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Apr 21 2013

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Simple Pleasures: My Morning Walk

I always look forward to my morning walk. I’m up at 5:10 am and out the door at 5:45 am. I meet up with two neighbors at 5:50 am and off we go. Round-trip is only 3.6 miles but half is up, up, up. It’s 30 minutes down, and 30 minutes back up.

Walking up from the Barranca River bridge

Anyone who walks or runs every day in the morning knows what I’m talking about. It becomes addictive and, if taken away, is sorely missed. It’s the beginning of the day and sets up the rest. It’s great for the endocrine system, too, since I’m soaked with perspiration when I get home at 7:00 am, and good for the heart, lungs, and brain. I get rid of any nervous energy I might have and it gets me totally relaxed for the day.

Keel-billed Toucan

White-faced (Capuchin) monkey

My morning walks are delightful. I walk from the house at 3,000 ft. elevation to the Barranca River Bridge at 2,200 ft. It’s a beautiful walk, peaceful and serene. Quite often, we spot Keel-billed toucans and White-faced Monkeys in the trees and lots of cows in the pastures as we descend. The topography is definitely hilly, with mountains surrounding us to 4,000 ft. elevation.

It reminds me of California in the dry season, except, here, there are more trees, though it’s less lush since it’s the end of our dry season. Remember, it hasn’t rained but 2 inches since October 25th.

The drive leading to our house

As we walk, I’m starting to notice more birds, too — the beautiful Montezuma’s Oropendula, small Blue-gray tanangers, woodpeckers, and huge jays. Generally speaking, everything is bigger here, the insects, birds, and foliage.  The walk is not the high point of my day, but definitely sets the day up. The sheer beauty of the walk always strikes me.

Occasionally, I chat with Victor, the cab driver, as he takes his almost-daily morning fare to the ICE Barranca Hydroplant.  I’ve gotten to know Victor a little. He can’t believe I drove a cab for four years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He knows I understand the psychology of his job. It’s cash in the pocket every day and the next day will always be better. A few cars also pass by on school days, with kids in tow for classes high on the hill.

My walk is one of the simple pleasures of life. I have things to do after my walk but I’m not in a hurry.  After all, no work today, tomorrow, or ever again.

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