


Yes, this is what gadget geeks like me do.  There used to be a time when we valued and protected our privacy, but things have changed with my generation and younger. A friend and I were talking about the use of Foursquare one day and about how when we had first discovered the App, we were checking in everywhere we went. The gas station, the gym, the grocery store, the gastroenterologist. Everywhere. So for a lot of people the allure to check in was lost. The whole purpose of the app when it first was created was to make a game out of going out. And by "going out", I mean hitting the night clubs, bars and other cool-to-be-scene-at places, the person with the most points wins and is thereby considered "the coolest."  My friend went on to say that he now views the check-in process as more an advertising tool.  We are essentially selling ourselves to our friends, family, and strangers.  By checking into new, cool, or unusual places we are telling people "Hey, look at what I am doing, I like it, and I hereby endorse it."  I completely agree.  I have started checking into places again, when I think its something that people will find interesting. I hope.

And then of course there is Facebook and Twitter.  I enjoy both of those applications for different reasons.  I like that I can keep up with my friends, family and favorite celebrities (I must know what Wil Wheaton is up to, something funny could happen!) Plus, I like that I can shamelessly plug my blog to all those same people and hope that they start reading. That reminds me, I also have a Google+ account but I really haven't gotten into that one yet.

While we were out on our walk today, we were passed by a guy on a bike that had a camera mounted to his handlebars and he was capturing video of his ride down the trail and that got me thinking about what other gadgets are fun to have while out on a walk/ride.  I used to carry my iPod, still do occasionally, but sometimes I use the Pandora app on my phone for music instead.  I have thought about figuring out a way to carry and record using my Flip camera during a walk, but it would be better suited to a bike ride as I have a tripod I could use to mount it.  And speaking of going on bike rides, I recently impulse purchased a Bike Computer made by Schwinn to record my speed and distance.  I'm pretty sure my Noom app could have handled that, but what can I say, it looked neat.  And I have to be honest, one of the reasons I joined Burn Fitness was because I could plug my iPod and a jumpdrive into the cardio machines.

Something I would love to own one day, and totally do not need to spend the money on, would be this: The DogTek Eyenimal Videocam for Pets. If I had the $100 bucks to spare on something I would probably only use once or twice, this would be it.  I would be so interested in seeing what Diesel sees for 8 hours while Mikey and I are away at work. Oh, and capturing the trail from his view, that would be all over YouTube in a heartbeat. Chances are though, I would end up catching 8 hours of the dirt spot near the fence where Diesel is usually laying when we get home. But, you never really know until you get one! For anyone that is reading, this is now on my Birthday/Christmas list.

So that's my nerd list of gadgetry I bring with me and wish I could bring with me.  What kinds of gadgets, apps or toys do you bring on your walks?

Friday, August 26, 2011

It Ain't That Easy

I have to admit I have been putting off this post all week.  It's the post where I have come to realize that I'm stumped for ideas.  With the other blogs I have tried to write, I get bored of the posts.  It's just a recap of my life in word form and I've already been there and done that.  I lack the motivation to write when I don't have any followers, or even page hits.  But if even I am bored with myself, surely my readers are too.

With Diesel Stomping it's been different, I have had neat and interesting things to write about. At least for a while.  I knew that I should be stocking up on posts for when nothing interesting happens, or I just don't have time to write, and need something up for the week.  The only problem being that I haven't quite figured out what to write about when Diesel and I aren't out walking.

This week has been sort of a recuperation from last weekends trip to Lansing.  Mikey and I traveled to our states capital so that he could be a judge for the Michigan Tree Climbing Competition hosted by the Arboriculture Society of Michigan.  Mikey got involved in tree climbing on a competitive level through work, and even though he has decided not to compete, the chair of the event still wanted him involved and asked him to judge/tech.  I thought it would be a great opportunity for Mikey to get out and meet a bunch of people who enjoyed climbing as much as he did, and for him to learn some new things. For me, it was simply a chance to get out of town and not just head up state. 

Friday while I was there, and Mikey was busy setting up the next days activities, I took the opportunity to stroll around the Potter Park Zoo.  It's not a very large zoo but I was impressed with is variety of animals.  While there I noticed a woman that was walking around on her own as well.  We must have arrived at about the same time as we were entering and exiting exhibits one right after the other.  When I stopped to grab a snack, there she was doing the same. So we started chatting. The next thing I know, she's invited me to walk to downtown with her along the Lansing River Walk Trail.  Why the heck not? I didn't have anything better going on, I like to walk, and she didn't look like an axe murderer.

We walked from the park, down one of the most beautiful city trails I have ever seen, to the state capital building, where we gave ourselves a tour.  Wandered back downtown, visited a few shops and walked back.  I think overall it was bout 5 miles on the trail and who knows how much else.  Plus around the zoo and up 4 stories in the capital building, I got my exercise for the day I know that.

Where was Diesel you ask? This was our first trip together where we had to leave Diesel at home.  The poor puppy was devastated.  We usually bring him everywhere and if we can't one of us is usually home with him. Or its for really short day trips.  My mom was nice enough to come over and check on him from time to time so we knew that wouldn't be an issue, but let me tell ya, he was so excited to see us when we got home Saturday night. And for all the days following, he was not going to let us get out that door without him.

