I celebrated the final days of my miserable May by hiking up a stony ridge at 8000 feet elevation in Gunnison Colorado. This lung sapping walk without oxygen is part of my personal rebuilding, a rush to get back in shape after a slacker's winter and a spring that got in the way of exercise. Any of you that have flown from sea level to altitude know what I mean when I say there were times hiking up that hill that my lungs were screaming at me, "get air! More AIR! There is no AIR!" I did this on purpose. I drove to Hartman Rocks Recreation Area with a plan for a thirty minute hike to start my high altitude training, hiking up hill for twenty minutes then ten minutes back down. I could push myself to do more but I didn't want to sore myself up, and I didn't like leaving Madelyn alone too long on the afternoon after her knee surgery.
Hartman Rocks is a granite outcropping and jumble of boulders popular for biking, hiking, skiing and dog walking right on the edge of Gunnison. The fact that it sits at 8000 feet made it a good place for me to pump the heart and open the lungs on this rejuvenation project. The reward of a few minutes walk is a view the the Gunnison Valley and it's college cowtown draped all in green from a record wet spring, the wettest May in 115 years and could be the wettest in recorded history. How green is this valley sprinkled with fat cows and round bellied horses! The wind was blowing out the north as black rain clouds cycloned in from the West and I finished my walk under the threat of more rain.
We are in Colorado finishing the whirlwind of an unexpected May, a May so far from our plans that I am still dizzy, so dizzy that I had three naps today as I work toward recovery. Since we are supposed to be semi-retired, the plan from six month ago was to practice a retirement; we've found the semi part easy, but the retirement part can be elusive. We work at home and he who works at home lives at work. Anyway, we had a plan for a trip to Colorado in April followed by a May with one two day meeting in Anchorage and then an empty calendar. We penciled in some time to paint the boat bottom and make some repairs then launch it for a two week trip to Prince William Sound.
By the time May actually arrived we had scheduled something every week that couldn't be avoided. Included was a memorial for my brother Tom which became a family reunion, visits to the doctor for Madelyn's it-can't-wait knee surgery, and a two day opportunity for me to do a writing training for teachers. We did get the boat painted and in the water, but our trip was limited to a rendezvous with the sailing Mayer Family in Thumb Cove sweetened by sharing it with our deckhand in training, Sawyer. When we thought we had some breathing room, life handed us another funeral to attend and my sister ended up in the hospital. Now the month is grinding to an end and I am looking optimistically at June, so I better get back in shape and rested up for life is in the driver's seat not me.