Saddleback Dawn

It’s about 40F outside of my tent as I make my early morning run for bladder relief, and the sun and sky are putting on a show as the rest of the troop sleeps. I had to stop and gawk, letting nature’s call go temporarily unanswered.

Camping in the desert is a delight for me in all but the hottest guy of summer, and it is moments like this that remind me that I need to get out here more often.

Twelve Miles Uphill, Before and After

Sunny dropped us at the beach at Sycamore Canyon around 9am. It was a later start than we would normally like, but as it turns out it was a good thing we were rested.

The twelve mile uphill hike wasn’t particularly strenuous, except for a portion where we gained about 600 feet in a mile, and that was only a challenge because it was after 8 miles and 2:40 of steady walking up slope without rest. What is more, Aaron keeps up a steady 3mph pace with a full day pack, so it was a bit more than a leisurely stroll up Sycamore Canyon.

In theory the last four miles should have been an easy downhill stroll to the 101, but fatigue was starting to set in, and even the kid was audibly relieved when our stopping point hive into view as we crossed the freeway.

By the end we had taken a bit over 4 hours to walk the 12 miles, but we had crossed the Santa Monica Mountains, burned 2,000 extra calories, and started our training program for the big prize: the John Muir Trail.

Sunday on the High Plains

Early Sunday morning in November on Santa Fe Avenue in La Junta, Colorado. I have only stepped off the train for a moment, and had to capture this.

I love train travel like no other means of transportation. As I get older, though, I find myself wanting to stop and spend more time in the places I pass through.

In the introduction to Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey opines that in some places time passes slowly, and that all time should. I suppose that is why I find myself of late drawn to places where the hours meander languorously rather than sprint furtively.

I will be back to the high plains of Eastern Colorado, I know, but at some point I’d like to come in my truck and stay awhile. I’ll bet the biscuits are warm and flaky at the Copper Kitchen, that the espresso and banana bread a delight at The Barista, and that there are delightful folks here as well.