So you would think that I would have more than made up for it by taking him out on walks this week. FAIL.  I have either been tired, its been way too muggy out still in the evening, or I have been away.  And today, when I woke up and Diesel was stretched out in Mikey's half of the bed, I was so very close to calling in to work and spending the day with him, but I knew I had stuff to get done. And here it is Friday evening and my chance was missed completely.  Mikey is making up for leaving him at home by taking him up state for the weekend.  I have things going on this weekend or I might have gone too.

I suppose all I really needed to do was to sit down and actually start writing.  Though I am still worried after a record number of hits to my blog last week if I can even come close.  So I pose a question to my fellow bloggers, what do you write about when you don't have anything to write about?

I am going to try and make a list of topics that are dog-walking/hometown related and see if I can just start writing once a day.  I don't have to post them I guess, but at least I can go back to them and tweak them post when I am having another one of those weeks.

Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate all of the comments and the hits.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

And Just Like That... They're Gone.

Finally the weather turned nice around here and Diesel and I were able to get out and take a quick walk around the neighborhood. Most of the time Diesel and I go out, I leave the iPod at home. Occasionally its nice to turn on some good upbeat music and just walk along with the pace, but on most of our walks it's an opportunity for me to enjoy the silence that comes with the trail and let my thoughts drift.

As Diesel and I were out on the Clinton River Trail today I was thinking back on a story that Mikey told me last night.

Mikey and Diesel had gone up state over the weekend leaving me to clean the house from floor to ceiling like it had really needed. Meanwhile, the two of them were out stomping around the woods getting ready for the upcoming hunting season. Mikey made his way up a tree stand to get a better idea of the lay of the land. Well, Diesel didn't see him go up and realized he was alone. The poor guy looked around, didn't see Mikey and heads trotting off towards the cabin before breaking out into a full on sprint. Mikey can see from his vantage point as Diesel quickly surveyed his surroundings, come to the conclusion that Mikey wasn't there and does the same full speed run back to where Mikey had last been seen. Again he searches the area and runs full tilt down another trail. At this point Mikey can tell that the poor dog is getting worried and he calls to him. Diesel eventually hears him and zeros in his location. That classic German Shepherd smile encompassing his face showing a look of relief.

It's not everyday you get to see your dog react to a situation where he's lost or confused. And honestly it really showed some real intelligence that he was able to remember locations and where is precious daddy could have been. It breaks my heart that Mikey and I have to leave him at home this weekend for the first time without either one of us. He has grown to be such an important member of the family that he comes almost every where we go. Thankfully, my mom will be keeping an eye on the big guy.

Unfortunately, while out on our walk today, we also learned of the passing of a good friend. It was one of those unexpected accidents that really knocks you off your feet when you hear about it. It's unbelievable how something that you do almost every day at work, could turn tragic and and cause an injury or worse. I worry about Mikey and his work near the power lines every day. Here in Detroit the grid system is so old, they don't cut the power unless they have to. It's a risk that both Mikey and I know and he takes the utmost precautions each and every day. Our friend died while doing the most simplest of tasks that on this particular day a malfunction occurred that cost his life.

Please remember to take the time out to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you, and tell them you love them. You never know when something like this could happen and you should never take their being there for granted. You could turn around one day and they could be gone.

We lost a good friend, a son, a brother, and father. He will be missed.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Nose Knows - Diesel's Trip to the Dog Park

Today I had a day off from work and decided that since Diesel and I haven't been getting out for many walks lately, that I would take him to the dog park.

My friends recommended Orion Oaks Dog Park, in Orion Township.  At about 10ish or so this morning I packed some water, his portable dog dish, and grabbed his leash.  We headed north and checked into the park at around 10:15 or so.  It's a $5 fee for a daily pass to the park, annual passes are also available for $30.  Orion Oaks is an Oakland County park so if you buy the annual pass it will also grant you access to Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, and Rose Oaks.  

Orion Oaks has 24 fenced in acres set up with different zones.  There is a small dog area and then an area for dogs over 25 lbs.  Diesel and I headed into zone A and instantly met a 7 month old German Shepherd puppy.  We wandered off in search of the trails mentioned on the website.  More than anything Diesel was more preoccupied with sniffing everything he came across.  By the time we had reached the back of the park I am pretty sure he had marked every tree and waste can.  Benches are located in many of the more shaded areas, and waste cans with provided baggies can be found almost anywhere.  

Orion Oaks Dog Park
At the back of the park you can pass through the double gates and enter the Dog Dock area.  A slight ways down the trail and you come to a decently long dock that stretches into the lake.  The water is deep enough that the dogs can jump off the end.  Ramps on either side allow the dogs to climb back on to the dock with ease.  There is no swimming allowed for humans, but you can get pretty wet sitting on the end with your dog and the others that come up and shake off.  Diesel didn't go swimming today, as I did not bring a floaty for him to chase.  I wasn't sure how crowded the dock would be.  

