Yesterday was the first snow of the season, and thus we took Sophie-dog on the first snow walk of the season. Sophie-dog is a snow puppy. She doesn’t care that the snow is really coming down. She doesn’t care how cold it gets. She wants her walk despite of, or maybe because of, the conditions and she’s intolerable until she gets out and gets her sniff on.
These are some of the best times to walk. The few people out on the trail are the real die-hards. They’re out to be out and they’re few and far between. Mostly it’s just me, the roommate, and Sophie-dog out enjoying the quiet beauty that storms like this bring.
We can see the signs of others like ourselves. At the lower right of the photo I took on the roommate’s phone, there are footprints heading toward the parking area – the only sign that anyone has been here other than we three.
For a time the three of us walked in relative silence. Blairs Ferry Road isn’t very far from the trail, but the trees mute the sounds with their own hush of branches swaying and the gentle plop of snow accumulated on the overburdened branches falling to the ground.
Eventually we came upon someone out riding a fat tire bike.
“If this were The Walking Dead, we should shoot him now before he can get to us,” I opined.
“Zombies don’t ride bikes,” my roommate responded. “They can’t. They don’t have the coordination.”
“They could ride bikes. Even I can go no hands on my fatty and we both know I have no coordination whatsoever.”
It’s true. My balance is superb. Those of you who really know me can stop laughing any time now. It was tested bout with vestibular neuronitis and that’s what the physical therapist said.
The physical therapist also said that balance is not coordination. It’s coordination that I lack. I might trip over color changes in the carpet, but it’s rare for me to actually fall from a simple trip.
“Doesn’t matter. Zombies are even less coordinated than you are and that’s saying something. Zombies can’t ride bikes.”
The guy on the fat tire bike disappeared into the woods off the side of the trail. Sophie-dog looked vaguely interesed, but likely only because she’s found bunnies in that area before.
I persisted. “You can’t know that they can’t ride bikes, especially not a fat tire bike. We’re not close enough to tell. All we know is that someone or something is riding a bike. Besides, if it were The Walking Dead he’s probably another ruthless survivor. We should still probably shoot him from here and take his bike.”
“No. We wouldn’t. We’re better than that. Besides, we have bikes at home.”
I thought about explaining that we might need spare parts because of the post-apocalyptic setting, but decided against it. The guy on the fat tire bike had returned to the trail and was coming up behind us now.
“We’ll be able to tell if he’s a human or a zombie now.” I glanced backward over my shoulder. He was coming up slowly. Very slowly. Painfully slowly.
“Are you going to ask him if zombies could ride bikes?” The roommate shifted her grip on Sophie-dog’s lead, in case Sophie-dog decided to give chase to our slow motion friend.
“Yes,” I nodded enthusiastically, then shook my head. “No.”
He passed us so slowly I wondered at his ability to maintain his balance on the fat tire bike at all, then disappeared into the woods in front of us on the other side of the trail, the side with houses tucked in behind the woods.
“I’m totally putting fat tire zombies into the book.”
The roommate chuckled. “You do that.”
“Fat tire zombies would be slow zombies.”
“Very slow zombies, indeed.” The roommate had already turned her attention back down the trail.
I looked down the bit of side trail that fat tire bike guy had taken. I suspected he was picking his way through the woods and back around to the trail again, but I didn’t know.
He might be slow, but he was fast enough that I’d already lost him. Only his tire track remained.