Hey, folks. Another year has come and gone. Nuff said, end of post.
Not really, though the year being over part is true. I usually do one of these year-end wrap ups, though I'm trying something different this time around. No, I think I'll restrain my more cynical side this year and just re-cap all the good stuff. I have plenty of material, however, I'll make this brief.
Let's start with the mountains. Dave Rivas and I had stellar runs up Middle Palisade and Split Mountain. Later in the summer I was able to put two additional 14ers in my bag, Mt Langley and White Mountain. As for the local stuff, I was able to do multiple runs up Chief Peak, Topa Topa Peak, Santa Paula Peak, and Hines Peak (and combinations of the above). The local day hikes are too numerous to recount, though I do recall having some stellar days.
This was my year for reptiles. I saw three different king snakes this year which was neat. I witnessed a rebound in the local horned toad population (I hadn't seen any for the longest time). I saw numerous rattle snakes. Old Matilija "Phil" almost got me as I stepped off a ledge. I look forward to seeing him again next spring even if he is a grouch.
Ruth and I had a bunch of good getaways: San Francisco, Breckenridge, Mammoth, Yosemite and more. Though our ski season last year seemed meager, we did get out for about 17 days. Not bad for SoCal natives.
Ruth's VW Passat did what VWs do...died. Thus, the shiny new Infinity G37 in my garage. We're supposed to close on a very profitable and well-timed mortgage refinance within days, which will improve our future economic forecast (saving money and paying out less of it is always nice).
On the pop culture side, my favorite book of the year was Stephen King's Dark Tower, over 7,000 pages of dream-like escapism. Phenominal! My favorite albums of the year were the latest offerings from Deftones and Slayer (not everyone's cup'o tea, I know). The films that stuck with me were, "Restrepo", "The Town", "The Fighter", "127 Hours" and "Despicable Me". My favorite quote of the year: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.".
This year was a remarkably "low-injury" one for me. I had a couple of poison oak exposures, neither of which was severe. I really jammed my big toe in my mountaineering boots and the nail keeps threatening to jump. I tore up my arm (again) trying to boulder near the level I used to. Alas, where the mind leads, the body does not always follow. This getting older stuff is crap. I'm not the first to lament that youth is wasted on the young. That's me not being cynical, just real.
So in retrospect, this was a good year for me, though of course there have been the usual issues and some unanticipated ones. In the next couple weeks I hope to wrap up some outstanding issues and stressors that have remained unresolved. It would be good to start the new year with nothing more on my plate than the goals I set for myself.
I got plans! I've got a few things on my tick-list come spring. In the mean time I'll be out there hiking the local trails, snowboarding, and looking forward to knocking the Palisade Crest for this spring's mountaineering trip. Keep reading, sending comments, and doing the voodoo that you do!
The Wondrous Orange-Bellied Newt
7 hours ago