Dog Dock @ Orion Oaks Dog Park

Diesel and I made our way back to the fenced in area and strolled around the trails for a bit.  They're not really secluded, and are quite short, but it was nice to have the shaded area as it was starting to warm up a bit faster than I had hoped.  Diesel isn't bad with other dogs, but he's much more interested in people.  Dogs would come up to him and they would circle around each other and sniff each other but he wasn't interested in playing much.  The one time he did seem kind of excited was for a guy that was walking by with a few dogs of his own.  


Diesel and I decided that since we had already bought the daily pass, we headed down the street to the main park and hit the trails.  At first looking at the map I figured we would do the 2.5 mile loop.  We started off in a nice meadow walking along a grass trail.  A lot of people ask me if I am afraid of walking alone, have you seen my 90 lb German Shepherd?  I have heard him get mean and protective once before when I had to stop and use a porta-john while on the trail.  I am not really afraid of much when he's around.  We made it to the 2nd trail maker, it was really starting to get warm and we had just walked up the largest, straight up hill.  We stopped to take a breather and get some water and that's when I decided that we were not as prepared as we should be.  


There were bugs everywhere! Deer flies were all over Diesel's ears, and I was being attacked from all sides.  The only cool thing was all of the butterflies and grasshoppers.  We were running low on water by the next trail marker and Diesel and I came to the same conclusion, let's get out of here! We started following the trail markers back to the parking lot and managed to make one wrong turn that thankfully wasn't too far out of the way.  Diesel and I were more than happy to be back in the car and back in the A/C as we headed home. 


Orion Oaks Trails
It wasn't the worst trip and I can't say that I hated any of it.  The dog park was okay, but a little bit too busy and too small for Diesel and I.  I am sure its better for those that live in apartments and don't have the room to let your dog go free.  And Diesel isn't a "social" dog so he really doesn't need to be around other dogs.  He's not bad with them but for the most part he just doesn't care. The rest of Orion Oaks was beautiful, I would like to go back again when we can be a little more prepared.  I think Mikey would even like scouting out trees to climb. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Diesel Swimming

It has been a pretty hot July so far this year in Michigan and that has really limited the number of walks Diesel and I have been going on.  Last week was no exception.  Temperatures got into the 90's and Mikey and I couldn't make Diesel stay outside while we were at work, so he got to laze around in the A/C for the week.

After we had all of our chores done for the week, Mikey and I decided that it would be fun to spend a day out at the lake. Typically, that means heading out to Lake St Clair on his dad's boat, but this weekend we thought it would be nice to get Mikey's little fishing boat out and head out to Oxford, to the lake Mikey had lived on as a kid.

Since this was a last minute idea, this of course took some work to get accomplished.  Mikey had to get the boat out, we needed to buy new trailer lights, get out the life jackets, grab a cooler, Diesel's travel bag, some beach towels, get our swim suits on, and drive the half hour to Oxford.  Really it wasn't all that bad, but it did take some time so we finally got out to the lake at about 2pm.  And all that work was worth it.

The tunnel from Squaw Lake to Lake Mickelson
We launched the boat at the DNR ramp in Squaw Lake and then headed through the tunnel into Lake Mickelson.  And by tunnel I mean a 6' in diameter, 100' long pipe laid in the lake between the lakes and under a road!  At first I thought Mikey was crazy, but Diesel and I ducked our heads and right on through we went.

Diesel Swimming!

After giving us a brief tour of the lake, Mikey found us a nice sandy beach area, and we had a great time swimming.  It was the first time I had actually done more than just wade around in the water in a very long time.  I nearly forgot how to swim!  But not Mikey and Diesel, they were off and swimming in no time.  Mikey was throwing Diesel's floaty and he was swimming after it and we were all having a great time.

After a little while, when a few more boats showed up, we hopped back in the boat and cruised around the lakes a bit more. Mikey showed us the house his father had built, and where some friends of the family had also lived.  It was a really nice boat ride around the little lakes, and we stopped to swim one last time before we headed back to the boat ramp again.

Mikey and I both agree that it was a really fun time and we'd like to do that again some weekend.  And I am sure Diesel had a blast as well!

I leave you again, with a quick little video I put together from cell phone clips I took that day. Hope you enjoy it.  And please, leave me some comments so I know you're out there and reading!

Friday, July 22, 2011

What A Good Boy!

Grab Diesel's leash and watch him run around the house in delight.  Catch him and put on his collar. Open the front door and have him burst into the front lawn.  Open the car door and be nearly ran over as he jumps into the backseat.  Get in, kick the AC on full blast, drive to the end of the street.  Stop. Park. Open door for him again as he bursts out of the car.  Let him stop, sniff, and pee on everything.  Go inside.  He's so happy to see his old friends again.  And then it happens, this is when I feel so guilty, the poke of the first needle in the back of his neck and you can just tell he's thinking, "Ouch! WTF!?" And then comes the trickier one, taking blood from his leg. All the while, the Vet and I are reassuring him with repeated, "That's a good boy!"

