I’m a big fan of the early morning hike. On weekend mornings, I like to be out on the trail by seven. It’s still cool at that time of day, it’s not nearly as crowded, and it’s relatively quiet. It’s the perfect time to wear out two young dogs and get a little thinking done. The downside of being the first down the trail? Spider webs. I catch–and I mean that literally–all of the spiders’ overnight work that they build between trees over the trail. I spend most of my time ducking, weaving, bobbing, and doing a very bad version of the lambada, all to avoid the webs.

The dogs would laugh, but I’m their ride home.

Webbing --photo credit ridgwaydvm.wordpress.com

–photo credit ridgwaydvm.wordpress.com

I have a feeling that my early morning musings aren’t so appreciated by the arachnid residents of Turkey Creek. I’ve ruined several good nights’ work more than once. I’m also probably not what they were hoping to catch in their spider webs.

But what do I get out of getting up so early, even on a Sunday? Tired dogs, for one thing, but they’re also effervescent with joy for being out. A clearer head, giving me better clarity for the week. There is no one to listen to me when I talk to myself And after four miles, I know that I’ve earned my Sunday afternoon nap.