Eventful 2012

My plan for the remainder of 2012 was simple: Get fitter!! One could be excused for thinking that this would be an easy task, and in normal circumstances it would be. I guess I am anything but normal, and 2012 turned out to be a disastrous year for me in the health and fitness department.

It took several months for my knee to heal itself to a point where it didn’t hurt when I was going through the normal range of walking motions. I didn’t want to aggravate it by training on it while it still hurt, so I limited myself to the swimming pool and the exercise bike in the local gymnasium.

Some other medical issues took over, and I spent the spring visiting doctors and hospitals for tests and treatments.

Spring turned into summer, and other priorities took over. Backpacking trails took a backwards step to make way for vacations and summer plans. We went to Virginia for 10 days to visit family, and I fell in love with the area instantly. It was everything I wanted in a place of residence: Mountains, trails, rivers and streams. I wanted to stay there.

We had already decided that we were going to move home in 2013. The only thing we hadn’t decided was where. Wherever it was, it was going to have all the above or I wasn’t moving!!

After visiting our family in Richmond, Virginia, I was pretty set on finding somewhere in that area. Glenda was in full agreement too, which made the decision that much easier for us to make. Although not an outdoor person in the backpacking sense, Glenda loves to basecamp and experience as much of the outdoors as she can. She would be more adventurous if it wasn’t for the fact that she needs a knee replacement and has immense problems with her left knee any time she is on her feet for more than a few minutes. She is going to undergo surgery in 2013 to have the knee replacement, and after that we will have to see where she is physically before we attempt anything more adventurous.

Glenda’s brother Gary and his family live in Richmond, and they are very close. If we were to move it would be an easy decision for her to move closer to her brother. As for me, I love Gary and his family and I love the mountains. We had found the perfect area to move to.

After we got home we researched areas that interested us, and after much searching we decided on Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville started as a small outpost in 1797, and quickly grew into a boom town in the late 1800’s. George Vanderbilt purchased 120,000 acres of land to build his now famous Biltmore Estate, which still today attracts visitors from all over America.

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville is surrounded on all sides by mountains and rivers, and is a beautiful sight to behold. With a population of around 85,000 it has all the amenities one may need, but still retains a small town atmosphere. There are good supplies of medical facilities, which is of benefit to both of us for different reasons. For me because of my medical conditions, and for Glenda because she is a nurse and requires employment.

The blockbuster movie The Hunger Games was filmed in the Asheville area and it highlighted how beautiful an area it truly is. It is perfect for us, and we can’t wait to go visit with a view to finding a new home in May 2013.

My son got married in July in Durango, Colorado. The wedding was exceptional, and it was a very emotional moment for me, especially as he gave me the honor of being his best man.

Durango is amazing!! One of my life’s goals is to hike the Colorado Trail that ends in Durango. It is an outdoor person’s dream place. If it was not so expensive to live I would seriously consider moving there too!!

We stayed for 5 days, and after the wedding we all went white water rafting down the Animas River. That was awesome, and then Glenda, myself and two family friends took the Durango To Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad steam train through the mountains to Silverton and back. The scenery was breathtaking and the experience went a long way to making the trip so memorable.

In September we went to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet my sister and her husband, who live in Scotland. Rather than fly direct to Vegas, we decided to drive and have a camping holiday on the way down there.

We started out in the Jemez Mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then spent a few days in Flagstaff, Arizona. We visited Sedona, which is also a breathtakingly beautiful place, and then drove into Las Vegas for a week. I will do another post on the camping section of this trip with some photos to hopefully show the beauty of the areas we visited.

After spending a wonderful week with Elaine and David in Vegas (and not winning a single penny!), we returned home on September 10th, 2012. My attentions turned once again to physical fitness in preparation for our return to the Ozark Mountains in early 2013.

I aimed to get fit slowly over the course of several months, walking, swimming and hiking my way to a level sufficient for my upcoming trail adventures. Little did I know that disaster was about to strike me again, and it struck me hard!!

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