Taking my animals to the vet has always made me a little heartbroken.  Pets tend to act one of two ways; either they are terrified and you have to drag them into the building howling, or they act like they have never been their before and its totally fun and exciting till someone is stabbing them with a needle.  At least the latter is a little easier to deal with, but I always have that feeling they are giving me the stink eye for the rest of the day.  And for that, I spend the rest of the day making up for it with treats.

For anyone that's been around Diesel, Mikey and I, you can tell that Diesel is Mikey's boy.  Which I totally understand because he was raised with Mikey, even going to work with Mikey at times and riding on the excavator with him.  When Mikey has a day off, the two of them are inseparable, going on errands together or napping in the living room.  When I get stuck taking him to the vet, you better believe I get knocked down a notch.

I have my moments with the big dogger too.  We have our walks, which I know are a highlight in Diesel's week.  And he certainly enjoys when I cook as I am a master at dropping food on the floor.  And we also have our lazy mornings in bed when Mikey has to work, and I don't. But yet somehow, I always seem to be the one to take him into the vet. Just the other summer, Diesel managed to cut his paw open while in the backyard.  We bandaged it up, and kept an eye on it but after a few days, it didn't seem to be any better.  So of course, I have to be the big meany and take him to the vet where the even meaner vet had to take a look at it and decide it needed stitches.  I had to leave him for a few hours while they knocked him out, stitched it up, and bandaged it up nice.  Who do you think was there though when it was time to pick him back up?  Mikey, the hero!

It's really not so bad, I suppose someone always has to be the fun parent, while the other take the more challenging role of the responsible one.  And we most certainly enjoy our time spent as a family.  As a matter of fact, if it doesn't storm in the next few hours as it looks like it could, we're hoping to take Diesel up to Bald Mountain for a swim.

I leave you all now, with a little video I took a few weeks ago, of just how excited Diesel gets before we go on a walk...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Different Kind of Diesel Stomping

This weekend was Mikey's Tree Jamboree hosted by his union brotherhood. They have the event at either Kensington or Stonycreek Metropark, alternating yearly. This year the event was at Kensington, and knowing how long the event can last, we couldn't bare to leave Diesel at home all day.

Mikey competing in the Foot-Lock event
Early Saturday morning, we packed coolers,daypacks, and camping chairs, making sure to include Diesel's leash, dog bowl and plenty of water. We headed on down the road at 6:30am. Way earlier than I ever like to be awake on a Saturday. About an hour later Mikey was registering with his fellow apprentices for the days events. 

Mikey is a professional tree trimmer whose company is contracted by the local utility company. The events are the same each year, all designed to test the apprentices in their tree climbing abilities. There is a speed climb, a work climb, throw-bag toss, foot-lock ascend, and an aerial rescue. Each of the events have different point ratings and are timed.While Mikey was climbing, Diesel and I took the opportunity to walk around the area as well as relax in the tree-shaded area of the park. We met many new friends and quite a few other dogs. Diesel for the most part was on his best behavior. After Mikey finished up the five events, we were free to get some lunch and relax while the rest of the climbers finished and they tallied the scores.
Swimming at Kensington Park
After a really great BBQ lunch of pulled pork, hotdogs, nachos, chips and cookies. We wandered on down to the lake and let Diesel go swimming for a bit and cool off. We hung out for a while with a few of Mikey's co-workers while they discusses different climbing systems and the upcoming State championships. I think Diesel had a great time with all of the new people and places to explore.

Overall, Mikey did a good job on each event, but not quite as good as last year, and he came in 7th. He's not a very competitive person, but he's always been a great trainer. After speaking with one of the judges, Mikey may have the opportunity to volunteer his time as a judge at the State Championships.

We were all quite exhausted by the end of the day, and it was quite the relief to get back in to the AC at home. We all slept good that night.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Long Walk

Yesterday was a day off from work for me and it should have been for Mikey too but he ended up having to work.  After running some errands in the morning, I decided that the weather would be perfect for walking up to the park with Diesel.

I gathered up our usual necessities; water, bowl, sunblock, sunglasses and put them all in my little backpack and Diesel and I proceeded on down the road.  I don't think Diesel and I have many walks together where we don't talk with at least one person while we're out and about.  And sure enough, we hadn't even made it to the CRT yet when we were stopped by a fellow neighbor who had recognized us from walks the previous summer.  We stopped and chatted for a bit, and he offered to trade Diesel for his dog.  Poor thing!  We eventually got back to walking again and made it down to the trail.

New flowers behind the Dentist office along the trail
Along the Clinton River Trail we passed quite a few more people, surprising since it was noon on a Friday.  I guess I wasn't the only one who thought it would be a great day to have off of work.  We made a brief stop to get some water, but then we were right back on our way again.

