Are we there yet?

"Turning left? Good. That means Cougar. Oh boy!"

I can almost hear Finn saying this as we head out for our weekend trail excursion this morning.

I'm outing myself as a bad puppy mom who, on these short drives to nearby Cougar and Tiger mountains for a run, lets him ride unrestrained in the back of my Mazda Tribute.

Finn's my navigator. He sits right behind and between the two front passenger seats so he can see where we're going. He knows which exit we take for each mountain, and ramps up his excitement as soon as the exit is taken.

Close up.

What you can't see in these photos is that Finn always has one paw resting on the console between the seats, as if he's pointing me down the road. He's not allowed in either front seat - whether the car's moving or parked - so the paw on the console is our little compromise. I'm sure he'd prefer to do all the driving if I'd just let him.

"Aren't we there yet? Can't you drive any faster?" He's always so intent. Focused.

"Ahhh; there's the parking lot. Cool. Let's rock 'n' roll!"

We met my friend Suzanne for this morning's hike (I'm still resting a sore calf muscle). Suzanne and I have been running partners for a number of years, although she keeps popping out babies, which screws up her ability to run with me ;-) She had her son Brady just six months ago. She's awesome.

Finn likes her, too.