Ramble with Storm: Stepping lively, stepping deadly

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Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

Yesterday, I happened to mention “stepping lively,’‘ which drew a crack from Ken Gortowski on Facebook.

The reality is I do step lively on the morning rambles with the meathead.

The basic ramble begins at our house in town, stretches past the town park, across the tracks, around the town pond, up along an old rail bed now a trail, back past a feed mill, then into town again.

In part, this is exercise for somebody like me who spends a good part of each day in front of a computer screen.

The basic route covers 1.5 miles. On a morning where I just walk, I finish in 15 minutes. That’s a 6-mph pace.

I have often thought that I could walk the Chicago Marathon in well under five hours, and probably have time to take in some quick dim sum in the Chinatown lap at Triple Crown.

Of course, it takes longer if I stop to take photos, surprise the red foxes, look for morels or mushrooms, try to count Canada geese or determine a type of duck on the town pond.

Odd morning. Saw only two doves, heard none. See zero squirrels. Explain that one on a perfectly calm morning.

The problem with stepping lively is that it is an exercise pace or practical, got-to-get-there, pace is that it is not an outdoors walk.

I take long strides and each footstep lands heavily on the heel.

Hardly the way to sneak around in the wilds.

Sneaking around the woods is much more of a slow movement and an easy landing on the balls of my feet.

When I go squirrel hunting or deer hunting; or even simply go to specifically do a wildlife walk, I very consciously have to watch my step.

Would that be stepping deadly?

After the fall-like mornings the last two days, this morning is very much in texture like a late summer morning. Tomorrow will be another type of morning again. Each ramble has its own feel.

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