We made it downtown and headed over to Riverside Park.  For 1) I thought it would be nice to sit and enjoy the river for a bit and 2) I really had to use the restroom!  Again I have to mention how awesome Diesel's new leash is, when we made it over to the restrooms, I was able to just clip Diesel's leash around a close tree and I didn't have to worry about him getting away. Not that I really think he would go anywhere...  Another thing that was refreshingly nice was that the bathrooms at Riverside have really improved since I was a kid.  I haven't had to stop in there much over the years, but it was nice to see that they had changed out all of the manual facilities with those handy automatic sensors.  And they have replaced the paper towel with one of those high-powered hand dryers.  The place was exceptionally clean.  It's a restroom I won't be afraid to use in future.

Auburn Hills Riverside Park
After our bathroom visit we headed on back down to the riverside and chose a nice shady spot to sit and chill for a bit.  There were a few people in the park that day enjoying their lunch or reading a book.  Not too many kids at that point, no one on the playground equipment.  The river was running pretty low and slow on this day, we haven't had much rain since last weekend.  The ducks seemed to enjoy its lazy pace for a change.  However this completely bored Diesel. He was ready to walk again, but where would we go from here? As we made our way back out of the park it was nice to see a small group of seniors from the local American House were settling in to have a picnic.

We exited the park on Squirrel Rd and headed north.  My sister lives on that end of town and maybe she would wank to take her dog for a walk in the nicely shaded River Walk Park across the way.  We made our way over to her house and stopped for some water. Unfortunately, she had a hair appointment in a few minutes and wouldn't be able to go.  We had a nice visit anyway and said we'd try to plan the next one better.

After refreshing for a bit, Diesel and I made our way back to Squirrel.  It was starting to get quite a bit warmer now, and the look on Diesel's face made it clear that we should head back home.  We crossed the street and entered River Walk Park.  It's a little known fact that you can walk the trails all the way through the park and end up in the Adams Ridge Sub.  That's a nice little shortcut back to the trail and then back on home again.
The boardwalk at River Walk Park - Auburn Hills
We were gone for about 2 hours and managed to cover about 4.5 miles.  Not bad on a pretty warm day.  I took quite a few photos and have started posting all of my pictures to Picasa.  Now my most recent photos will be displayed along the bottom of this blog, along with a link to view the gallery all together.

As always I welcome your feedback!  Feel free to follow @DieselStomping on twitter.  Also, feel free to leave comments, let me know what you would like to see in future posts.  Diesel and I are always looking to see new places, meet new people and participate in what ever we can!  If you like us, share us with your friends and family who may be interested too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Walking an Old Favorite

When Diesel, Mikey and I first moved to this neighborhood, we started out talking fairly short walks just around the local streets till I could get a feel for how far was too far and which roads I should avoid.  One of our first walks that wandered out of the hood was down and around the trail and back again using a road named Leach.

Diesel and I would head north down our street as usual, pick up the trail in the normal spot and head east.  Once we got to the first crossroad we'd turn right and start heading down Leach.  The name Leach doesn't leave much to the imagination, and honestly its not a very appealing street to walk down, but served its purpose.  Leach is gravel road that is actually pretty busy in the evenings. It's unlike other streets in the area because it has this odd mixture of residential and commercial properties.  Most of the business look as if they were started from people's homes to being with, many of them being landscaping or contractor services.  There's a small church, and quite a few decent little homes on more than decent size lots. 

Meadowbrook Ice Cream Co
Amongst the streets business are two that you may be familiar with.  The first being is the Meadowbrook Ice Cream Company which is known around town for its ice cream truck delivery of the cold treats on those hot summer evenings.  Meadowbrook Ice Cream Company also rents ice cream carts and trucks for any special event you may be having.  Just a few years ago, the company I worked for purchased ice cream novelties for our entire department of over 200 employees!

Allen Brothers Inc.
Another familiar business Allen Brothers, Inc.  Allen Brothers specializes in residential, commercial, and solar roofing options.  Recently, Gary and Robert Allen were invited to the President's State of the Union Address

Today's walk wasn't very long, just under 2.5 miles.  And it didn't take us very long.  We still had plenty of time to get some fresh air, ponder the days most recent events and meet a few more neighbors (Diesel's a friend to anyone that has treats!). 

When I first started walking today, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about.  I'd like to start featuring more of the local businesses and locations around town, and really start providing more of a service to my readers than just blah, blah, blah about where Diesel and I have stomped around.  I'd like to pose a few questions to my readers with the hopes that you can provide some feedback in the comments below:

What would you like to see more of in our blog? Pictures? Events? Businesses? My worldly opionions? 

Secondly, Diesel and I meet a lot of new people while we're out on our walks, and we'd like to share our blog with them.  A larger audience can help us shape this blog into what our readers want to see.  Would it be appropriate to print up a business card of sorts and passing them out when we meet interested people? Maybe post small flyers at local businesses?  

Let me know what you think.  Your opinions and comments are always welcome!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Auburn Hills Farmer's Market

My apologies for not getting this posted sooner!  I had plans to rush home that night and blog, but a friend called and needed some talk time, and before I knew it, two more days had past.

