On the Mend

This week I went back to the doctor and got an injection in my hip.  I also changed my exercise routine from floor aerobics to water aerobics.   I am happy to report I have been pain free for 3 days now, and I am cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind me.

Heading to Iowa for a few days to visit family while my bathroom gets remodeled. Expect to see some hiking adventures when I return.

Here is where I want to be. . .

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just hanging out on top of a mountain!

 

M.I.A.

A couple of years ago, a dear friend gave me a ten year diary for my birthday.  I was completely freaked out by it, thinking I would have to fill these pages with trivial bits of my life.  But it turned out to be a wonderful way to keep track of my hiking experiences along with other pieces of my daily routine.

Now it sits here mocking me.

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As faithful as I have been to my PT exercises, I can’t seem to get my body back to hiking quality. If my knee is feeling well, my back is out, if my back and knee are okay, my hip is out – I cannot get them to coordinate so that they all three work at once.  I’m missing my women’s hiking club and I know they are missing their leader.  Several of them are older than me and in much better shape.

This is what I should be doing right now:

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Instead I sit here having a pity party for one.

However, having just finished reading “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, I came to the realization that my life is amazing and I need to get over myself.  I have a great family, wonderful, supportive friends, and most importantly, freedom.

The mountains will be there when I’m ready – and I will be ready someday (hopefully in the not too distant future).

Please share your hiking experiences so I can enjoy your adventures!

Baby Steps

It’s really criminal that we have had such perfect hiking weather and I’ve been stuck in rehab.  Today, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and just try a “baby” hike.  Heading out this morning, I wasn’t really thinking about a big hike, but it was such a gorgeous day, I really wanted to be on a trail somewhere.

We discovered a trail that had recently been cleared out for hikers, and learned that several other trails are currently being readied for summer.

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Located inside of Gatewood Park, this trail takes you over a few creek crossings to get to some nice views of the lake, and it certainly lives up to its name.

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We did have to cross the creek a few times, but it was pretty easy.dscn4743

And the lake was really beautiful!dscn4747

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The thing I liked most about this trail, was the orange markings.  It is so well marked that I think I could bring my hiking women here and not worry (too much) about getting us lost.009

These markings were well positioned.

But it really didn’t matter where we were, just being back in the woods was enough to bring me joy!

008Fingers crossed that my body stays as happy as my frame of mind.

This is Winter??

Last week I finished physical therapy. That’s the good news.  The not so great news is that I’m not ready for a big hike.  Even though I am faithfully continuing my daily exercises for my hip, back and knee, my body is still in the healing process.  Progress is being made, I’ve been able to go for 2-3 mile walks, as long as I do it on flat ground. I’m back in my fitness class, albeit not quite at full strength.  This would not bother me so much if it weren’t for the fact that we have been having such warm temperatures and the mountains are calling me.

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to explore the top of a mountain that we have hiked in the past.

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You can drive to the top, so we planned to walk along the ridge and see what was there. There was a bit of an incline and it felt so natural to be back on a trail again. We probably walked just over a half a mile.  Unfortunately, after we got home, my hip let me know I’m not quite ready for uphill.

So bring on some winter weather and give me a reason to be indoors, because I have big hiking plans in my future and I want to be ready!

Women’s March

It is nearly impossible to describe the energy and excitement of the coming together of women, children, and men of every walk of life, every color, religion, disability, or orientation.  I don’t normally like crowds and I have had some health challenges lately – but yesterday I proudly walked with my daughter, my friends, and several thousand other like minded people to express our passion for not allowing this country to move backward.

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Women’s March on Washington

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My latest personal outrage came from our new President’s pick for cabinet posts, many of which seemed more like a slap in the face to the position, rather than nominating a qualified candidate.  In particular, Betsy DeVos who has absolutely no knowledge or experience with public education, as his pick for Secretary of Education.  But I’m also disturbed at the terrible example he is setting  by tweeting insults every time someone disagrees with him, and by dismissing any facts that are not favorable to him, as “fake” news.

So many signs, so many people – well over 500,000 – and not one single arrest.  To me that is the most significant point of the day, this was a march of resistance, but it was a PEACEFUL march!  Everyone from the D.C.Police, to the people protesting our march, were respectful and gracious.

We heard “thank you’s” from people waving from their homes as we made our way to and from the march (our buses were parked at the RFK stadium parking lot).  The police thanked us for being there.  We had A list celebrities speaking not just in D.C., but at all the rallies across the country.

