I have long been absent from this blog as business and other distractions have competed (and prevailed) for my time. I know it is not fair to anyone’s readers to just depart from the story without explanation, but in the blog world this just seems to happen. I must admit it is a strange etiquette that we sadly get accustomed to. Perhaps it is because bloggers are at once both intimate with and yet distant from our readers that we grant ourselves permission to behave differently (perhaps even badly). My apologies.
To the story…much has happened since my last post. Robin and I, looking at our finances and making an accounting of what we might do in the time we are gifted with, have decided to opt for retirement. This seemed like a straight forward decision, but as the months have passed my mind has been flooded with the consideration of the consequences (both intended and unintended) of walking away from a career. This I have found is a separation process that simply requires working through. It is not as though I am bailing out early. I will be 65 in November and that just seemed like enough time devoted to the comings and goings of life at the office. So now what? In the short term it is completing the separation process, getting our finances settled down, and simply enjoy walking in the autumnal glory of the Pacific Northwest. It is interesting to note that since returning from the Camino last February Robin and I have hardly missed a day walking. We seem to do at least five miles a day (after work) and the ten miles on a Saturday and Sunday as events allow. It is just what we now do. I also cannot deny the impacts that future Caminos have on our walking schedule. Let’s just say we are trying to stay “Camino ready.”
The Arles route still has its strong calling. We had hoped to be able to start this coming winter but a March pilgrimage to the Holy Land has intervened and it now looks as though the earliest we could start will be October 2012. That would give us the time to continue on to Santiago and Finisterre and perhaps on to Muxia again before returning home for Christmas. Another option, offered by a friend, is to walk Cadiz, Seville, Santiago, Ferrol. We will get our plans in order this winter as we settle into retirement and just see how things work out. One way or another we will be back on the Camino just as soon we can. In the meantime we will fully enjoy each day that comes our way.
A few weeks back Robin and I climbed a local mountain, Larch Mountain, with our Camino packs (17 and 20 pounds respectively). It was great to feel the weight of our packs and to enjoy the challenge of crossing the Pyrenees in Portland once again. Left at 8:45 and found ourselves in the base lodge bar at 4:45 after 14 miles (roundtrip) and 8000 feet of elevation change (4000 up and 4000 back). A cold beer never tasted so good. Knees hurt like hell for two days, but loved every minute of it.
|Columbia River from the summit|