Saturday, September 21, 2019

Goal Accomplished

I injured my Achilles tendon on my right foot back in December of 2017 on a hike up (or maybe it was coming down) Kasha Katuwe/Tent Rocks National Monument where my hubby is a Park Ranger. I had hiked it several times before, including that November when we had a guest visiting.

I, of course, didn't seek medical attention until well after exacerbating the injury by hiking the same trail again the following February. Long story short version: Primary care; insurance company approved  only x-rays; no bone injury; physical therapy; no real improvement; summer vacation 2018 in much pain after walking the beach; primary care; new insurance company now approves MRI; shows partially torn Achilles tendon and deteriorated ligaments; physical therapy; more physical therapy; about 90% improvement; more home exercises. 95% improvement with residual soreness almost daily in afternoon/evening after a day of walking, shopping, chores and gardening.

Which brings me one year and nine months after the injury to September 2019. My brother is visiting from Connecticut and my goal was to hike the Kasha Katuwe/Tent Rocks Trail with him and hubby Leon.

So yesterday was the appointed day.

I am thrilled to say that I did the entire trail which is rated moderate difficulty with a a few challenging areas. I am even more thrilled to say that I did not experience any real discomfort during, or especially after, the hike. Didn't even have the "residual soreness" that I've experienced daily.

I've posted pics before, but here are some from yesterday (September 20th 2019):

I went off to the trail's end while brother and hubby and a friend stayed on the mesa peak. Had a few minutes to contemplate and take in the scenery. I thought first about how fortunate and grateful I am to have such a loving, generous, forgiving, devoted man in my life. Leon is all those things to me and more. Sure, he has his faults as we all do. But it has been my fortune to know, love and share my life with him.

I considered the fact that I was on the top of a mesa, enjoying a beautiful sunny day and some pretty spectacular scenery and at the age of 71 am still able to do this. I guess a sense of gratitude was a recurring theme for me as I took in the view and knew that my hubby and I were there in some deeply connected way.

As much as I sometimes complain about the monotony of New Mexico's junipers and scrub brush and the putrid color of the rocks and dirt and the lack of ocean views and splashing waves...I must admit that being here has been good.

I am frequently reminded of, or jolted by, the thought that I am somewhere in the final act and will be around only so long as the playwright continues to find a story to tell before the final curtain. So....

Monday, September 16, 2019

A Beach Trip

My inclination is to wax philosophical about our recent trip to the California coast and to ruminate about beaches past.

But the well of words is running is it possible to wane philosophical?

So will I wane.

We arrived at Pacific Dunes RV Resort ("resort" is a stretch) on Labor Day after driving our truck with RV attached the 1000+/- miles through New Mexico, Arizona and the hot, empty part of California. I am embarrassed to say that Leon did 90% of the driving on the trip.

I am not entirely comfortable towing a camper, but I do it... and my limit behind the wheel is about three hours. I don't know how truckers drive for is SO boring.

I am a fidgety passenger...looking at maps, googling on the phone, munching, replenishing Benni's water bowl.

So we arrived and parked the rig, then went for a hike over the dunes to the Pacific which is the several mile long section of Pismo Beach State Park.

Unfortunately it was a holiday (the last time we were here it was a week after Labor Day) and the mass of heterosexual Americans were out being toxically masculine. 

This fact struck me as there was recently a study suggesting that the "cause" of homosexual "behavior" is not completely genetically determined. Which I thought was based an a totally flawed supposition (behavior vs orientation) and it was never asked whether heterosexuality is genetically determined.

Well all the (presumably) heterosexuals were out behaving as if they were genetically programmed to race ATVs, trucks and RVs as recklessly as possible along the beach making as much noise as traffic on an Interstate highway.

Do these people know what a quiet walk on the beach is?

I wasn't about to let the commotion stop me from getting my salt water "fix" so I did get in the water for a brief baptism. 

The thing that seems different about the West coast beaches is that they are not really "swimmable"; whereas on Cape Cod there are places sheltered somewhat from the open ocean where one can swim fairly comfortably. Notwithstanding recent shark attacks.

One excellent thing about California are the numerous and easy access to the beach and the ocean. We checked out a few of those access points, but were often disappointed with what we found. Although not typical, this beach at the Air Force base gave one something to philosophize about.

Seems the punishment for disturbing the plovers is more severe than for some crimes of violence against a human being.

Just a note that as far as clothing optional beaches go, Pirates Cove is so not-gay and so not-friendly; not like the old Moonstone Beach in Rhode Island or Sandy Hook in New Jersey or Boys Beach in Provincetown.
Leon at Pirates Cove
We went out to eat a few times, basically fish and chips joints. But one "splurge" dinner at Rosa's Italian restaurant was ostensibly to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, or our 31st day-we-met anniversary or 31st time-we-first-did-it anniversary or 29th move-in-together anniversary. Anyhow, really enjoyed it.
Linguine Tutti Mare

Just a few photos

Sept 6 2019 Pacific Dunes - (c) by Frank DeFrancesco

September 6th 2019 Pacific Dunes (c) Frank DeFrancesco
Benni in His (maybe) Prize-winning Portrait

Avila Beach - Best Dog-Friendly Beach Ever

Sand, Sun, Salt Water. Heaven.

 All content and photos (c) 2019 Frank DeFrancesco


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