I love Sunday mornings during football season. If the game starts at 10 AM, I can get up early, stretch while watching the network's NFL talking heads overanalyze every "story" they get their hands on, and beg Gina to go out and fetch something good for us to eat. Add to that a victory by The Good Guys, and at game's end i'm ready to take advantage of the Fall weather arriving a few days early.
I didn't want to do anything too strenuous, so I made it to "The Hill", just below the dam at Lake Del Valle in Livermore. Early in my chair - hiking career, "The Hill" was a bellweather for my progress. Taking it up a little farther each time toward the ridge summit about a mile from the car, I remember this trail as a thankless workout, a frustrating exercise in futility. But each year I'd make it a little farther before running out of energy. For the past three years I've been able, finally, to crest the ridge, looking down from there on the brimming surface of the lake.
Yesterday was fantastic, one of those days when you want to shake hands with or hug everyone you see - not too warm, a slight, steady breeze cooling off the torso, and magnificent views opening up at each bit of elevation gain. This is what it's all about - there's a freedom from just getting out and hitting the trail. I'm able to go anywhere I wish. Maybe I'll take this old single track loop from the top, or find a similar trail down. Maybe I just won't come down until...well, until I'm damned good 'n ready! It was that kind of day. Nothing about the trail was new, or novel or with any gawk - ability to it. The same buzzards circled overhead, as they always do when I'm out there (maybe I should speed up?). The few remaining cattle looked up, as usual, as I passed and they tried to figure out what the heck I was...but despite having no stories of glamorous wildlife encounters or death defying wheels - off - the - cliff tales, this was a perfect hike.
Most important, it set the tone for today. Monday is a cruel joke for me, as I try to shake off the Outdoorsman veneer in order to fit in better at The Big Stagecoach. And maybe I've lost my taste, to a small degree, for spending the better part of a week performing repetitive tasks instead of doing what I love. That won't change soon, however, as I enjoy my fellow workmates, and enjoy facing the new challenges we seem to have served up to us daily. But I can dream!
Spending a long weekend out on the trail makes life's necessary drudgeries just that much easier to live with. And as much as I hate Fall, or claim to hate it anyway, I'm really looking forward to the next 2 - 3 months. Acorns are falling like rain in the Diablos, and all around are the signs of impending winter. Days like yesterday and Saturday only reinforce my suspicion that being outside on a trial is where I belong. So after every football game, win or lose, I'm off to cram as much trail time as I can into the ever - shortening weekends.
My suggestion to you is that you try my program on for size - see if it fits, and if you find you're as happy outside as me, you may wear it all through the off season. Yeah, weekends may be short, and seem ever shorter. But this is what I live for, this is MY time. I recommend it. And I hope to see you on a trail soon, very soon!