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"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." C. Bukowski

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Change of Hats


It's a beautiful day in Lovely Ouray. But here I sit on the sixth day of a hacking chest cold/fever/chills (moan) that only now seems to be loosening it's death-grip. On day two I felt better, thought I saw a little light at the end of what I hoped would be a relatively "short tunnel."  It turned out to be a train.

I can't remember the last time I had a cold or flu; at least 6 or 7 years. So I guess I don't have cause to whine. Then again, what else have I got to do? Bobbie abandoned our bed in favor of the couch rather than sleep with "the enemy."  I don't blame her.  

Back on day three, at the pinnacle of my "pity party," angry from a prolonged spell of convulsive whooping coughs, I wadded up my Life is Good hat and threw it in the shit-can (Navy Speak for "trash"). Time for a change of hats...something venomously pessimistic. Voila!



Just as I was about to complete the online transaction, I started to think about the when and why I started wearing Life is Good hats in the first place. It was after a long run of medical misfortunes, including back surgery, blood clots, parathyroid surgery, two hernia surgeries, the second of which required another invasive surgery for resultant internal bleeding and 10 days in the hospital. Then, as if that wasn't enough, another bout of blood clots, this time with pulmonary embolisms.  

At times like this, it is instructive to take another read from the Book of Job. I tried to remember that, no matter how bad your own situation, someone else "out there" has it worse. I decided to postpone my conversion to "an angry old sourpuss" and chose a slightly less negative hat...



As bad as I wanted the Life Sucks  hat, cause right now, it truly does, SUCK,  I remembered my commitment to maintain at least a glass half full point of view. Attitude is everything. It has the power to alter boundaries between perception and reality.


Since I have all this free time thrust upon me, I might as well finish posting the remaining hiking/biking photos from October/November in Zion, which seems like sooo long ago, now that the clock has slowed to a crawl. 


The "Sand Bench Trail" gave us an up close view of "The Court of The Patriarchs."


Juliet (In yellow) flew down from Seattle for a whirlwind hiking tour of Zion. She wanted an intimate canyon experience, so daddy Chris, Laurelee, Bobbie, and I took her to "Hidden Canyon."

Chris and daughter, Juliet, on the ledgy hike to Hidden Canyon.


Most years, flash floods alter the course in Hidden Canyon, so it's never the same .











Juliet wanted MORE, so after Hidden Canyon we hiked up the trail to Observation Point a ways...


Looking down into a Slot Canyon...

One of our favorite things to do in Zion is to wander off-trail and explore the less visited areas. We had them all to ourselves...except for the Big Horn Sheep.








Finally, just before leaving, Bobbie and I got in a nice bike-trail loop out through the BLM lands near camp.






35 comments:

  1. I am so sorry you are sick! The stuff in the chest is just insidious. It stays forever, lets you think you're better and then it attacks again. Here's hoping for a speedy and thorough recovery.

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    1. I remember when you had it last year down in Tuscon...
      But you toughed it out to our little gathering. :)
      mark

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  2. Stunning, fantastic, fabulous hiking pictures as usual. Love the close up of you in the Life is Good hat. TOTALLY smpathize with your mind set at the moment. I'm also sick and tired of being sick and tired. David is one month into and I'm into 16 days and it seems like forever. Luckily no fever or chills but coughing coughing coughing and blowing the nose and NO ENERGY. Misery loves company so consider us your pals! Oh BTW, we made the mistake of taking a trip for the holidays when we "thought" we were feeling better. Set back city! Try to be patient. Hard to do I know for sure. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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    1. I'll never make it another week stuck indoors...let alone a month. If it kills me it kills me...look for me in the wilderness.
      whimpering mark

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  3. Get the Life is good hat back. Or send it to me. You get take all these great pictures of fantastic trails I can only dream of nowadays and now you are griping because you have to rest a few days before attacking more trails. Geez. I am still thrilled I can walk the beach at Padre Island National Seashore even if the dunes are a bit much for me. On second thought I think I will get me a Life Is Fantastic hat. Have fun anyway. You could be researching more great places to hike while resting.

