New place, new practices

We are about two months into our move to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I want a record of how this part of my life unfolds, so I’m keeping a journal. I have decided to experiment with putting the occasional entry into Notes from Calico Manor. Both keeping this journal and using Notes from Calico Manor to post selected entries are the new practices referred to in the title of this post. But because I’m already living differently here, especially with regard to outdoor activity, the journal entries also talk about new practices here in this new place.

Santa Fe Diary – July 4, 2024

First day we had the bike rack ready. Took the new modern mountain bikes to Galisteo Basin Preserve, to ride on just the roads (which are gravel and dirt), not even the trails yet. We flew down into the basin, which was exhilarating. It gave me a chance to learn how to control the bike on long, not steep declines. The mountains were in a distant ring all around as we rode. Then, of course, I got a workout peddling back to the trailhead where we’d left the car. Not a long distance, but long enough for me to realize that I need to build aerobic endurance as well as strenght in my glutes and leg muscles. Definitely working on the principle of repetition and gradual improvement.

The weather was so glorious we decided to stop at home to unload the bikes and change some of our gear so we were prepared to drive up into the Santa Fe National Forest for a hike. We were there about a week ago, when we ended up one trailhead south of the route I had intended. This time we found that trailhead and did a loop that took us through a forest of aspens and pines, along a stream and through an alpine meadow. We hiked around a steep ridge, sometimes dipping deep into the canyon and sometimes high enough to see other ridges against the sky.

This was a four and a half mile route. I was tired by the last half mile but not to the point of real discomfort. Much of the way I was in a meditative mode or reflecting on the relationship between politics and a public good like the forest and its trail or considering the feelings the trees evoked in me and how, in another time, they could easily have seemed enchanted to me or consciously attending to my core muscles and how to use them effectively.