...as most of my readers will be aware has been due to the fact that I am on temporary assignment to Tucson, Arizona. of course while out here I do have access to a computer as can be witnessed by the fact that I have been blogging albeit lightly so allow me to explain why it has been light even though I have access to a computer, and this is no bull!
First of all I am out here on a long term work assignment. I get up at about 0445 to 0500 each morning to get ready for work since I have been working 0600 to 1400. I am not an early bird, my wife and kids could tell you that,; i n fact I hate getting up early but I have had to do it. I usually get back to the hotel by about 1500 (3PM). By that time I am often hot, sweaty, tired, and grouchy. If I had my own computer, at my own desk, with my own bottle of Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey - well then I would probably be happy to unwind by blogging. The thing is I either have to go to my office for a computer where they frown on employees blogging, or I have to use one of the two computers in the hotel business center (where I am right now as i type this). These computers suck and are sloth like to say the least about them. As it often winds up, when I do head over to the business center, both computers are often already in use and I either have to wait my turn or come back later. happy hour begins at 1730 (5:30 PM) each night and runs for 2 hours. You can bet that once they start serving free (as in no charge at all) booze you will not likely find me at the computer. granted it is not top shelf booze, except maybe for the Jim Beam but they do serve such things as Gordon's gin and vodka, Sauza tequila, and several other liquors in addition to Bud and Bud light on tap and three types of wine (red, white and blush). Oh the agony of not being able to blog while sipping that Irish whiskey or drinking a bottle of Ommegang but I tell you it is possible to overcome my grief at happy hour.
Of course there are even some other things that keep me away from happy hour, and also away from the business center, the computers and blogging. As I have blogged about a few times by now - I love to hike in the area in and around Tucson. My best estimate is that I have been on at least 25 hikes since arriving here in the last week of March and maybe as many as 35. Most have been short ones, a couple of miles, but I have gotten as far as nine miles on one hike and 8 on a couple of others. Yesterday after work, for instance, I hiked just over 6 miles. I did that one at Madera Canyon on the Super Trail. Now one of the reasons I love hiking out here is that there are lizards everywhere that I have hiked. I am a confirmed herp nut and seeing these little critters is my cup of tea. Yesterday I counted 36 lizards on the trail - 33 of them on my way up the trail. It got a lot cooler and cloudier on my way down and they beat feet for a crevice among the rocks to weather out the storm that seemed to be approaching. Lucky for me it only rained on me a little before I got back to my car but the temps dropped about 10 to 15 degrees in the last 1/2 hour of my hike down the mountain. and that was a nice bit of cooling off at that for a weary old hiker like me.
There are other reasons that I love to hike besides the chance to see a lot of herps. I love the outdoors, love to walk in the mountains, love the scenery, love to hear the birds singing, love to see the wildlife (I walked up within 25 feet of a mule deer yesterday out in the middle of nowhere off the trail - not the one pictured - that is one that Brendan spotted while he was out here - also at Madera Canyon) love the fresh air, and sort of like the exercise especially since I have lost about 16 to 18 pounds since I have gotten here. All those things are reasons good enough to just forget about blogging for awhile. Now if you don't believe me, well then just take a gander at the pics that accompany this blog. The sunset was yesterday - taken on the road on my way out of Madera Canyon. No, not the best pic of a sunset, but seeing it in person was awesome. It is not often that the sun peeks through a split in the clouds like that just at sunset. Then there were the cows. maybe you live in the country and see lots of cows or steers, but I live just outside of NYC where I see animals like pigeons, squirrels, and of course animals of another less noble sort on a daily basis (you figure what that means because I am not about to get myself riled up thinking about them). So I get a kick out of seeing cows strolling along the roadside as I am driving by - note I said on the roadside and not on the middle of the road. Yep that stuff makes it more than worthwhile to go on these hikes. Take a look and you will see what I mean.
If you don't think those things are worth missing out on blogging, well then you live in the virtual world of the Internet a bit too much for my liking - but to each his own. As for me, I figure I'll get out there whenever I can to enjoy it all, and if I find the time later on, well then I'll blog about it. The thing that makes it best of all though is lacking in my life right now, and that would be my son who is herping, hiking, hunting and fishing partner. He was here for a week and we had fun even though i was fighting off the swine flu as best I could while taking him around south eastern Arizona for a few adventures.
All the best,