Today I started to feel like a retired person, though I’m technically not retired until August 31st. No sense waitin’ til it’s official!
I was up at 6:00 AM, ran downstairs (I’m not sure if it was my bones creaking or the stairs), started the coffeemaker, tossed some birdseed on the ground outside, then sat down in my bentwood rocking chair and waited by an open window for the critters to show up for breakfast. I shot a squirrel (with my camera) and that’s about it. The other critters didn’t cooperate.
Three mugs of coffee later, I packed some water and PowerAde, a Snickers bar, and my camera in my ‘small-adventures’ backpack, and drove to Shelby, Iowa for lunch at the Cornstalk Cafe and a hike on the Old Stone Arch Trail.
The modern day gravel-and-asphalt trail replaced the steel rails of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad line that crossed between farm fields, underneath forests of overhanging trees, and through the small town of Shelby. I tried to imagine what it would’ve been like to be a train engineer back then, nearly 140 years ago, sweeping across the Iowa prairie in a steam locomotive. I think I would’ve applied for that job if I were alive back then.
I had my good camera with me, and I learned something new: it’s really, really hard to photograph butterflies on wildflowers when the wind is blowing. You basically set the focus and fire away, hoping to get one or two good shots. It was kind of fun though, like playing an arcade game.
The hike, out-and-back, was 7.62 miles (12.26 km.). I was ready for that PowerAde by the time I got back to my pickup.
I think I’m going to like being retired.