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    1. I agree with you Barney! Mark, twas getting worried about ya, no post for awhile. Just read an article about men and the flu, they whine and complain more than women :)

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    2. Hey. No ganging up!
      I know men can't take sniffles or pain like women...that's why you have babies else there would be zero population growth. And you know what else? The bigger the man, the bigger the "baby" inside. Just ask Bobbie.
      mark

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    3. Terri didn't tell you the conclusion of that article. It concluded that estrogen enhances the immune system of women and testosterone weakens men's immune systems and therefore all of our whining is entirely justified and, I believe they said all men are stoics and thus, all the more manly.

      Only part of what I said is true. I will leave up to you to figure out which.

      Jim

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    4. Jim,
      Sadly, men our age have more estrogen than testosterone. If you done believe me, check out your boobies in the mirror next time you shower.
      Or, Just watch one of those fucking Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. You'll ball like a baby.
      Stoically yours,
      (cough)
      mark

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  4. Great shots wish we had been there. Sorry to hear your ill. Downhill Only is my life motto.

    Jim

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    1. I'll see if I can find you a "Downhill" ball cap...Besides you never liked uphills anyway. Talk about whine :)
      Someday you must stay around Virgin longer...then you can meet and hang with lover's of the cold.
      81 degrees today in Tucson; still too hot
      Sunny and 45 here: Perfect!!!
      mark

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    2. 74 here at McDowell, sweet. I really should get a cap that says, Gradually Decomposing.

      Jim

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  5. Gee wiz I was just thinking I should shoot off a New Year's greeting, thinking you were partying hard in Ouray, with no time to post.
    Hey if it's the same flu that's going around N. Calif you better start sucking on oranges & grapefruits and getting lots of rest and stay inside for a week cause everyone around here says you get better, then it comes back with a vengeance, then better again and you think is over and here it come back for a third time.....lots of coughing & feeling like S&6T.
    Get some Musinex if you haven't already.
    Hope you did get a flu shot.......sounds like maybe you didn't though.....
    YOU HAD ONE HELL OF A GOOD YEAR.....and you are still here.
    You are one LUCKY SOB, that's what I say to my retriever all the time.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR BOBBIE

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  6. Yeah..."Lucky SOB" I want that on a hat :)
    Misery loves company; so at least I'm not alone with my disease.
    Sadly, Bobbie now has a little cough. She's trying not to come down with my crud, but I fear the "crud" will win. Wishing my Sonoma Pals a happy new year, free from medical maladies. (Stay out of Walmart).
    mark

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  7. Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. An upper respiratory thing is tough for a hiker/biker. One really needs those lungs in tip top shape. Hope all improves real soon:) Your beautiful rock photos are making me anxious to get back after a month by the water. Happy New Year to you and Bobbie!

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    1. Thanks.
      Into every life a little disease must fall.........

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  8. LOVE all the photos Mark! Hope you are feeling better!

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    1. Thanks guys. Woke up this morning feeling somewhat normal. Maybe time to hit the trails again... :)
      mark

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  9. Well at least you have these beautiful photographic memories to spur on your recovery...

    Wishing you a HEALTHY and ADVENTUROUS New Year!

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    1. And the same wish for you, Hans and Lisa. Hope we can cross paths for a Mountain Bike ride in Southern Arizona again this year....followed by another one of those huge burritos at Nico's. :)
      mark

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  10. Well, from "Life Sucks" to "It Could be Worse" shows some progression anyway. Your downtime has at least resulted in posting photos of some good memories from last fall...thanks for that, and hope the worst is over.

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    1. Thanks Chris. A couple of good father/daughter shots in there :)). Looking forward to hiking with you guys again soon...up in Madera Canyon and down around Gilbert Ray.
      mark

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  11. Mark, I'm sick tooooo...it's hellish. I wanted to hike tomorrow but I know its just a bad idea, and likewise I just want to sleep more than anything. Sorry to hear that you are in the same boat.