Auburn Hills Farmer's Market
On Thursdays in Auburn Hills, there is a small but delightful Farmer's Market on the corner of Auburn and Squirrel.  It runs from 4pm to 7pm, weather permitting. They have a few farmer's that bring their produce of course, but they also provide booths for other local businesses.  There's the cookie lady and her friend who makes smoked meats.  Duffy's Irish Pub can always be found grilling hot dogs and selling sodas.  Auburn Oaks Nursery has a booth as well, and has specials on many of their plants. I have also seen booths selling organic dog treats, home made pasta & cannolis, pies, fresh breads, jewelery and woodworking.  Nana’s World CafĂ© has also had a small booth offering up samples of their gourmet marshmallows. And one of the other treats I love, is the live music! A different guest artist each week.

In the past I have always just driven up and browsed the market on my own, but this year I thought that it would be nicer just to walk up with Diesel.  I have done this once before, and Diesel was so well loved and welcomed (even getting a free hot dog) I had to bring him again, and post about our walk.

Well come Thursday wouldn't you know it, the weather was hot! And usually on hot days I like to wait until after dinner when the sun has started to hide behind the trees a little more.  If Diesel and I were going to make it to the market we'd have to be on our way no later than 6 and it would take some extra planning and supplies.  I got on my lightest weight cloths, my walking shoes and packed my little backpack.  Complete with Diesel's travel water dish and a bottle of water, and for bring the goodies home, my farmer's market bag I got last year.

Diesel and I headed on down the road about 6 o'clock, hit the Clinton River Trail as always, and then made it to downtown about 20 minutes later. It didn't take any time at all to meet up with my mother-in-law who had stopped up as well.  And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I turned around there was Mikey on my motorcycle.  He deemed it too hot to walk but wanted to take our new bike out for another test run. We  let Diesel get some water and we rested in the shade for a moment and then the four of us wandered amongst the merchants.  While Diesel was busy making friends, I picked up some tomatoes, some garlic bread and an ice cold Arnold Palmer. Mikey headed on down the road to our friends house, while I parted ways with Margaret.
Our Farmer's Market Goodies
Since the sun had started to set, the air was cooling off a little better now and Diesel and I weren't in much of a hurry to get home.  We headed on back towards our house, but stopped at our friends house for a bit.  He ran and played with his girlfriend, a blond lab named Daisy while Mikey and I chatted for a bit with our friends and their kids.  It was a nice walk home after that reflecting on how delightful the day had turned out.  Hopefully next week it won't be as hot, but the forecast isn't playing to my favor right now.  But it wouldn't be a Michigan summer if it wasn't 80 and humid.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunny & Breezy!

First, Diesel and I would like to thank the Rochester Patch website for featuring our blog occasionally.  I have been granted access to blog for the site, but I haven't yet decided if I should move over there or stay here.  I sort of like the control I have here, though it could open me up to a larger audience.

Today, Diesel and I had the most perfect weather for walking.  Partly cloudy with a fantastic breeze. Okay, maybe more windy than breezy, but it still felt great!  Temperatures were in the 70's which made it perfect for some shorts and a t-shirt.  Usually I don't go for walks much before 6 o'clock, but today I had an appointment at 7 I couldn't miss.  This meant getting out on the road at 5 and having to deal with the traffic. Yuck.  Thankfully the worst of it was crossing Auburn to get to the CRT after that we stayed on the trail for most of our walk.

View of downtown Auburn Hills facing West
After walking down the CRT, we cut through beautiful downtown Auburn Hills.  I love the way the streets are lined with the old fashioned light poles and flowers hang from baskets and are planted in stone gardens along the street. Add in the brick accents on the street and the new building fronts, downtown Auburn Hills is starting to look exceptionally nice.

Once we got back on the trail we continued west while enjoying the seclusion from the road.  We passed quite a few people and made some new friends as they stopped to pet Diesel.  He sure is a handsome dog and are frequently told so!


Unfortunate for us, I remembered to take a peek at the time and realized we had only a half hour to make it home and had already walked for an hour.  We got to stepping and raced home without taking too many unnecessary stops.  We were forced to take a short-cut and follow Auburn road home, but that wasn't to horrible as the traffic has started to mellow out by then.  Our complete walk took us an hour and a half and was almost 4 and half miles round trip.

Our walk today (image provided by Gmaps Pedometer)

And one last thing, I recently created a twitter account for the Diesel Stomping blog so that we can live tweet any pictures or events that may be happening while we are walking but before I have a chance to write.  Tweets will appear on the right-hand side of this page, or you can follow us by clicking here.

A New Leash for Diesel

Two posts today.  I wanted to share some additional walking goodies with you as well as just a recap of our walk.

Diesel is a very well behaved dog, often being complemented by those struggling to restrain their excited puppies about how he doesn't even seem to notice other dogs.  Diesel did go through some pretty extensive training before Mikey and I had the privilege to adopt him from Mike's brother.  In the past we had a long 6 foot leather leash that I used to take him for walks, it was nice, and looked quite sharp, however it was just too long for us.  Diesel is used to walking right next to me.  Last year, when our walks started becoming more frequent, I figured out that if I looped the leash around itself I could wear it around my waist.  This worked out quite nice, free hands, and it shortened up the leash a bit.  The only downfall is that when we would come to a stop, it had a tendency to drop to the ground and I would have to fumble with it all over again.

