This is the time when I start looking around to see who is ready, willing and able to join me. Sometimes I can’t find anyone and it makes me sad. I wonder sometimes whether I have too much times on my hands, and I wonder how to find friends to do crazy adventures with me.
Take a train across Canada? Sign me up.
Jump out of a plane. No thanks.
Kayak in the San Juan Islands? I’m packed and ready to go.
Soak in a hot springs? Oh yes!
Snowmobiling? No thanks – it’s a bit too loud for me.
Hike a new trail? Yes please.
Learn to play the guitar. Yes and move over.
Join a cooking class? Mmm, you bet!
Bungee jumping? I think I’ll pass on this one.
I know I can find some of my adventure mates on Meetup.com.
I am always on the lookout for new ideas, adventures and ways to meet people. Are they looking for me too?
So, what adventures do you want to cross off your list?
Time slips away too quickly these days so I scheduled (in INK) on my wall calendar to take an early hike. And it worked!
My hike was under a under a cloudless blue sky. I left a bit later than I had originally planned and was on the trail at 7:30am instead of 7:00am. I wish it was earlier because I chose a route that went straight up the rocky hillside. Ugh! As I walked, I longed for shade, a breeze, some clouds and lower temperatures. My alarm went off at 5:30 am but my dream was dangling in my memory, my pillow was warm and a hike could easily be put off. Drats.
This summer, I will be volunteering for a week as a Senior Counselor for a group of kids (Juniors in high school approximately~~ 15-16 years old) for a solid week. We will rise early, hike, listen to lectures, create skits, solve problems, create trust circles, roast marshmallows, watch the night sky and so much more. During this week, there are two hikes scheduled and they are both pretty steep. I don’t want to be the old lady left behind so I am doing my own training right now. Ugh.
KEEP ME COMPANY!
The hike I took this morning would have gone much easier if I had someone next to me as I climbed. As it was, I told myself – just get to the tree, just get to the rock, just get to the next curve. And with each baby step, I climbed higher.
I am usually in a state of awe when I hike because the scene around me is breathtaking. I’ve come upon coyotes, snakes, deer and elk when I’ve hiked but overall, I feel pretty safe. When I walk, I keep my ears open for the rattle of a snake in case I startle it but most of the time, it’s just me and my thoughts.
The hike is meant to strengthen my body and to quiet my mind. If I am walking with someone, then its a whole different story. For this hike, a companion would have been good for me.
During the same week, I took another hike and enjoyed clouds in the sky. They offer contrast, definition and most of all shade!
Being retired allows me to get up and get my hike or walk in before the day begins. For the longest time, after I retired, I felt guilty about what time I woke and kept the workday schedule I had. It was my way of penance for being home, with free time on my hands. I’m over than now 😊!
Time to lace up my Merrill hiking boots and get on the trail.
“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.”
Well, there are actually so MANY things to do but I wanted to keep it brief for now. Basically, when you first retire, you do those things top on your list … then when those are done, on to more and more and more and …
Empty drawers and clean out the fridge.
Clean the closet and toss out clothes (esp work clothes).
Weed the garden then plant flowers or tomatoes or both.
Rearrange the garage – build a bird house.
Binge-watch your favorite program – Game of Thrones? Longmire? The Good Fight? The Crown? And never look at the clock until you finish.
Learn to play an instrument.
Take a cooking class.
Travel within your city, then state. Travel abroad.
Hike a nearby trail. Hike a mountain. Travel overnight and hike a 14er – A 14er is a 14,000 ft mountain. (Colorado has 57 to choose from!)
Even better, hike a 13er and you will have hundreds of less people on the path. They are all focused on the 14ers!
Paint your closet? Room? House? Fence?
Take a knitting or crochet class.
Photograph the things you love.
Learn to fly-fish.
Visit local coffee shops, farmer’s markets, libraries, churches, botanical gardens, or whatever it is that sings to you.
Join a Meetup and find others who share your passions.
Start a bookclub. Or join one. Start at your local library. They either have one or can help you start one.
Start a blog.
Read other blogs.
* Make comments on blogs (begin with mine and comment below).
Get your library card. Then go visit the library and see what they have to offer. Check out the books you promised yourself you would read!
Get a dog. Then take daily or 2x daily walks. You will both benefit.
Download podcasts that appeal to your passions.
Learn to play pickleball.
Learn how to access online audio library books (free from your library) such as Libby, Overdrive and Hoopla. Audible is ok too if you want to pay for the books (which is a good thing, of course).
Take a road trip. Just to the next town or maybe the next state or country?
Like music? Go to youtube.com and sing along with your favorite bands.
Learn the lyrics to new songs and sing at the top of your voice in the shower, in the kitchen, in your yard (while you are weeding!)
Make time for exercise – of course, now you have LOTS OF TIME and no more excuses.
Lift weights. Your bones will thank you.
Go to the movies. Find the theaters that give discounts to Happily After Retired people like you and me. 😊
Volunteer your time at a local food bank, theater, school, nursing home, or hospital. Find the thing that stirs your soul and donate your time. If you decide its not a good fit, move on to the next thing.
Start a movement. Weekly coffee dates? Morning walks? Wine tours? Kayak adventures? Writing sessions? Music jams? What’s important to you? Decide and create a group of others who feel the same. Then set a time and date and make it happen.
What have you always wanted to do and now you GET to do it? Something I’ve mentioned? Something you might share? Would love to hear it.
I’ve had the good fortune to see the autumn leaves many times this year. Several times in September I visited Grand Lake, CO which is located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. To get there, I have to drive over Trail Ridge Rd. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S.
