Walking, losing weight and taking photos of life in Virginia.

Posts from the ‘D’s Slide Shows’ category

The Struggle With The Slow


I enjoy hiking and backpacking. There is something about being in the woods that you don’t get out here in civilization. It is often very quiet. The alpha dogs and the corporations are not here. There is the wind and the sound of birds. And there is the struggle reaching the next ridge.

Last year I went on a hike to McAfee’s Knob here in Virginia. After about the first five miles I was hiking alone. Everyone else in our great group of Central Virginia Trailblazers had moved ahead to the camping area. But a couple of them came back and took my pack so I pretty much ran to the campsite. You really feel the difference when that load is lifted.

This year we are going to McAfee’s Knob again. And my goal is to do it unaided. I continue to walk nearly every day, 6 or 8 miles. I continue to try and understand my body and its nutritional requirements. I’ve lost a lot of weight but that’s really not the answer. You have to do a lot more than lose weight if you want to climb even these small mountains in Virginia at my age. Water, carbs, and the rest is very important. I’m hoping that this time things will go better.

Being sixty something means something different to me. I look around and see a lot of folks in my age bracket who are slowing down. Relaxing. I never had much of an opportunity to be so active when I was young. Kids and my government job slowed me down. But, as they say, “it’s never too late”.

We shall see. I think that a lot of it depends on what is burning inside you.

And do you ignore it? Do you fall asleep? Or do you take a chance and burn up some miles. Do you get outside and breathe the air. Feel your lungs try to do their thing.

Recently someone we know died after a short illness. He had pulmonary fibrosis. I think about him sometimes when I am hurting as I go up a steep slope. And I thank God for the pain. Because it means this body is still working. It functions as it did decades ago. It just needs more time to do the same thing.

And a little love.

McAfee’s Knob


We Go To DC/ Andrea Bocelli In Concert

It has been cold and rainy here in Virginia for awhile now and Betsy was sick with a stomach virus that laid her up in bed for a few days. So as the day approached for the Andrea Bocelli concert in Washington DC I was not sure if we would even be able to go. But my lovely wife rallied and the skies cleared up, although it remained cold. We drove two hours up to the southern reach of the Metro system and glided the rest of the way to the Verizon Center.


And so it turned out to be one of the loveliest experiences we have had in quite a long time. Emerging from the subway there were tents and vendors with many, many Christmas items next to the National Portrait Gallery.


This made someone happy. Can you tell? Then we went inside to view an exhibit entitled, A Democracy of Images Photographs. Truly fascinating photos by photographers in America from the time the art first emerged in the early 1800’s until today.

Then we went to dinner at Corduroy with a good friend of ours, Kurt, who has worked at the Library of Congress for over thirty years. And then we said goodbye and headed for the concert. Andrea was amazing as usual. There were five encores ending with his amazing rendition of Nessun Dorma. I never really expected to see Andrea Bocelli in concert so this was an amazing treat, a Christmas experience I will never forget. Betsy had a great time, too, and we enjoyed the adventure together. Back to the Metro we went and down I-95 where construction is ever present. We got home well after one in the morning and I was asleep about two minutes after my head hit the pillow. Daily walking has its rewards. Here are some photos.  

Shenandoah National Park / Car Camping At Big Meadows

Here are some photos from our trip last weekend to the Shenandoah National Park in western Virginia. We had a good time car camping at Big Meadow and visiting the lodge. There is a taproom downstairs in the lodge and a great view outside of the Shenandoah Valley.
Deer wander around the campground. A mother bear and her three cubs traveled through on Saturday.  Some of the more adventurous Trailblazers went hiking both days.  I explored the trails around the park, tried to take some photos and pretty much avoided any strenuous activity.  Here are the photos.


Thunder Snow In Virginia

We have some big, wet snow here in Virginia today.  So Betsy and I decided to walk up to the supermarket and enjoy it.  Betsy wanted to savor it so she was sort of shuffling along while I was taking some photos.  We make an interesting pair when we leave the hobbit grove.  There was thunder too.  Thunder snow.  Oh, life can be so exciting sometimes.


Seven Mile Hike Downtown Richmond

This past weekend we had a seven or eight mile hike downtown and it covered some historic areas of the city. There is a path along the James River that is part of the Slave Trail. One hundred fifty years ago slaves walked where we were last weekend. While I was walking along it I tried to feel what it must have been like to be a slave, walking along in the dark. Probably cold and hungry. Frightened.

It was not pleasant. But we had a good hike and ended up in an area overlooking the city. There were lots of puffy clouds so I got some landscape photos with good sky. In cold weather it really is important to wear clothing that will block the wind and move the sweat away from the body. I could see that some of our hikers did not have this and they seemed to get cold when we stopped for a picnic lunch.

It’s good to think these things out before you do them.

And that’s all I’ve got tonight. I’m not feeling like a writer or even somebody who knows the alphabet. Today I decided on a new theme for this blog in an attempt to spur some sort of enthusiasm for the sport of blogging. This lack of motivation happens every once in awhile, perhaps once or twice a year. But it’s not important. Blogging is not a job. Nobody cares if you don’t show up for work. It’s an attempt to be creative and communicate with other folks. It’s also like a diary in a way.

Anyway, I have to go. It’s almost midnight. The day is almost done.

%d bloggers like this: