As we become more experientially enlightened (get older) we realize that nothing in life comes easy, that if we want to get "somewhere" it often requires pushing limits. Being experientially enlightened means that we have long realized that Life isn't fair. Life is like the mountain, in that regard, it doesn't give a lick if you fall to your death.
Now that I'm on the short end of life's fuse, time is no longer a luxury I can squander like some youngster. When I was a teen, 35 seemed old. I couldn't imagine living that long, my parents—hell, everybody's parents—looked old and over the hill. Now, pushing 65, I've noticed an impostor in the mirror. Who is that guy?
|Da "Basketball Jones" Johnson's… we all topped out right at 6 foot 4 inches, my dad, Brent's dad (my brother) and brother (my other nephew) and my son.|
Wow, the second thing I noticed about the photo was how much smaller our foreheads were. Today, Brent and I both suffer Male Pattern Baldness, an ego disabling disease that has no known cure (sniff).
Already bored with our familiar hikes, I pronounced it "Adventure Day in Lovely Ouray" and prepped the old 29'er for a ride up Camp Bird Mine road… hopefully, to the Mine itself. Bobbie said, "Have fun," meaning she didn't want any part of silly macho male antics. Did I say, "ride?" Make that "grind," as the elevation gain is 2000 feet in less than five miles.
|Not enough room for guardrails...|
|A small memorial to a high school student who fell to his death one Forth of July night, shooting off fireworks along Canyon Creek.|
|At the Camp Bird Mine… made it in 1 hour and 34 minutes. Proof of Life after Geezerhood!!!|
Still snowed in up at Camp Bird Mine, and a tad chilly when sweaty from grinding out the uphill bitch of a road.
|Ah, but the descent is an oh so sweet adrenaline rush reward…|
|Single lane in several places… note the colorful "Blowout" left of the 29er. Our Mine shack is right at the bottom and across from this colorful geologic feature. I've been known to take a few visitors up into the Blowout. Scheduling tours now for those who have no fear of heights (Suzanne?)|
An abrupt flashback to Camp Madera, now, the day before our departure:
Our naturalist/birding authority friend, Sandy, hosted a party at her quaint adobe home in Green Valley. It was her birthday, excuse enough. Sandy was Bobbie's VISTA partner on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere place for two young gals to end up fresh out of college.
Must have been 12 or 14 great people at the party… enough that we needed name tags :) Wandrin Lloyd showed up in his traditional jazzy Hawaiian shirt. Now off the road after 13 plus years of roaming, it was nice to reconnect with Lloyd. He's settled in Tucson, but tries to get to cooler climates during the heat of summer. Considering Lloyd's been through the ringer with Chemo and Radiation for the big C, he looked no worse for the wear on the outside. I'm sure it was a different story on the inside. Stand up to the "mountain." On to a complete remission/cure, Wandrin Man. Prove there is Life beyond Geezerhood. I hope you swing by Lovely Ouray this summer… the spare bedroom is always open.