This was a bit of a momentous morning: weeks of morning walks have given me enough walking strength that this morning we headed out to one of our favorite walking and jogging parks, Palo Alto’s Arastradero Preserve.
It was a beautiful morming: a bright blue sky, temperatures in the mid 40s and Linda, Cassie and I were excited about our return to this favorite park.
I brought the Lumix, though I’ve often carried the Leica here, where there are some favorite scenes I revisit in different light and times of day. The Lumix’ Leica Vario-Elmarit lens’ surprising 420mm maximum focal length offers some possibilities that the Leica’s 90mm didn’t, and I was hoping I might get a glimpse of one of the park’s many wild critters via the Lumix’ unusually long reach. Many wildlife photogs use lenses in the 300 to 800mmm range, so the Lumix 420mm, in a remarkably light and short package, offered promise.
The hiking was great: I made the shortest loop, 3.5 miles with a good uphill pull in good style. Even though we were hiking mid-morning (dawn offering the best critter-viewing possibilities), I was even lucky enought to come across Mr. or Ms. Coyote, watching Cassie and me from a hillside where we’ve often spotted Coyotes (we suspect a nearby den), with San Francisco Bay and the East Bay mountains as a backdrop.
So the return was a big success, IMHO: I was feeling more muscles today than I have since the surgery – which is great news. If you can feel ’em, it means the nerve paths are working and driving them, meaning they will strengthen with use. The massive atrophy on my left side since October (it is amazing how a lifetime of muscle tone can evaporate in a few months) is now being rehabbed, with daily Cassie walks, strolls to the Marguerite shuttle, and walks between Adobe and the the San Jose Diridon Caltrain station. The best part was that it was Linda, Cassie and I, all back on the trail together… a much-loved part of our life returns…