When I turned 60 half a year ago, Courtney Sambur (my nephew Keith's wonderful spouse) handed me a surprise present. It was a note. It said something like this:
"I, Courtney Sambur will give Keith Sambur a one-night Kitchen Pass to backpack with Uncle Jeff this summer."
For me it was a priceless gift.
Its been over a decade since my nephews joined me for a ramble in Colorado's Great Outdoors. At that time, Justin was waiting to attend Colorado State University for his advanced degree. Keith just received his law degree. It was tweener time for the two of them. His most generous parents (brother Mike and sister-in-law Robin) sent them west for two weeks of U.J Boot Camp.
We hiked everyday on a whirlwind tour of Colorado's pretty places. Most of the time we donned massive backpacks. On off days it was mere day packs. We were in constant motion. I was always hiking in front, pushing the pace. I taunted them mercilessly. "If this is too much of a strain on you guys. I can drop you off at the mall. You can spend the days shopping. Would you like that?" From below I could hear them cursing me.
Hey! It was two against one.
At our finish line in Aspen, Colorado (they had to return to NYC the next day), the boys had noon time beers to celebrate. They toasted each other. "We survived Uncle Jeff!"
The bottom line: Robin phoned me when the kids deplaned. "Jeffy! The boys look great! They look so healthy!"
They both lost ten pounds of weight in that fortnight. If you really are serious about a weight loss program hang with me.
Back to the present. Keith and I had a great time tramping 18 miles from Estes Park, Colorado to Grand Lake, Colorado. Maybe one day, Justin can rejoin us. I would love that.
In the last photo, that's a Pine Marten. It's the first one I ever saw in my life. I spotted another a few days later. Go figure!
Stay in motion, it's good for you.