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.