Winter has arrived, no doubt. Suddenly, cold wind is sweeping off the Divide, dropping trees onto trails, ripping yellow leaves from their moorings, and buffeting mountain bike riders. A dampness pervades the air that tells me that snow cannot be far away. And, my back hurts, both my lower back and neck. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that spine pain is a constant in my life. This year, the weather change has changed it from a dull constant presence to a fiery spear. Hopefully, that will pass soon and I can delay my next surgery for at least another season.
When I hurt, I keep moving. It's always worked best for me - keeping my muscles and joints more supple than they'd otherwise be. Being outdoors and active also keeps me happy - an awesome side effect!
My best furry friend, K, and I hobbled out for our walk this morning. She seemed to sense my precarious mood and tried to make me smile. Look at the size of the stump that she put her front paws on! Can you imagine that, sometime long ago, a logger actually felled such a magnificent tree for lumber?
Early in my ride, the clouds lifted just enough for me to see that our local ski slopes have solid layers of snow on them! I used to love to telemark ski on downhill slopes until it was forbidden by my docs due to my back. However, I still smile when I see the first snow on the ski slopes out of happiness for all the ski-lovers in my life.
Near the scrape, I stopped my ride to visit one of my remote wildlife cameras, the one that I believe has become a scent post for animals. So far, a black bear, mountain lions, and bobcats have vigorously rubbed their fur on this camera. I've tried putting it on three different trees in the clearing shown in the photo below, and the animals follow it, marking it or just below it, regardless of where it's posted.
The problem is that the camera doesn't get great photos of an animal who is up against it! Below, you can see that an animal recently visited it but, out of the 20 photos taken by the camera, this one was best. I think that it was a bobcat based on the height of his back. I'm starting to think that I need to point another camera at this one so that I can see what animals visit it!
In the meantime, I'll keep pedaling, and hopefully, K will be back by my side before I know it. Pretty soon, K and I will be the Physical Therapy Twins - because she'll start canine physical therapy for her surgically repaired paw tendon in a couple of weeks. I am so excited that the day when she can start being more active is approaching!