I'm working on an article about local trails - those good for running, hiking, and mountain biking.

So of course the girls and I had to go do some research.

We went to Rapid River Trail this morning. When we arrived, a few flakes were falling while the sun was working hard to part the clouds. The light was interesting, there was fresh snow on the higher hillsides, and the trail was dry.


We ambled along. I took a total of 40 photos, most of which turned out pretty good. Of course, many of them included the girls, so those won't be appropriate for the magazine. But then again, I'm the magazine's managing editor, so I guess that's my call!

I've included a few.

I'm thankful this trail is so close by and so gorgeous. I keeps me sane, in terms of trail running through the winter months when the options near home are few, and all snow-covered for now. And it's one trail I feel comfortable letting the girls run free, without vests.

Despite this being Spring Break week, we didn't see anyone on the trail until we were nearly done, when we bumped into a family out for a short hike. Two of the four kids had gotten ahead of the rest of the family, and without any shyness or nervousness, asked me what sort of dogs the girls where. "Malamutes," I replied. "Have you seen the movie Eight Below?" They both nodded yes. "Well, these are the same sort of dogs as some in that movie." They asked the pet the girls, and the girl asked their names. While all this was going on, I noticed that their mother, a couple hundred yards away, was gathering the other two younger children close to her, a little nervous, watching her older kids so boldly approach me and the girls. I'm getting used to this sort of reaction to the girls. There's so much media coverage of wolves here, most of it negative, that virtually all the locals immediately assume the girls are wolves and give us wide berth. That never happened in Seattle. Trust children to be sensible and unbiased. And trust my girls to be excellent ambassadors for Malamutes, those very close cousins of the wolf.