As we got closer to the rally point, it seemed that every street you looked down was full of marchers. I can’t begin to tell you how it felt, but I got teary eyed at so many things, from watching people make way for wheel chairs, to the patience of people as our little group of six chained our way through the crowds.  At one point I just had to sit or lean against something, so I made my way toward a truck where a kind gentleman offered me his portable chair.

It was a long day with many speeches, some we could hear, some we couldn’t, but all with the same message – don’t let this be one day of protest – get involved, get active, call your representatives and make sure they know how you feel.  I know our President will try to ignore this event (or spin it to favor him) but Congress knows better.  I hope Congress was watching and listening.  This is not a time to be complacent – be a doer!  Phone calls, emails, letters, whatever works for you – be a doer!

Yesterday’s event was amazing and inspiring:  smiles everywhere, love everywhere, and passion everywhere.

Seven states, 1750 miles, weather varieties

Just back from a winter getaway to the Gulf Shore.  To say we experienced a variety of weather is an understatement.  Our first 2 days in Alabama brought sunshine and upper 60 degree temps.  It was wonderful, people were playing beach volley ball, my husband got fully submerged in the gulf, we took beach walks and enjoyed nature.

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That little dot in the center is my husband’s head sticking out of the water.

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Then came the storm.  For Alabama, that meant heavy rains, near freezing temps and wind – lots of wind!

There’s really not much to do at the beach when the wind is blowing and the rain is everywhere, so we spent our last afternoon at the Gulf Shore in our room watching the weather channel and wondering if we would be able to get to Atlanta the next day.  I appreciate the job weather people have and how excited they get when there is a big front coming in, but they do tend to over hype most of the time.  As we were trying to come up with a plan B – Atlanta got a little ice which was completely melted by the time we rolled in to town the day after the storm.

However, it was 15 degrees with chilling winds – so we did not venture far that first night.

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The next morning, the sun was shining bright and it actually warmed to a balmy 34 degrees (still plenty windy).  We spent most of the afternoon at Stone Mountain.  Having hiked Stone Mountain, NC – we had to see what Stone Mountain, GA was like. To our surprise, there was a carving of Confederate heroes.  Seriously?  Who does that?  I cannot imagine the time, energy, and skill that went into this carving!  It was impressive.

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This stone mountain looked completely out of place in a rather flat part of Georgia – we didn’t think it was real at first.  (Stone Mountain, NC is actually in a mountain range.)  There is a whole village there with fun activities for the entire family.  I don’t want to know what it is like in the summer as crowded as it was on this chilly Sunday.  It’s definitely worth the $15 admission.  Although, it did bother me just a little to learn that this park is privately owned.  It is owned by the same folks who own Dollywood.

We also managed to find a couple of German restaurants in Atalanta.  The first one had a flag from the town where my husband’s grandfather was born and where his brother lives.

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The second one was downtown Atlanta and had been recommended by my daughter.  It was fun getting dressed up in a drindl.

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Anyway, we will go back to Atlanta when the weather is more agreeable, it was a fun city.

Driving home, we didn’t see snow until we were well into South Carolina, the accumulation was highest in North Carolina, but we did have a decent covering in our backyard in Virginia.

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Even though it was a great trip, I am happy to be back in my own bed and ready to get this new year started.  Here’s to 2017!!  I hope it will be a good year for all of you!

Hiking, Christmas, and Vertigo

Finally got back on the trail when my daughter and her husband arrived on Friday morning.  Even though this is a fairly easy hike, which I have done several times, I was very pleased that my hip, knee and old age in general, cooperated enough to get me up and down the 5 mile trail to the Cascades and the upper falls. We started with the upper falls, passing some icicles along the way.

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This was our grand dog, Stark’s, first hike – he seemed to like it.

Then we started down to the lower falls.

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Starting out it was a little chilly, but we had periods of sunshine and it warmed up as the day wore on. All in all a very good hike.

Christmas Eve was full of food, games, lights, presents and grand dog in sweater.

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It was all wonderful, until I woke up Christmas morning feeling like I was having the worst hangover of my life (when I had only had one drink the day before).  After our company left, I spent the day in bed, totally miserable – dizzy and nauseous.  If you have ever experienced vertigo, you know it is NOT fun! I’m going on my 3rd day of living upstairs (I did make it from our bedroom to my office next door).  With the help of my wonderful, patient husband, I was able to take a quick shower this morning.  But as I sit here writing this, I’m thinking it’s time to climb back into bed.

My little house guest and my daughter’s Christmas present helped get me through the last couple of days.  I would have been very bored without them.

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I’ve enjoyed reading all your holiday posts.  I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!!