Well a few months ago as the nicer weather was starting to peek out, I stopped into PetSmart with Diesel and a cashier noticed how I hand to fuss with his leash while paying for his dog food and recommend a new one.  This leash has an adjustable loop on the "handle" end and a easy snap closure.  Originally intended to allow you to easily secure a pet to a tree or post, the cashier and I immediately saw its potential as my replacement  It has been a great addition to our walks this summer.  I don't know who makes this particular model, but if anyone has a dog that doesn't pull so much when they walk (or maybe they do and you need the extra footing) I recommend checking your local pet store for one.  They were no more expensive than any other nylon leash, but were limited in their colors and styles.  I chose the simple black.  Also, after adjusting it to fit around my waist, the length of the leash is probably only 4 and half feet long.  Perfect for us, and would meet any leash law requirements.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 14th, 2011

Last night after returning from our walk, I was much too exhausted to do anything but sink into the couch and watch my summer guilty pleasure, America's Got Talent.  I think I may have over did it with our walk.

I started out my afternoon hitting the gym for some strength training and a little cardio as I do each Tuesday.  After getting home and showering I just couldn't resist going for a walk.  The weather was perfect, a sunny 70 degrees with a slight breeze.  I wasn't feeling up to walking the usual route so I decided that we would just hit the Clinton River Trail for a bit and turn around and come back.

Sitting Area documenting the finding of Mastadon Remains
Armed with my headphones, and my phone queued up to play my Pandora App while we walked, Diesel and I headed down the street and picked up the trail in our usual spot.  We walked west, passing by the Mammoth Crossing sitting area.  As much as I love the little shaded area and Flintstone-ish bench indicating where Mastadon remains had been found while excavating for the new Adams Road, its painfully too near the busy street to really call it serene.

Rest Stop Near Adams & M-59
If there is one thing that I do truly love about living along the Rochester Hills stretch of the CRT its that the city, or the Friends of the Clinton River Trail keep the section beautifully maintained.  Grooming, providing maps and rest stops equipped with water and restrooms along the trail keep the trail traffic happy and bountiful.  There were all kinds of people out on the trail.  Bikers, joggers, runners, whole families, and those just taking their dogs for a walk. When we reached the first of the rest stops, Diesel was able to get a drink of water from the fountain as someone has been pleasant enough to leave behind a dog dish just for the occasion.

Wetlands along Mile Marker 6
We continued on down the trial until we reached the road block at the M-59 overpass.  Construction on the expressway has the trail closed under the overpass, but a detour is available for those wanting to continue further.  Diesel and I took this as our opportunity to turn back and head home.  Along the trial at that particular location, right around mile marker 6, are wetlands on either side of the trial.  They can be great spots to see local wildlife.  We stopped and took in the sights for a while, but saw nothing more than a family of ducks.  It was at that moment that I started to ponder.  Just on the other side of the little pond is the neighborhood that is home to my mother-in-law.  Would it be possible for me to get to it from here?  She had been wondering the same thing after buying a new bike recently.  Sure enough I found a little trial leading to the industrial area, and after a brief little jog through an open field, Diesel and I were on her very street.

Diesel and I stopped and visited for a while.  He got another drink of water and we headed on back out towards home.  I wanted to see just how long of a walk it would be taking the main roads so I headed on out of the neighborhood and onto Auburn Rd.  Standing at the top of the hill I could see I had another large hill in front of us that would need to be tackled before we'd see the edge of our own neighborhood.  There was no turning back now.

Today I would look up our walking route on Google's Pedometer page and discover we walked nearly 4 miles.  Our usual walk is just under 3.  That, along with the lunges, and ball squats would explain why my thighs were sore today.  But it was still a nice walk and good knowing I can get to Mom's house from the trail.   

For more information on the Friends of the Clinton River Trail, view their Facebook Group.  
For a great tool to determine the distance of a walk/run/bike you've already made or to make future plans, check out Googles Pedometer using GMaps.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9th, 2011

Downtown Auburn Hills
It's been incredibly hot these past few days.  Too hot for walks.  Today was nearly perfect though.  The air began cooling off earlier in the day and by 6 PM the temps were in the 70's with a nice breeze.  It was overcast, but didn't look like it would start raining too soon.  Diesel and I had more than just exercise on the mind when we headed out today.  

Being Thursday, it meant the Auburn Hills Farmer's Market was going on downtown.  The farmer's market is along the same route we normally walk.  We headed out the door, down the street, and on to the CRT.  The trail was full of life today.  Lots of bikers, and the occasional runner/jogger.  There were plenty of birds as usual, and not too many bugs.  Once we were downtown, we headed over to the public parking area where the market was set up.

Being that it is still early June in Michigan, there's not too much produce out.  What there is a lot of is sweets!  The Cookie Lady was there as always and we made sure to stop by so she could meet Diesel, and get some of her famous cookies.  After taking a lap or two, enjoying the sounds of the one man band, and letting Diesel meet all of the new dog lovers, we made a stop at Duffy's tent and ordered a fresh of the grill hot dog and soda.  The guy even sneaked a hot dog out for Diesel too!  After a few bites we headed on down Grey Rd on our way back home.

