21 November 2016

Post-Halloween Autumn

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(I have stayed in the USA much longer than expected, as I had originally planned to return to Thailand before Halloween.  And I have neglected posting here.)

On the last weekend of July we had a fantastic reunion of Barlow family first cousins, with all 12 cousins still alive and in attendance.  We all had a great time.  I haven’t written about it simply because I didn’t know where to start.  I’m still speechless with joy whenever I think back on it.

In August and September I did a lot of hiking and bivouacking, as I have mentioned in posts during that time.  I slowly regained my health after it had declined from the unusually intense tropical heat of Thailand’s last Hot Season earlier this year.  I continued exercise through October, although I recently stopped my lifting program due to backache.  As much as possible I have been in bivouac out in the fields of the farm under the Moon.

On Halloween day, late afternoon, I marched up Teal Hill Road doing “roadwork”, i.e., the old boxers’ routine to improve one’s wind.  I had shuffled up this hill in the summertime heat, and I knew its gradient and the psychological effort needed to make the climb with maximum intensity.  From first shuffling to walking and then to full-0ut marching it, I have made it a prime workout.  It gets you to breathing hard.  It feels so good, but it takes a lot of painful work to get to this level of fitness.  Now to maintain it!

The late afternoon Halloween sun was low and the wind was crisp.  I felt like a Viking in the northern wind.  I topped out at the high plateau junction with Swede Hollow Road in cold sun and fresh wind.

Two days later, I repeated the march with the same quick tempo and grim into-the-hill forward lean to the uphill stretches.  Now I have been repeating this roadwork at this same quick-step whenever I can.

I have been given a clean bill of health from the VA, so now I’m ready to get a ticket back to Thailand.  Last night and today was the first real snowstorm of this coming cold season in Sugar Grove, and the world is white.  Time to think about the Tropics.

-Zenwind.
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