January 07, 2020

A Spur Of The Moment Hike On Monday

With the hot sunshine out every day with cool temps, the hounds have been spending most of their time sleeping on the warm stones in the backyard. They rotate back inside once they get too hot. The weather has returned to beautiful with morning temps in the 30's. I'll take that with no complaints because I am not experiencing windchill temps below zero and no ice or snow. There has not been a lot going on ... but yesterday I took an impulse trip back out to the San Pedro River and hiked almost 4 miles in the late afternoon.

It's good to know that with each sunrise we are heading toward spring where the sun will start rising earlier, the hounds will get their daily walk in the morning right after my coffee and not in the afternoon. Then I will bike in the mornings right after we get back from the hound walk. I find it hard to ride in the afternoon because I am always finding something else to do. I don't have any projects going on like I would have in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana. I don't miss the house maintenance and lawn care or in some cases, shoveling snow.

My move from Cox Cable Tv to Apple Tv and streaming Amazon Prime Video along with YouTube tv has worked out better than I expected. I have all the same sports channels I had on cable. I have more movies to choose from that are free on Amazon Prime Video and the programing on Apple Tv is not large in numbers of shows but the ones they have are great, from what I have seen so far.

I stayed up all night last night watching all 10 episodes of For All Mankind, getting to bed at 5am just after I fed the hounds. A few hours of sleep I was up and felt normal except for the concept of time ... it did not feel like 11am. I still have plenty of time to get in a bike ride today after hiking yesterday afternoon. With high 40's and possible rain in the forecast this week, I have to get outside when I can.

After the holidays of not seeing a lot of the Aerostat, it was back in the air yesterday. For some reason because of that, it felt like everyone was back to work when I saw it. Combine that with the increase in early morning traffic in the neighborhood, I could tell it was a 'work week.' Less cars in the driveways and more traffic on the city streets and highways. Things were back to normal.

One little sign I have noticed that my hip continues to heal after it's 4 month anniversary, there is no soreness or stiffness in front of the hip or the socket when I get up out of a chair or the couch. I am also able to get in my cars and truck the 'normal' way now, without facing my back to the seat and sliding in that way. I am also catching myself getting in and out of bed the normal way again, instead of sitting on the side the bed and swinging both legs around on top of the bed.

Small things but big differences.

I still want to take a tour of the inside when it's anchored but there is a zero chance of that ever happening.

Stella likes to check out the temperature of the sun numerous times during the day before she decides whether to sleep outside. She continues to sniff the air or perk her long hears up for any signs of the black lab puppy next door. We hardly hear the puppy anymore as it gets older. It is tall enough now that when it jumps up on their flowerbed on it's back legs and leans against the fence, I can reach over and pet it. Stella can only smell the puppy but can't see it.

I'm noticing in my Blogger traffic stats that when I blog less, the spam comments increase and bot traffic from the Ukraine takes over the lead of all readers.  The other day the number of visits from the Ukraine tripled the number of visitors from the United States with Canada being a distant third place.

With the return of the great weather I honestly thought I'd be riding my bike outside every day this week. I still can get in a lot of riding this week but yesterday I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to or when to ride. Of course if I wait the temps will get warm as it gets later, but the winds increase. 11am seems to be the best time for both worlds to ride. It's not too cold nor windy and I can get home before the winds pick up.

Yesterday about the time I was going to change into bike clothes I had an urge to take a local drive, just to drive. But by the time I was almost walking up the hounds to get ready to leave, I changed my mind. I didn't want to drive just to drive ... I wanted to go hiking.

I had joined the hounds off to the left of them in this photo soaking up my own sunshine. So it was close to 2pm when I decided I was going to get out and do something. Like I have said before, this area is fantastic for doing things outside and the trails or bike paths/lanes are all close to the house.

By the time I had loaded my small backpack with water, changed shoes and grabbed my hat, Heidi had moved inside to the coolest part of the house to continue her afternoon siesta.

When I want a flat trail and quietness, the San Pedro House/River area is the place I like to go. As I pulled into the parking lot I was the third car and one of the other two belongs to the host at the San Pedro House. I was going to have all this vacant land and trails to myself. People were back to work, kids were back in school ... perfect weather with cargo shorts and a flannel shirt. I was going to start my normal path but had a different plan where on the way back I would make a right turn and head for the river, then circle back to the house.

I was walking at a pretty good pace because I wanted to get some miles in for hip exercise and I wanted to get back to the car before they close the gate out by the highway. I wasn't sure what time they do that so I wanted to get back to the car and on the highway by 4pm. I found out later the gate stays open until sundown. I can explore new territory next time even if I have a late start.

I was traveling light, with only a small pack for water and my iPhone. I took my trekking poles for this one spot I would need them but carried them most of the time and didn't need to use them on the trail. My heart rate was up to 109 bpm in no time and never went over 112 bpm. That's a nice range on the bicycle to get in shape without a lot of energy used. I am seeing higher heart rates on my recent rides and find it hard to keep it in the 117-120 bpm range.

While walking the trail I could see all kinds of signs for the past weekend traffic. Horse shoes marked the trail in only one direction, mountain bike tires, ATV tire tracks and multiple hiking boots or shoe soles. With all the fresh prints in the dirt and sand I could tell it has been a busy weekend with people out here.

If I were to ride my mountain bike anywhere off the pavement this area would be the place. With the new hip I cannot fall again unless I want to see my surgeon back in the operating room. He reminded me of that during my last followup appointment. There are only a couple of places with loose sand where I might have problems keeping the bike up but 99% of the trail is hard packed dirt, a few rocky areas but very safe for me.

Here I am heading east toward the San Pedro River or that group of trees on the horizon, left side of the picture.

There are many trails out by the San Pedro House, with a few that I have not hiked yet. No hills to climb, very little elevation change and a dry river bed I'd like to follow sometime. Walking miles in that soft sand would be pretty good exercise ... but the quietness is what I like the most in this area and of course the scenery.

It will be a lot different in a few months on this bench. The temps in the late afternoon will be over a 100°, yesterday it was 62° and sunny. That's the Coronado NF on the far left ... then Miller Peak at the highest point with Carr Canyon next to it. I love the mountain views that I can see in any direction.

Other than what you see here in these photos, not much else has been happening. I think this is the first time since I moved here in June where days feel like they are back to normal. Routines are relaxed, the schedule for doing things is wide open. With great weather, less tv time and less house/yard maintenance, I have time to do all kinds of different outdoor activities. Just as I expected.

I am going through a 'down period' for blogging though. I find it really hard lately to come up with the words, entirely opposite from the times I cannot stop talking/writing. I've noticed on sidebar blog list more bloggers are post less frequently. Some of them have moved to Instagram possibly, or making money on YouTube. Some have just stopped. I remember a few years ago I had 53 blogs listed and most of them were blogging on a regular basis.

I knew once I moved out here I'd be blogging less because there is just so much to do compared to where I lived before. Better year-round weather, more time available during the day and new activities. The hounds have settled in too but their routine hasn't changed that much, just more time outside per their choice. Heidi even leads the walk some afternoons and actually gets excited now when she hears the word 'walk' or sees me taking the retractable leashes out of the closet.

That's the latest update from the 'Wild West'.

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