Along the way, we ran into Connie and had a quick chat until the mosquito's drove us back down the path.  So long as you're moving they don't seem to bite.  Just before Adams Rd we stopped and Diesel met a 1 year old German Shepperd puppy out for a walk with its owner.  She was a cutie!  We made it back home without too much more effort.  And we were both ready to chill on the couch for a bit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 24th 2011

Yesterday turned out to be a really nice day.  The day was warm with a cooling breeze coming through in the evening.  After getting home from the gym, and one heck of a workout, Mikey and I had originally planned to go see a movie.  Mikey suggested instead that we take the dog for a walk, and postpone the movie to the next day, when there was a chance of rain. That sounded like a good idea to me. 

Our usual route
After Mikey finally got ready, the three of us headed out on Diesel and I's normal route.  We headed out of the house and down the street.  Just on the other side of Auburn, a quick movement caught Diesel and I's attention and we both stopped to have a stare-off with a groundhog.  He was no more than 6 feet away from us, the opening to his tunnel between him and us.  We waited for a while before the groundhog finally turned back the other way, ducked under the fence and found a new opening to crawl into. We continued on and caught the Clinton River Trail.  Walked the CRT west until we came to downtown Auburn Hills.  There we sat on a nice metal bench while we contemplated walking to a friends house or to the Twist 'n' Dip for some ice cream.  The sweet-tooth in us all won over and we stopped in for some flurries.  Diesel got his usual doggie dish, and like always he tried to swallow it all in one gulp!  After our ice cream was finished, we continued on the route walking down Grey, all the while Mikey quizzing me on the types of trees.  Along the route we identified various Maples, Oaks, Hickories, Poplars, and numerous others.  There a quite a few different tree types that grow around southeast Michigan.
Mikey and Diesel walking along Grey

As we neared home the sun began to set, and it was pretty evident we were all pretty beat.  Ice cream and a long walk sure do hit the spot.  Always nice having some peaceful time with the family in the evening.  Though I am still hoping to get to the theater tonight and see the new Pirates movie. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our First Walk

I love spring! The weather in Michigan is just right for taking nice long walks after work without being too hot or too cold. And if you can plan them just right you can squeeze them in between rain showers.

Our walking route via Gmaps Pedometer
Today, Diesel and I completed our typical route. This route is roughly 2.8 miles, and takes about an hour for us to complete. It takes us through my neighborhood, onto the Clinton River Trail, into Downtown Auburn Hills, around through the Grey Rd subdivision.
 The weather today was pretty nice, sunny, few clouds, and around 54°.  It cooled down quite a bit on the way back, and I tried to stay in the sun as much as possible.

The Clinton River Trail just west of Adams

We didn't make any stops today, but we did see a rabbit and a black squirrel out today.  If I go at the right time, I have seen deer, partridge, rabbits, squirrels, fish, and some hawks, along with other birds.  We have also been lucky as to not have to deal with too many bugs, mosquitoes and nats can be quite annoying! There were quite a few people out enjoying the trail today as well.  Some runners, a few on bikes, and some dog-walkers like ourselves. 

One of the other things I love about spring time in Michigan are the colors!  The little green and red buds start to pop out onto the long, tall branches, and flowers begin to appear in the greening grass.  There were yellow forsythia, purple hyacinths, and red tulips! 
Some of the wonderful colors around town

There's not too much else to say about today's walk.  Mikey said he was going to join us but got caught up at his father's house longer than he had intended.  There will be plenty more chances for him this summer, as he has said he would like to walk with us more.  We also have a fancy new Subway downtown with a patio, it could be nice walking up for dinner some time. 

I will share more walks, and more photos next time.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Welcome!

I am not a very good blogger.  I always seem to drift away from the subject at hand and don't post often enough. My other attempts are hit and miss (Life As It Happens & Back to Little), but I am hoping that this will be one I can really get into.  What I am hoping to do with this blog is share with you the many walks my dog, Diesel, and I take together.

We are always walking about uptown or down the Clinton River Trail, even occasionally through the woods on our property up state.  Together, Diesel and I have seen dozens of sunsets, quite a bit of wildlife, and met many new friends. We walk on dirt roads, paved streets, gravel paths, wood chip walkways, plank bridges and have covered quite a few miles.  We may walk only a few hundred yards, a couple of miles, or if the weather is right and we have the time, we may even walk for hours.  We tend to keep to the neighborhoods of Auburn Hills, but you can catch us trying to walk as far as we can into Rochester before having to head home for the night.

I am not much of a photographer, but I like to think I have a decent eye, and a camera phone.  I like to take pictures of the scenery Diesel and I come across, or of any wildlife I can catch before it scurries off.  Hopefully my words will help fill in the blanks between photos.  I will also be occasionally including little maps of our routes in case you would like to explore them yourself. 

Hope you enjoy my new blog!

Jennifer