Hiking up Blackett's Ridge at Sabino Canyon, there seemed to be an indication that this body just didn't move as it used to. Perhaps the trail had gotten steeper and more rocky since those earlier hikes a few years back. I've become very good at denying old age.
As I was hiking the trail I remembered one of the first times I was on Blackett's Ridge. It was eleven years ago and -- of course -- younger by that same number of years. I was hiking with a guy I met in the RV park where I was parked. He was 71 years old and I was impressed that we were well matched as hikers. Today at the age of 72, I wonder if I am as fit as that 71 year old guy I hiked with eleven years ago.
Phoneline Trail is an easy walk, but Blackett's Ridge becomes a climb with numerous switch backs over broken rock and rock steps. Although I had been to the dead end on Blackett's Ridge in previous hikes, that day's choice was a journey -- not a destination. The very uneven trail and my balance issues were causing lots of stress. A good sitting rock was found where I sat to admire the view and snacked and rehydrated.
May have been a short hike, but it was a great journey. The views, the air, the solitude... It was a great day.