Training to walk 39 miles takes a large part of the day.* Ed and I often trained in shifts, since Lily and Emmy could walk far, but not as far as we wanted to walk. One chilly spring day we all really pushed to walk 12 miles, and that was a little too much for the girls. (And almost too much for me and Ed!)
One Saturday last spring Ed walked a few miles while I took the girls to piano lessons. That afternoon, we walked with the girls in the forest preserve along the Des Plaines River. It was a beautiful spring day; the trees had tiny green leaves and the forest floor was covered with flowers.
I don’t remember how many miles we walked that day, but when we got to the parking lot, I decided that Ed could drive the girls home, and I could walk the rest of the way to get in about 3 more miles. We figured it should only take me about an hour to walk home, and we said our goodbyes, along with plans to pick up Chinese food for dinner so that I wouldn’t have to cook!
Ready to enjoy my solitary walking time, I started off on the path and opened up a granola bar for a snack. I took one bite…and saw two coyotes on the side of the path ahead of me. The darker coyote stayed to the side, unsure of what to do. I wrapped up my remaining granola bar and froze, unsure of what to do. The lighter colored coyote started loping on the path toward me. He seemed very sure of himself! I wondered; did he want my granola bar? How close was he going to get? Should I start making some noise?
As soon as he crossed a small bridge that went over a shallow gully, he dashed back into the forest and disappeared. His black companion decided the bridge was not for her, and she crossed the path right where she was and soon followed after him.**
I breathed a sigh of relief, continued on my way while eating the rest of my granola bar, and made it home in about an hour, just as anticipated and without any further excitement.
*Ed and I were training for the Avon 39 Walk for Breast Cancer, which we completed in June.
**I have no idea what the sex of the coyotes were. Assigning one as male and the other as female just made sense.