Burn Out or Rust?

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“Age is a case of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”  – Satchel Paige who played major league baseball until age 47

Our outdoor activities have always been a source of some minor conflict between us.  Ed typically wants to hike, kayak, and bike farther and, generally, to do more challenging trips.  Because he normally plans these activities, Patty is very wary of everything Ed proposes.  As we have gotten older with greater aches and pains and other health issues (Patty’s back, Ed’s heart, etc.), Patty has suggested that we need to be “taking it easy” rather than continuing to test the limits of our abilities. Ed, on the other hand, considers limiting our activities to be the start of a slippery slope towards living in a retirement home.

To resolve this difference of opinion, we would like your input.  Ed likes to quote Neil Young who famously said in one of his songs: “It is better to burn out than it is to rust.”  So, using the poll below, we would like you to vote for one of the following two choices:

  • Burn out – Engage in more physical activities including those that may be challenging for individuals our age.
  • Rust – Engage in less physical activities and avoid those that may be too strenuous for individuals our age.

We realize that the difference between our positions is not that great—we both agree that physical exercise is important, especially as we grow older.  But we look forward to your input to help us decide exactly how we will live out the rest of our lives (Of course we do reserve the right to ignore your recommendations).

We started this week searching for fall colors and almost went directly to winter.  Temperatures dropped below freezing on three nights and we even had forecasts of snow showers.  Our first stop was at Stone Mountain State Park in northwest North Carolina, which is a beautiful park with great hiking trails.  The only negative was that the campground showers operated by a pushbutton, requiring frequent pushing to produce a continuous shower.  We don’t quite understand the philosophy of pushbutton showers—do they think we will give up and, as a result, save water? As far as we can tell, these showers only produce annoyed campers. However, we definitely plan to go back to this park due to the scenery shown in the following photos.

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A view of Stone Mountain—note the circling birds.

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Ed and Patty on Stone Mountain–We use a small tripod for these photos of the two of us.  Ed presses the camera shutter and then runs and tries to avoid tripping and falling over the edge (although that would be a memorable photo).

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Part of the original Hutchinson homestead at the base of Stone Mountain

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The view from the top of Stone Mountain Falls

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200-foot high Stone Mountain Falls

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Ed agrees that there have probably been fatalities on Stone Mountain Falls, but most likely they were due to heart attacks from climbing the 350 stair steps from the bottom to the top  rather than from falling off the falls.

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The mountain stream leading to the Middle and Lower Falls

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Small falls upstream of Lower Falls

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Lower Falls—note the fall colors.

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The stream just upstream of Middle Falls

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Patty at our camp site—rusting (just kidding)

After Stone Mountain we stayed at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area near Raleigh, NC.  It consists of a large reservoir with multiple campgrounds and, unfortunately, also has pushbutton showers.

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Patty kayaking on Jordan Lake (named after a U.S. Senator from NC, not Michael).  This was the first time Patty has kayaked in over eight weeks due to her neck and back problems.

IMG_9984We congratulate our daughter Adrienne who completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC on Sunday.  More importantly, she raised over $3000 for Team PAWs to support efforts to prevent pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of cats and dogs.  Several of our blog readers contributed to Adrienne’s fund-raising and we thank them again for their generosity.

Movie Theater Update—After last week’s blog, we received comments about additional small-town movie theaters that may close due to the movie industry’s conversion to all digital technology.  Ed researched this subject on the internet and found an article stating that up to 1000 theaters in North America may close, most in small towns and many in historic theaters. Support and preserve your local theaters!

8 thoughts on “Burn Out or Rust?

  1. I vote “Burn out” AND “Rust”……………..why not alternate? Or modify—same trips, but shorter—or easier. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing!


  2. I would have to agree with Rick – go for it while you can or later on you’ll regret it! This is coming from someone who has reached “later on”.

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