Kicked off my 52nd year

6:49 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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Tiurned 52 yesterday - decided to kick off the year with a couple uphill hikes (quite the metaphor for heading towards retirement, eh?) - so off to Catoctin park near Thurmont MD -

Weather - in the 20's, wind in the 40's - wearing Danner Mt. Lights, some nice fleece + a softshell on top, really cool hat my eldest daughter bought me, fingerless gloves and jeans (yeah, I know, cotton kills, but it hasn't killed me yet) - ancient North Face day pack on my back, treking poles in my hand I started my "tripple traverse" -

Cat rock trail- nice, steady 1.5 mile uphill (followed by a steady 1.5 mile downhill) - sort of a warm up - REALLY windy when I topped out - headed back down and took the Wolf Rock trail - opposite side of the road (headed North rather than South) - significant water ice (frozen springs) covering portions of the trail demanded care (and forced me to do the first split I've done in years) - when I topped out hung out on the lee-ward side of the cliff and had lunch - then headed to the Cunningham Falls trail - about 6.5 miles round trip - the falls are spectacular when they're frozen - more so when there's some dude climbing them free-solo - whole trip took about 5 hours - loads of fun - hit the Jeep at the end of the trail and wished the batteries in my digital camera hadn't been deader than a door nail but hey - Colin Fletcher once opined that the memories last longer than the photographs if I recall correctly -

Salient point of this rather small scale adventure - it's damn good to be alive - get out there and HIKE!

7:34 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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52 good for you Statdoc, I will be 55 in January!

I am always amazed when I go out during the day, I wear about four layers on top but my single pair of cotton pants seem to be all I need to keep my legs warm.

I hope not to be ready for retirement till I am in my 70s, tho I don't hike as long or do as many miles as I could just 10 years ago, I still get out when ever I can!

7:38 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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I hear you Gary - I recall the 25+ mile days of my youth but really believe that I see and enjoy more at my somewhat slower pace - it forces you to sit down and just absorb the solitude -

At a couple points yesterday I was wishing for shorts or zip-off pants - legs were quite warm compared to the rest of me - years ago I would have opted for spandex tights under running shorts but my spandex years have passed me by!

All the best as you celebrate your 55th year on earth - I do believe that so long as we stay active we're getting better year by year!

7:45 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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I love those zip-off pants, I wear them all the time in the warmer months.  Now all I need are zip-off sleeves to make my long sleeves into short ones. So you live in or near Maryland? I currently live in Flagstaff AZ but have lived all over the US since 1972. I like moving around, get bored in one place too long, like change. Having too many jobs (about 40) since high school has become  hard when seeking new work. Especially when I averaged 3 months per job per year.

10:36 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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Congrats StatDOC- Sounds like you had a grand birthday. 52 -68 isn't old and yes wine gets better with age and so do hikers, meaning we learn more and can still do it. I am younger way younger than both of you but I look forward to a life well furfilled with trips.

11:14 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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denis, So why are you a "senior" member? LOL :)

Like the saying goes, "I am not getting older, I am getting better" or "I may be getting older, but I refuse to I refuse to grow up!"

11:36 p.m. on December 28, 2010 (EST)
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I didn't set the poramitors on here! As long as they dont send me an AARP thing in the mail from trailspace its all good! LOL  ha haha

8:34 p.m. on December 30, 2010 (EST)
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I learn more and more every year, it makes getting out there more fun and interesting. I'm 45 now so I figure in 20 years I'll be halfway smart.

Happy birthday StatDoc!

8:23 a.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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Remember that Life picks up when you are over the hill.

8:41 a.m. on December 31, 2010 (EST)
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Remember that Life picks up when you are over the hill.

Does that mean I don't have to pick up after myself when I am over the hill?  I thought I was already there, but I still get nagged about leaving my dirty socks about.

Ed

6:09 p.m. on January 9, 2011 (EST)
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Remember that Life picks up when you are over the hill.

Does that mean I don't have to pick up after myself when I am over the hill?  I thought I was already there, but I still get nagged about leaving my dirty socks about.

Ed

 Just don't leave 'em laying on the trail!  Where I work we've got 120' clear height in a warehouse -steps all the way to the top - new years resolution?  Keep doing intervals of those steps rather than sittin' on my kiester for lunch - so far - 9 days and countin'!  Might get rid of that beer-keg that interferes with my belt yet!

And Bill - my wife just wishes I'd not leave my boots wherever I take 'em off - it's been a beef of hers for years - ever since she stubbed her pinky toe on a boot of mine one morning ...

Life is good - live it!

10:34 p.m. on January 21, 2011 (EST)
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Hmmm I've been contemplating commenting in this thread since its inception in December, as this general topic has been haunting me for a while.

This year I'll have my nn'th birthday, where 'nn' is a big nasty number ... the midway (for people who live extraordinarily long) ... well past midway for "most" people ... the age at which well more than half the population is significantly younger than me... hmmm, I could go on, but I'll spare ya'all...

Anyway, I've been trying to think of what I'll do this year as a symbolic gesture (to myself) that I can still do things the young people do.  My first thought was a Mt Whitney trip.  After all, what better thing to do at this juncture than to climb the highest peak in the continental US.

But that seems so cliche.  and crowded.  and being forced to go on a specific date decided by lottery months in advance.  And (sorry to admit it) the real killer for me is the requirement to carry bags of... ummm... (well you know, the stuff in wag bags) in my pack.  Yuck.  TP I can handle (carefully), when forced, like in Yosemite.  But the whole package?  forget it.  My little Kelty D4 pack is already totally full so I can't imagine how I could also carry "that".  It's like it would need it's own pack.

Hmm maybe I could take a whole package of Immodium AD just before the trip (hahaha) :)

So I'm still pondering what my adventure will be.

Anyway, StatDoc, congrats on your trip, and thanks for reminding me of my mission to find a suitable activity this year...

July 28, 2014
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