A dear friend of mine, Bill, a retired Army colonel in his mid 70s, invited me to try a 35-mile bicycle tour around Cochise County in mid March. Of course I said yes, as long as it didn't interfere with the 9 March Mesa Half Marathon I'm registered for, or the 30 March Bataan Death March.
I looked at http://bikegaba.org/ and saw a few other enticing bicycle tours nearby. Bicycle tours may not be any better on my aching back, but they will be nicer to my aching knees and ankles. A mid-April ride of 69 miles from Sonoita to Bisbee sounds just like the ticket, but I may need a few more months to get re-aquainted with the higher elevations of southern Arizona. Basically that's 3000 feet higher than here in CenTex.
There's a potential trip to North Carolina at the end of June for Kevin's niece's wedding in Charlotte. He doesn't have that much vacation time so he may fly there. Since I'll be officially on my "summer vacation" and not employed, I could afford to drive there the week prior, and then spend another week in New Jersey with old friends there, scoop up to New England, across New York back down to Chicagoland and visit family, then drive on to Wisconsin and Minnesota and the Dakota Badlands before I hit Big Sky Montana. I want to experience the same euphoria John Steinbeck wrote about in his "Travels with Charley." He didn't say much about Montana other than that the sky enticed him, that there was something about the land and its people that kept him begging for more and that "I am in love with Montana." (Which is how I feel, strangely, about Texas). Montana is one of three states I haven't traveled through yet. The other two are Oregon and Idaho.
After I recover from my Montana euphoria, I will continue to drive west until I hit Highway 89 somewhere in the central part of the state. Highway 89 goes all the way south to Arizona and Nogales, by now a long familiar road.
I don't know if my finances will allow me such a long drive (a month?), but I will continue to dream.
My mother is also planning a week-long family reunion at Lake Powell in early September. That's a given for me to make...and that should be movie-making memories. Hopefully it will be a romantic comedy ala Nora Ephron and not some tear-jerking psycho-drama that made Ingmar Bergman so popular.
Sometimes I do wonder what my life story would film like. A western? A comedy? A foreign drama or a --yikes!-- murder/mystery?!?!