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A round-up of barefoot adventures and thoughts

December 12, 2017

Hole-in-the-Wall Trail, Mohave National Preserve

For many years, this blog averaged a post a week. For the most recent last long while, it seems like every couple of months is all that has been happening. (And grammar-philes out there: note the use of passive-verb-shenanigans to make it seem like it’s not my own damn fault.)

Just now, even, I was almost paralyzed into not-writing as I tried to decide whether this lack of regularity should be attributed to the Nirvana Fallacy OR Voltaire’s “the better is the enemy of the good.”

Background: last June I did some volunteer work near Paige, AZ, that served as my ticket into a forthcoming 50-mile race there next year.

Let the long-mileage training begin . . . and loads of photos taken along the way, until it just got too overwhelming, with the the backlog of ideas & photos amping up my procrastechniques until this blog-weight was causing me far less fun than a barrel of monkeys (and wasn’t that the best game to play back when you were about six and had just come home from a relaxing day at school getting swatted by your angry German first-grade teacher because you wouldn’t be quiet during the nuclear bomb “duck and cover” drill).

(Imagine “But I Digress” meme here.)

So this blog post will not be the pièce de résistance of my almost-eight-year (?! give or take a few) blog racket; rather, it’s a way to unburden my creative psyche of some of the idea-baggage that’s been circling on the carousel long after all the airport travelers have gone home.

This how it will go down: first a list o’ stuff I’ve been thinking about, then, photos o’ stuff I been doin’. Doing. What-evs. 

(My eventual goal, in a non-Nirvana-fallacy world, would be to develop timely, sensitive, vivid, artful, deeply-thought-provoking essays on each of these topics. (Cue maniacal laughter.)

But for now, in the interests of getting this stuff off my mental plate:

List #1: STUFF I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT (but have not gotten around to writing about except in my admittedly sketchy journal)

Lack of job stress considering it’s the end of the semester. (But wait! I’m retired! Yippee!)

Getting to watch/play with/sing-and-read to two tiny grandkids each week. (Yippee! I’m retired!)

Looking for (and finding/not-finding) things along the trail (both actual and metaphorical).

Worry and dealing with it.

Breathing (see above).

Bible verses for every situation. Or?

When journaling becomes just another way to keep from finishing other projects.

Writer’s block: friend or foe?

Training for a 50-mile race.

How/why my cultural background equates “productivity” and “busy-ness” with Goodness.

When evil people create worthy art

Who knew you could play scales on a guitar in so many different ways? (And are there metaphors lurking there also?) 

Why a 37-minute 5k race felt more rewarding that a 27-minute one a month previous. (Hint: the slower race was run on Thanksgiving Day with my 8-year-old granddaughter at my side.)

What trail running and running shoes and no shoes and music (melody vs. rhythm) have to say to/about each other.

Aging parents. Wildfires without end, amen. Death of relatives when divorce is part of the equation. Babies that sneeze green snot in your face. Short winter days. Supermoon. Amtrak travel. Sleeping on the ground in the Mojave desert. 

Is it admirable or despicable to state you are “too busy”?

Is there such a thing as fear of lists (it does not make this person’s otherwise-comprehensive “phobia list” for some reason, so I can’t pin List-fear down with a clever latinate name).

List #2: A carp-ton (I was recently chastised by a grandson for using the word “crap,” hence the fish mutation) of photos from some of the recent miles logged training for that 50-mile trail race coming my way early next year. Woo hoo!



Mohave National Preserve’s Hole-in-the-Wall area . . . I almost hate to publicize it (it’s one of So Cal’s last beautiful uncrowded spots), but this desert (like all ecologically intricate dry places) needs people to know and love and take care of it, too.

Mitchell Caverns . . . I highly recommend taking the tour next time you’re cruising from Barstow to Needles on Route 66 (get your kicks!).

The plants of the Providence Mountains are crazy-amazing, as is the complicated geology (the reason these plants are found here in odd juxtaposition).

Santiago Oaks Regional Park (my very closest and therefore favorite-est wild place) is the most recent to re-open of the three OC Parks that burned during October’s Canyon Two fire; in the soil waits all the seed-life necessary to re-vegetate the hills, depending on only one thing: winter rains. Let it rain!

Peters Canyon: some trails have re-opened here post-fire as well, and eager sprouts of encelia and wild cucumber paint green notes of hope in the scorched landscape.

Harding Truck trail (heading up Modjeska Peak, the “left shoulder” of Old Saddleback) = miles of shale shards, big views, interesting native plants: ouch, wow, gorgeous . . .

The trails at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park feature lovely sand and art and are fast-becoming my long-run home-away-from-home.


Old Saddleback: Orange County’s eastern sentinel.

There you go, Voltaire–my own attempt to get some good stuff going instead of waiting for the ain’t-gonna-happen “perfect” time to compose the blog-post-to-end-all-blog-posts.

(And how I LOVE creating freight-train-style hyphenated words!)

Happy (barefoot, Christmas) Trails!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Caveman Hiking permalink
    December 17, 2017 8:35 am

    Loved this article! A great love story of you and Steve, and a life well lived.

    • December 18, 2017 1:36 pm

      Thanks for the positive feedback on this article . . . it’s been a crazy 42 years (?! where did the time go?!) of “growing up” with my one-of-a-kind husband 🙂

      It’s been especially fun to watch his reaction to my barefoot shenanigans the past (almost) eight years; he’s gone from a die-hard steel-toe boot-wearer (what he wore to work for 30+ years) to going about his (retirement) days in Softstars or Lems . . . and since our weather is pretty mild year-round, he’s even taken to doing his daily work in the veggie garden completely barefoot.

      And . . . he’s become fairly immune to all the comments/sideways glances when we hike together; he thinks it’s as funny as I do 🙂

      While I don’t necessarily recommend teen marriage (stay in school, kids!), I’m thankful for how God has created good (three great kids and seven even-greater grandkids) out of our teenage idiocy. Happy (Christmas) trails!

  2. Brian G permalink
    December 13, 2017 3:38 am

    Wonderful posting Thea. Thank you!! Keep on!

  3. December 12, 2017 10:34 pm

    Nice job on the carp-ton load of photos.

    • December 13, 2017 10:11 am

      I’m turning over a new leaf of less “carping” around the grandkids 🙂

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