There are times the road is so high and the drop off is so steep I have to cover one side of my face as a blinder. It’s a two lane road with no guard rails and often has cyclists, tourists stopping their cars to take photos of wildlife, large recreational vehicles moving ever so slow and crazy weather conditions.
But … on those rare days when I am on the road super early in the morning, I can sail along and enjoy the sights, drive at a comfortable pace, cover my face when it feels too steep and bask in this lovely park. One foggy morning I was driving and caught sight of these elk hard at work with their antlers tangled in each other. What a sight!
A bit later in September, I had the opportunity to take a hike up the Cache La Poudre River. My friend and I were a bit surprised to get to the trail head and see the temperature had dipped to 39 degrees. We dressed in layers, grabbed our hiking poles and set off on an amazing trail that climbed ever so gently as it followed the river. That hike was filled with views of the shimmering gold aspen trees near and far. It was stunning.
My most recent trip took place in the Sierra Nevada’s this weekend. The 8 mile hike was uphill and steep in places. It was the kind of hike that your body could go far but you had to stop and let your heart slow down a bit. Aspens lined the trail and in many places the ground was covered with pine needles. I felt like I was walking in someone’s calendar photo. The return hike took 90 minutes because gravity just took over and we sailed down the mountain!
Sometimes I’m unable to enjoy the fall foliage. Either the weather changes too quickly and the leaves fall off before they can give their ‘goodbye dance’ or my timing is off and I don’t get into the mountains to see them in time.
But not this year. This has been one of the best autumns for me in a long time. I’ve stood in the mist of the colors, smelled the leaves on warm days and felt the cool air on my face. Each time I find myself standing in a grove of glittering gold trees, I count my blessings.
There’s something special about morning hikes, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the smell in the air. The moisture is heavy and the ground, plants, rocks and surroundings have a chill to it.
Or maybe it’s the soft light that comes through. Not bold and in your face like a mid-day hike – I actually keep my face turned upwards to feel it’s warmth.
Maybe my mind is not as filled and is still open to new ideas, talking with people (real, imagined and dead) and angels, animals, birds and to myself (of course!)
It’s a different canvas and it just takes a bit of planning to get up and get out as a way to enjoy it.
Last week I was returning from a scenic hike and a woman was coming towards me talking … on her phone. I heard her say, ” Just be sure to make the beds and I’ll stop at the store for groceries…”
Really? This couldn’t wait? What was worse, (in my humble opinion) was the volume of her conversation. Isn’t hiking something sacred and equal to being in a church? Or a library? Yes. Of course It Is! Talk if you must, but lower your voice and respect Mother Nature.
As this rude woman talked, the mule deer munched their breakfast, inching away from her and further up the hillside. I wonder if she even saw them.
As I am doing the spiritual thing – expressing gratitude and awe of the sky, colors, smells and nature – others are busy in their own world too. I try not to judge but this really is my place of worship and I want others to behave as if it is theirs as well. (No judgement, HA!)
Come with me and we can practice proper hiking etiquette together!
For me, November is about mixing things up. It’s about the road less traveled, discovering new trails, meeting new people, joining, moving, painting, and connecting. I am doing all of the above.
One of the items on my November list was to hike a new trail. I did that this week and it was stunning. The air was crisp, cool and clean. The sky was the bluest of blues. The clouds added dimension and character to the photos. Lunch was consumed on a rock. It was delightful.
On my list for next week is to paint the bathroom. This one is more work and one I’m not thrilled to do. And there are several steps involved so I just need to take them one at a time. I know you’re on the edge of your seat so I will keep you informed as I move along.
I am busy reading 4 books which is the kind of goal I aim for (not painting the bathroom). And I am in the process of raking my leaves and cleaning my garden. It’s work but it feels good when it’s done.
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. –Bradley Whitford
We live in a material world filled with gadgets, keyboards, remote controls, switches, buttons and other devices. A way to keep sane is to walk away from it for a set period of time. For some people, five minutes away from technology is too long. For others a week or two maybe needed to reclaim themselves.
Just tonight my friend said she’s going to bed early so she can get up and watch the red moon. This is a perfect way to claim alone time. Finding time to BE and enjoy a full moon, eclipse, sunrise or sunset can be rejuvenating.
Quiet time in meditation allows you to be totally present. The worries, self-talk, doubt, struggles and chatter are put on hold. For some it’s about watching the moon. For some, it’s waiting for the sun to rise. For some, it’s walking on a path in the crisp morning air. For some, it’s about sitting in a comfy chair surrounded by sunlight.
For just a brief moment in time, let go of what happened in the past and what might happen in the future and just relax your shoulders in the here and now. As the shoulders relax, so will your breathing. I hope you claim some space today, tomorrow and each day so you can give your brain a rest.
A hike up Crestone Mountain and a quick self-portrait — set the timer — now RUN!
Crestone is a statutory town in Saguache County in Southwestern Colorado, United States. The population was 73 at the 2000 census. It is a small village at the foot of the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Range, in the northern part of the San Luis Valley. Crestone was a small mining town, but little paying ore was discovered. In the 1970s, a large land development, the Baca Grande, was established to the south and west and several hundred homes have been built.
The Crestone area, which includes the Baca Grande and Moffat, Colorado, is a spiritual and new age center with several world religions represented, including: a Hindu temple, a Zen center, a co-ed Carmelite monastery, several Tibetan centers, and miscellaneous New Age happenings.
Crestone, Colorado is easily accessible to visitors, a National Forest Service campground is about 3/4 of a mile north of town and other lodging is available, including several bed and breakfasts. Activities in the area include camping, fishing, hiking, climbing, as well as spiritual explorations.