Today I went up to DC to visit Zachary and participate in the dedication of a new columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery. A columbarium is a structure that contains niches for the storage of funeral urns. It was an interesting ceremony although the jets from Reagan National drowned out some of the words. Is there any way we can shut down that airport? It creates noise pollution and the airplanes messed up some of my shots. Here’s a photo of the new area being dedicated and a jet in the background looking like it’s heading towards the moon.
This evening I drove back to Richmond on I95. They are repaving parts of it so the traffic was squeezed into one lane a couple of times. I have a suggestion. Instead of fixing the road five miles here and five miles there they should just fix it in one ten mile stretch. Then we would only have to go through the dance to get things down to one lane ONE TIME.
But I digress. It was warmer today. Spring has finally found us and not a moment too soon.
Oh man, I’m trying to get it together to write a post today about our backpacking trip this past weekend. And I’m wondering, “Why do I do these things?” and “Should I ever do them again?”. I’m learning about the body as it ages and discovering there are many things I do not know about it.
We hiked up a mountain and along a ridge to our campsite. We camped for a night and then went up some more to McAfee’s Knob where we could view our trail from the prior day. You learn things about yourself when you do things like this with 25+ pounds on your back. For instance, when I arrived at the campsite and set up my tent the only thing on my mind was getting inside and curling up in the sleeping back. Temperatures were falling into the low 40′s, high 30′s. But I was cold and started shivering (one of my least favorite things to do). So I cooked up some Ramen Noodles and later returned to bed happily discovering that it was 20 degrees warmer in my cozy tent although the temperature had dropped some more.
Some of our group went up to McAfee’s Knob to view the sunset and get some great photos of the golden light hovering on and around the rocks, the trees and their happy faces. But I could not do it and had to wait until the following day when the entire group passed through there on our way back to civilization.
Hopefully, I will figure out how to get beyond this impasse but at present it seems as if this 60+ year old blogger has missed the cut and needs to dial back some of his adventures. I see older folks on the trail and they seem to be doing quite well. So I’m not sure what to do. Falling behind is not really a problem. The woods are made for solitary walks. But I did not reach the end of the hike until the others had been there for an hour and my legs felt, perhaps, like those of someone who cannot walk at all and is confined to a wheelchair.
I have walked and run in the past 18 months enough to cross the US and returned a good ways. But there were too many fires in my legs the past two days. The pain(lactic acid?) was going up my thighs and into my hips over and over again. It was more difficult than running the half-marathon. Perhaps running and hiking require too different training regimens and do not reenforce each other. Maybe I need to eat more protein when I’m out there. I don’t know. But I did have a great time being with the other hikers and viewing the vast expanses beyond the rocks. There were lots of photo ops on Sunday morning. And we had a great meal at a restaurant in Staunton after the event. Central Va Trailblazers, you rock!
Here are some photos.
This past weekend we enjoyed some spring weather here in Virginia for the first time this year. And the family took this opportunity to visit Maymont Park. There were lots of folks out there, of course, and our animal friends seemed to be enjoying the sunshine and warm breezes as well.
People say that losing weight is no walk in the park. When I hear that I think, yeah, that’s the problem. ~Chris Adams
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs
This past weekend some great weather actually arrived in Virginia. And we took advantage of it by leaving Richmond to walk in one of our fine state parks about two hours outside the city. This was not a difficult hike. We trekked about six or seven miles near a large lake and had a relaxed lunch at the half-way point where I spread out my tent footprint near the water, ate a couple of bananas, and pointed my camera overhead to capture some trees.
The sun, partially hidden by a tree, was warm and all seemed right with the world. Many of my hiking companions were perched on a long log, happily chatting with one another and enjoying our flight from the city.
This was not a location where great photo opportunities jumped out at you. Blossoms and buds have not quite got here and many of the trees are young. I did not see any waterfalls and there were areas where everything had been cut down. But if you pay attention nature will respond and there will be moments. Our sharp-eyed group leader, Kim, spotted a lizard sunning on a log and I was able to “shoot” him before he jumped and quickly scurried away.
Here are some photos.