“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Header Photo: Just an average hike on an average day in Red Canyon Country.



NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spring Gains A Foothold In Lovely Ouray; Letting The Chips Fall...


Spring eventually triumphs over winter around here, but it always takes the entire "fifteen rounds." It's a bout of fits and spasms, April, our most epileptic month—a bipolar mix of January and July, parkas one week, tank tops and shorts the next. Spirits that dare soar on her fair weather breeze will soon be dashed by a winter gale. 


On yesterday's lovely and temperate walkabout, Bobbie and I strolled past an elderly gentleman in shorts mowing the embryonic shoots of a spring lawn. His legs were as white as the snow on Abrams, and his face bore an expression of relief. The aroma of fresh cut grass taunted my senses with great expectations of summer, which sparked a surge of genuine cheer—the first in months after a dismal winter of discontent. I suppose there is a lesson in there somewhere. In Travels with Charley, Steinbeck suggested that it is the cold of winter that gives summer's warmth its sweetness. I believe his seasonal analogy applies to issues of health as well. In a couple of days (wednesday) I will finally have surgery to repair my long postponed hernia, and I can assure you that I will never take mobility and wellbeing for granted again…nor the sweetness of living, no matter the season. 














Under lavender blue skies and with temperatures forecasted to break into the mid sixties, I asked Bobbie to drop me off at Goldie's house. She has been neglected, biding the winter in a storage compound below the dam in Ridgeway Reservoir State Park. Our mountain bikes spent the winter in Goldie's living room and, given the weather, I thought it was time to break them out of prison. 

Certainly, I will never be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Best Judgment. But…after carefully analyzing "Cost/Benefits," I decided to ride my mountain bike back home instead of hauling it. After a few "are you sure's," I bid Bobbie and Goldie goodbye and peddled off toward Enchanted Mesa's trailhead. I remembered that it was ledgy and steep, but thought if I took my time and was careful I could push the old 29'er without any dire consequence. 

My homemade hernia truss has proven to be quite effective when cinched down to a point just short of cutting off circulation to my lower extremities—a delicate balance learned through trial and error, the "error" being "I can't feel my legs anymore." I had a phone, Bobbie had a phone, last weeks para thyroid incision was healing up nicely; what could possibly go wrong? I bungied my tool bag to the rear rack just in case (a gift from my antagonizing blog nemesis) and peddled about a hundred feet before surrendering to biped mode. Never have I been so thrilled to be gripping the handle bars of my 29'er…even if I was pushing.





Once on top of Enchanted Mesa, the trail moderates and is easily ridden. It winds through the park's piƱon and cedar that abut fields of Dreams ranch lands with far views. It took a leisurely hour and a half to ride to Ridgway via a combination of trails and bike path. Pedaling along through Town Park I heard Bobbie hollering and rode over to meet up. Her meeting with a local Art Group had just let out and she was getting ready to go for a walk with fellow artist Barb. I assured her that I was fine and had experienced a great release from the ride. 

I finished off the last few of a pocket full of almonds, washed them down with Gatorade, and rode the old railroad grade route back to Lovely Ouray—soul and faith restored, mind mended, and none the worse for the ride. Ranchers in irrigation waders were out in force, shoveling ditches and damming water to make it go where needed. Exuberant ranch dogs were happy to be out and about. 

Another hour and a half and I was pushing the 29'er up our steep drive. Yes, I thought about pedaling it, then thought better and settled for my good ride. 

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and just let the chips fall.










21 comments:

  1. Summer is sweeter from the dark of winter...yes, I can entirely see this one. Here's hoping your operation goes smoothly, that the healing is effortless and those summer wings fly you away from the winter's storm.
    Nina

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad that the surgery is finally on the schedule so that summer can hold all the adventure you desire. Waiting can be such a pain... finally you will be able to getter done and on to healing. Wishing you well as you move past this dreary winter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's to a successful surgery and speedy recovery...and that you are back on the trails ASAP!

    BTW, great bighorn catch!!!

    Metamorphosis Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  4. Made my heart sing to see you on your bike. Well, at least I had the mental0picture. Wishing you well and a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's beautiful there! Glad you were able to get out on your bike. A good bike ride fixes many things.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love your pictures of spring coming....Ouray is still ranked extremely high on my favorite places list and I love seeing your pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know Bobbie will be so happy to have you all patched up so she can quit worrying! Looks like you had a great day for a ride. Sending good thoughts your way on Wednesday.
    Gayle

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like a great ride there, Mark. Re. winter/summer, it does seem that old duality thing - hot/cold, light/dark, etc. - is what makes the world go around. All the best on Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bighorn photos are awesome especially the one looking down at you!

    Thinking of you with your up coming surgery:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just wanted to let you know that your painting lessons aren't falling on deaf ears. I've been attempting a few small landscapes lately. I kind of suck but I just keep telling myself to keep at it. I remember when you and Bobbie first started painting and I see how far you've come so that gives me hope. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope all goes well next week!

    Beautiful trail!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Soooo glad that you got that into your system before Wednesday when I will be sending all good thoughts your way! I'm having some issues of my own.... so send some back, would ya!?!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Expect pain from hernia surgery. My husband had to sleep in a recliner as it was painful to get up and down. I had a parathyroid tumor removed in 2011. After much research I realized that was why I was so sick. It had caused my heart to go into A-fib too. Dr. Norman in Tampa, Fl. did the surgery. I went to Dr. Wolf for a mini-maze surgery to get heart fixed. Thank God for the internet. You are in my prayers. Barbara in Florida

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your core muscles must be strong if you can jump on a bike and pedal 2 hours at elevation. Your strength will help in the healing process. After surgery on a warm sunny day, you can take your lounge chair back to the Ridgeway beach relax, enjoy the blue water, sky,and mountain view. It's nice to have winter behind us and soon your surgery will be history.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Spring is certainly a blessing after the horrors of a nuclear winter. I'm glad you found your rhythm and rode your bike home. Good luck on you impending surgery and prayers and thoughts for a speedy recovery...

    ReplyDelete
  16. aaahhh, the shots of that trail make the breath of fresh air palpable. Just remember that bi-polar summer/winter thing later tonight...."no liquids after midnight" versus how great that first cold sip of IPA is going to taste!

    ReplyDelete
  17. So glad your surgery is imminent and wish you a speedy recovery. Know this has been a hard time, but so appreciate the beautiful photo updates along the path.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mark- you are making me nervous! easy buddie- ! If I could only explain the problems I experienced from rushing back from hernia surgery- you would cool your jets! please chill- do not forget up coming invasion of the flat liners _Indy- FL guys- take care- Walden Creek Rv Steve

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks all,
    now to just get this over and done, and start mending. I've heard everything from "up and around in three days" to "it took me three months." I'd settle for three weeks :))
    see ya later,
    mark

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a little late to the pre-op party here & saw on your post-op post you have already gone into & come out the other side of things with what looks like not too much worse for ware. Well so far anyway. Good stuff & wishing you the best...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yeah I'm following Al and did the posts in reverse too so I knew you were better and feisty if I may say before I even read about this biking episode. Hope the healing is rapid. What good is spring and summer if you can't be out there without a care.

    ReplyDelete

The Box Canyon Blog is an interactive site. Don't just sit there, PARTICIPATE !!!