Today I had a doctor’s appointment for some blood work. It’s time for my yearly checkup and they wanted to do the labs before they sat down with me to discuss all the ways my body is falling apart at 47. Really, it has been falling apart since I was 19, but who’s counting?
After getting my blood drawn, taking care of some emails, and doing some other things, I looked outside this afternoon and saw just how beautiful the light was on the mountains. It has been nearly two weeks since my dog was spayed, so I decided to load her up and take a trip with the camera to get some shots of the mountains before days like this are just a memory again.
We went west of town to a place called Delaney Buttes. It’s a popular area with the fishermen who visit the county. I don’t fish, so the experience is lost on me. It’s not that I suck at fishing, I just don’t like eating them, and I could think of about ten other things I would rather be doing than standing on the edge of a lake, throwing a baited hook into the water over and over again to catch some elusive, boney animal I will never eat. I can cut out the middleman and just be outside enjoying myself without impaling worms and hoping the hooks don’t set too deep into a fish that is just going to die a short while after I let it go again.
So, we climbed the Butte and did some photography.
The aspens are changing on the Park Range and the clouds were doing a great job at diffusing the light in all sorts of ways. Delaney Butte isn’t all that tough of a hike, but weaving through the sage brush to get there from the trailhead was tougher than I hoped. Penny did great and didn’t have any problems after. We got some great shots and I felt like I got my excercise.
But by the time I got home, I could feel it deep in my joints and muscles. Even after a long soak with a bath bomb, I still ached. Maybe that’s a sign I need to exercise more regularly, or maybe it’s a sign of my body slowing down at 47. Fifty isn’t all that far away. There’s a twenty plus year chunk of my life I feel like could have been used a little bit better. And even in the last five or six years, I noticed I no longer do the mountain biking o the long hikes like I used to. I top out now at about eight miles. I did three today.
The last time I made this climb, I was with my dad. It was later in the year. Or maybe earlier. There were no leaves on the trees and little flecks of snow blew past us as we hiked. At the time, he would have been younger than me. I have no way of knowing how well he did that day compared to how well I did today. All I know is five years ago, this would have been a little easier. I wouldn’t have had that fear of rolling my ankle like I did today. Walking carefully through the sage brush, following game trails and taking my time.
It reminds me of that dream where you are running, but it feels like you are running in sand.
I don’t mean to complain, but getting older kinda sucks. My body is definitely lagging a little from the last time I used it. Maybe that was what a two year slack fest with Covid did, or maybe I’m just (gasp) slowing down. I can’t help but wonder how long I can keep up with this pace. Barring any injuries, I think I can maintain and still be pretty active. But as I go, I can’t help but recognize that some things have fallen off from my list of interests. The mountain biking. The long hikes. Swimming. Running (at ALL). There are times I can feel my ACL and miniscus stretching nearly to the point where things would get interesting and I usually call it. Nope.
Anyway, here are some shots I got today. I hope you enjoy them.