I think I'll go outside for awhile
And just smile
Just take in some clean fresh air
Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
If the weather's fine and you've got the time
That song by the Rascals is from one of several greatest hits collections I bought recently to relive some of the glory days of music and my life. But these days are pretty glorious too. I did wait until the afternoon to go outside for awhile to find a quiet rock to sit on and watch bluebirds against a Yellowstone backdrop.
I'd spent part of the morning in the gym pumping dumbbells, gliding, and working on regaining my outside shooting touch from 40 years ago. A month ago, I saw a photo of myself from a work trip and thought I was too close to the size of the van that was also in the photo and decided it was time for a change. The first step was eliminating the junk food that had a regular place on my shelf, followed by spending my work breaks going up and down the hills which surround the office. A couple weeks ago I started exploring the gym equipment, and although I still feel like a stranger in a strange land there, I've managed to lose about ten pounds since starting all this. I'm aiming at losing about 25 more pounds and gaining a whole new pants collection. I wish I were still able to run as I did during my Boston years, but even what I'm doing gets my foot aching--I'm icing it as I write.
Losing weight won't be helped by my trip to New Orleans. This morning I changed my hotel and train reservations to add another night to my stay so I can attend the Sunday show at Maple Leaf Bar. I've been bookmarking lots of restaurants and clubs, and staying an extra day perhaps means that I'll only have to eat five meals a day rather than six to make it to all the restaurants on my list.
Summer is over, the first frost covered the ground a couple days ago, and it's elk rut season here in Mammoth. There's a bull herding his harem around outside my window while the tourists herd up themselves. In related news (I'm so bad), there is a sensational woman I was hoping might become a big part of my life here but that apparently won't be happening. A disappointment but no surprise given the distances in years, pounds, and miles. I'm just an old bull waiting for these useless heavy antlers to fall off.
I got my t-shirt and pin for passing 100 miles hiked this season (133 at the time I filled the sheet and turned it in). Next up, 500--I figure that will take me at least two more years since I got here late last year and didn't keep track of my miles. I'll need to find out if snowshoe miles count.
Five weeks from today, I'll be back in Duluth looking at the Lake. Still don't know if my old landlord will have a place for me to stay so I'm going to start investigating motel weekly rates--at least it's off-season. It will be nice to be "home". Six weeks later, I'll be back to this weird but wonderful life I've fallen into.