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.

Porta-Casa

If I can’t be on a train, I want to be in a tent.

Camping out with the troop. The youth leaders have got their patrols to sleep, held their quick meeting to plan the next day and turned in for the night. It’s 10pm and totally quiet in the camp. I change my socks, tuck into the bag, zip up, set my alarm for 6:30, put my shoes by the tent door, prop up on my extra sleeping bag, and turn on my Kindle.

A long day, a full belly, a quiet forest, and a warm sleeping bag conspire to shorten my time catching up with Fyodor Dostoevsky, and I’ll be snoring in a few minutes.

 

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.

Over-exercising and under-eating

This is how I know when I am not eating enough.

The thick black line on the chart is what I am supposed to eat each day on my maintenance program. This is a recipe for about a 1-2 lb weight loss. A year ago I’d have been delighted, but I am learning that the maintenance mindset is very different than the weight-loss mindset, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

It’s Good to be a Swimmer

IMG 2159

Passed my BSA swim test at age 54 – and while swimming in a cold pool at an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level. Needless to say, I’m chuffed, especially given that the last 50 yards I was carrying on a conversation with the waterfront director who was testing me.

Note one of the downsides of going from “obese” to “healthy:” you lose a LOT of natural buoyancy. Swimming is easier. Floating, on the other hand…