Monday, April 12, 2010

jacks peak, caches, salida, grapes,
wanderlust, and retirement




Surely Onyx is not going after the duck.


Spent another week over in the Burro Mountains. I was able to hike up to Jacks Peak a few times. The sand had mostly dissipated at the top so I could see where the trail went. Nice easy hike with only a 1600’ elevation gain in 4 miles. Took me about an hour and a half to hike up. There are radio towers up there and old foundations.


Most of our dusk walks are meanders where there are no trails. We came across this gravesite off in the brush. There was a plastic box, about the size of a small shoebox, buried under these rocks. Maybe someone buried a small pet out here.

Onyx is like an early warning system. If he hears or sees someone coming near our camping spot, he’ll start to growl, even if they are over 100 yards away. It gives me a good heads-up whether we are inside or out. It’s pretty cool. Then, however, he runs and hides and leaves me to fend for myself.


Well, geocaching.com wouldn’t post my cache since I do not live in the area and would not be able to maintain it. Oh well. Have trouble believing some of the caches I’ve found are being maintained. Anyway, I’m leaving it here. If you are into geocaching and are in the area, try to find it. I call it Ranch View. The cache jar has a bag of cable ties, 2 waterproof match containers, and 3 carabiners so bring something equivalent to exchange. The coordinates are: N 32° 36.357 W 107° 57.360
When you date and sign the notebook, please write something about the find, where you are from or headed, or whatever. When I find a cache with a friend, she starts looking through the items and I go for the notebook and see what people have written. Some entries are pretty interesting.
Plan on it taking 2-3 hours for the out and back hike with about 40’ of climbing down the rocks to get to the cache. Be sure to wear hiking boots and consider taking a hiking staff. The ground is rough. What’s generally referred to as a ‘potato field’.


Sometimes when I hike up Table Mountain (why would someone name a mesa, Table Mountain?), I pack a thermos of yerba mate and a paperback. When I get up there, I sit someplace for an hour or so and relax enjoying the solitude. One day I glanced up from reading, studied some rocks in front of me, and noticed something in a space between two rocks. Yep, it was a geocache. The two posted caches up here are only accessible to those geocachers who have an upgraded membership so I cannot get the coordinates from the website. Well this time I pulled a ‘Lynn’. When I go after a cache with Lynn and we get close to the coordinates she just starts looking around for a likely hiding spot and generally nails it. One time she found a cache just by remembering the general area where it was hid in Bisbee. We didn’t even have a GPS with us. Unreal.

One afternoon I placed a bunch of grapes and some loose ones out on the table prior to washing them. As I was putting the bag back in the fridge, I heard a grape hit the floor. Didn’t I level the rig? As I was getting a bowl down from an overhead cabinet, I heard another grape hit the floor. I look over and there’s Onyx. Leaning over from on top of the pantry bin gently pushing the loose grapes off the table. HEY—you gonna pick those up?


I met a neat couple from Salida, CO. Jack and Linda are artists and musicians. ACTIVE people who do a lot of river running back home. Here they were biking the trails and even went out for a ride under the full moon. I have GOT to try that. Jack and Linda have a gallery up in Salida (chivvisandlovell.com) which I will definitely have to check out when I get up that way. Sure wish I came across more people like them in my life as a vagabond. Salida sounds like a stellar town with all the music, art, river, and mountains. And it’s an active town with many people using their bicycles instead of their cars to get around. There are two natural food stores and the Arkansas River is right there for all kinds of water sports. The valley is surrounded by BLM public lands. Definitely worth a look-see at some point for a couple weeks.
They have this ’54 ‘canned ham’ that they are restoring. It is way cool. They feel it was homemade possibly from a kit.

I come across full-timers who say they have the wanderlust and have to keep on the move. But when they get to somewhere new they don’t seem to do much, other than sit around all day, maybe drive around in the car, go shopping, and watch TV at night. It’s like they have not developed any interests, hobbies, sports, craft, art, music, whatever, in all their decades of existence. To me they sure don’t seem to have wanderlust—they seem to be bored, big time. I don’t know, maybe not having all that many years left has something to do with my striving to keep active. Maybe I just don’t need all that much to be entertained and I sure do get a lot of satisfaction from physical exercise and contact with the Outdoor.

‘In order to live free and happily,
you must sacrifice boredom.
It is not always an easy sacrifice.’
from ‘Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’
by Richard Back (author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull)

One would think that when people near retirement age, they would be pretty stoked about all the free time they will have to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. I have not met any but I’m sure there are a few who start on a program to slim down and tone up so they can be as active as they were years ago and thus get the most out of their last years. Definitely not the norm, however, never was, never will be. Seems such a waste. It’s like, as we get older, if something is hard, we don’t even try it. Neglecting the fact that it will get easier. I know for sure that life can improve as we move through our 50s and 60s. It took me quite a few years after my transplant to get back in some semblance of shape but life is SO much better than when I couldn’t even walk around the block. That was no type of life for me so I did all I could to help myself, just as thousands of others have done. For most though, they just continue on as is, huffing and puffing into their last years—and then that’s it—it’s all over—there ain’t no more—the fat lady has sung. Maybe that’s why I continue to work on my trail running. When I see the old guy in the black robe with that big hefty scythe comin’ my way—I’m gonna take off runnin’.


I checked the Word document on my MacBook that has all my blog text. It’s nearly 130 pages. That’s without the images. Unreal. Never thought this blog would get to be so long. Might as well start a book.



Most of us need variety and all of us need to keep growing.
Balance is finding the proper mix of activities that support our aliveness
and allows us to most joyfully accomplish our purpose.


RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’
FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006

3 comments:

Pete said...

Sebastian,

As you and the fur kids are out on a walk, do they always keep pace with you or do you need to stop and wait for them at times. Do you only take them out on short walks, or do they ever join you on a longer excursion?

Thanks for the great blog. Its a good read and commentary on life.

Sebastian said...

I walk slow but the walks tend to be 45 - 60 minutes, preferably a loop. We generally don't go for one if there are people around because Onyx won't go. He'll just go under the casita and stay there. Sometimes just Meadow and I will go off for a walk but she'll stop from time to time and look back for Onyx so I keep the walk short. They really seem to like it and when I say, "Let's go for a walk.", they come in from their roaming and are ready to go. Really neat.

spiritualastronomer said...

Hi, Sebastian,

Donna pointed me toward your blog. Interesting reading. I'm back in Kanab, showing movies 5 nights a week and gardening around the RV park on Hwy 89. Very much into geocaching - 333 found so far. Got started in Kansas with a friend who has now found over 3300! What is your profile name on geocaching.com? Mine is csmith133.