We spent a gorgeous weekend camping at Caprock Canyon State Park in Texas. We did an 8-10 mile hike down through the canyon and up near the top, and I am so excited to say that after all the troubles I had last year with my knees (which turned out to be my back). You can read the executive summary of my knee/back saga here.
I get up at 4:15 a.m. most weekdays to work out. I hate it, but it's worth it to stay in shape to see sights like this. We started off in the morning when it was cold, and I peeled the navy polarfleece layer about a third of the way through. Some of the trail was quite steep and rocky, but we took our time and played it safe. We didn't use to worry about falling, but now we do.
My husband and I have done rugged hiking like this in the past, and I always used to say I was like a mountain goat skillfully traversing the rough terrain. I'll just say this. My mountain goat days are over. My movements are stiff and careful, but I am moving, and that's good enough for me.
We came upon a young couple who did move like mountain goats, and they suggested we climb to a spot near the top, so we did to prove we still had it, and the view was spectacular. But the trail grew narrow and came quite close to the edge. I do not like edges! It wasn't marked well up there, and after awhile we turned around and returned the way we hiked in. We are perhaps less mobile but certainly smarter.
If you squint, you can see my little gray braids peeking out from my Tilley hat. One of the reasons I was looking forward to long hair is that I find long hair to be the best camping hair ever. You can wet it, braid it, clip it, put a hat on it -- whatever you want, and you never, ever wake up in the morning looking like Pee Wee Herman.
We were both whipped when we got back. We just hung out, read. Eventually took a shower, which felt amazing. I stretched for about 30 minutes, and I really think that saved me. Woke up with sore quads, but that's about it. Other than feeling relaxed and happy to be healthy and alive.
I used to take mobility for granted, but I never will again. Not to say that I won't lose it one day, but at least I'll have enjoyed every moment I had it.