I took the dogs to the Douglas Family Preserve in Santa Barbara. This is a wonderful area for hiking and dog walking with the largest off-leash grounds I’ve ever seen. The trip began, as most do, with my camera and telephoto lens dangling around my neck with two anxious dogs leading the way.  I stopped to take a shot of the beginning  of the trail’s rise. Balancing camera and dogs is not easy. I took a shot just as a runner approached from behind–this excited the dogs and challenged my stability. I took a second shot of the runner gliding up the hill. I’m a hiker now, haven’t run in a few years and not up steep hills in a long time. My joints are an issue, although I can hike for hours without pain. It’s the pounding on a hard surface that brings me to the realities of aging. I may try again. Or, I may not. But I would trade a sofa  for a trail any day. I remain thankful for ever step I take.

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