    Can't wait to see you guys in Tucson!

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    1. Oh no!
      Yes, postpone that hike and go easy for a while. I'm chomping at the bit...spirit willing, flesh weak.
      We will have a good time in Tucson. Looking forward to seeing you and Chris.
      mark

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  12. Yep it's going around. I was sick with it for 8 days. But I'm sure you're almost over if not completely clear by now. Life IS good. Boy that place you are is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot. Or maybe it's your photos. Either way...trust me...life is GOOD!

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    1. Thanks Dawn. Lovely Ouray is a special place for sure. I do feel better today...but the coughing, when does that go away?
      mark

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  13. As I'm sitting here coughing while reading all of the comments about coughing, I think the "winter crap" has hit the country's population. You would think our recent single digits and negative temps would kill all of the germs! We are supposed to hit a -14 on New Year's Eve night. Enjoy your 40's, but I do worry about your lack of snow. :(
    Get better and hopefully Bobbie doesn't come down with a full blown version!

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    1. Too many "incubators." The less people have contact with each other the better. I'm sure I picked this up at Walmart. Maybe next year we'll buy everything at Amazon and have it delivered by drone.

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    2. Better put a red flag on that one dead pine down the hill from your house. It has been known to eat drones before! 😉😉

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  14. Happy New Year to you both. I can tell you're laid up when you reply to nearly every comment. Wish you did that more. We're heading over to our winter camp in Arizona on Tuesday. After nearly two months in Lala Land, I cannot wait.

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    1. Yes...I do have some time to kill when this sick.
      When well we are out everyday and there's less time and left over energy... and other writing obligations. Maybe I should respond to every comment on every post. But I feel like I've done my part doing the "research," taking the photos, writing up something halfway interesting, and posting.
      But for now, I have no such excuses...
      mark

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  15. I am so sorry you are sick Mark and in my most selfish form I hope you don’t give it to Kelli and Caleb! I am texting Kelli to make you a batch of our “Miracle Tea” when they get there. It has definitely helped us in the past and given your opinion of estrogen as you age...may just help you! Please do not throw away your Life is Good hat because I am confident that you will be putting it back on very soon. I continue to live vicariously through the wonderful, beautiful pictures of you and Bobbie’s adventures. You navigate trails that even in my best days I would have needed either 4 legs or 4 wheels underneath me to travel. I always enjoy the oftentimes very funny comments and look forward to many future blog additions. Happy New Year and GET WELL!

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    1. Thank you Joyce for your gracious comment. And regarding our "contagium" to Kelli and Caleb, we just now exchanged texts on that matter. I wouldn't wish this on the "enemy," let alone loved ones. I believe we are beyond the spreading stage; we returned to some light exercise a couple of days ago, which entailed walking to Mouses's Chocolates for a Scrap Cookie, thus are on the mend.

      As I recall, you and Jim did similar explorations on horseback...four legs after all. :) Funny, I never felt comfortable on horseback...too far off the ground.

      I'm so itching to return to the trail while the "kids" are here (Dr Phil is all reruns). I got some micro-spikes for Christmas in hopes of a Twin Peaks summit. We attempted to do it while Arianna was here but were turned back by ice on the trail and poor footing.

      The Life is Good hat is back on my head, and will stay there barring a relapse :) Not sure how much longer we can keep you vicariously entertained, but we are determined to keep getting back on horses that throw us, regardless.

      Happy New Year to both you and Jim...wonderful parents of our new "daughter" Kelli and surrogate parents of son Caleb.
      mark

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  16. I was wondering why I not seen a post in some time. I hope you feel better really soon. I love all the fall colors in your Zion photos.

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    1. Well, among other reasons, anyway...
      Thanks for your comment. Judging from the response it would seemI should get sick more often.
      Gee, imagine the comments if I died! :)

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