Monday, July 20, 2015

The Great Outdoors

After a few days of being in that strange limbo of not really being here nor there, i think i'm out of it. I came into the present about the time when i started getting out into the beautiful Black Hills, where my daughter and i are spending a few weeks with our family before we head back to our beloved west coast.

Uphill biking with tween: whimpering guaranteed.
When you are surrounded by the sweet smell of warm Ponderosa pine needles, the great spires of the Needles Highway and the craggy granite of the numerous climbing spots behind Mt. Rushmore, you tend to wake up. When you're swinging from a climbing rope 20 feet off the ground, after having lost your footing, you tend to be wide awake. When you finally make it to the top, you are really, fully present. (Sorry, no photos of that feat!)

When you are huffing and puffing through the grassy trails of the Black Hills National Forest on a mountain bike, you also find yourself wide awake. The pine-needly smells, rocks, boulders, skittering animals, spooked deer and the occasional whine of your child, on a bike for almost the first time in a year, conspire to keep you far from drowsy. It is nice to have the (almost) full faculty of my body again after weeks of Dengue fever -- even if it means lots of sore spots from climbing, biking and eating far too much wonderful, very-much-missed cheese.

Too much cheese and a foreign climate have given me less-than-ideal skin. Fortunately, there are products like Royal Canadian Laboratories' all-natural Mineral Water Spray to help with that...

Have a tween who prefers video games to biking in the forest? Lucky Gameplay's channel has lots of tips, including this one for Minecraft.

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