Nice morning out there. 43° upon waking. Saddled up for a ride up to Caribou with Stella and felt great all the way up. It's going to be a good ski season. Low September light basks the land, shining on the tundra. Picked my beautiful wife some flowers on the ride down – I'm normally opposed to picking wildflowers but the truth is the first freeze is very close and they will be dead soon. Saw an old couple picking mushrooms this morning…reminded me of two 80-somethings who came into Neptune yesterday to buy backpacks. Married 55 years, and still happy as can be. I like that. They kept saying, "our bodies are falling apart, it's harder and harder." And I bet it is. But the fact is they are out there hiking – they planned to climb Longs Peak this week – and that's as inspiring as it gets. Elaine always says she sees us as the couple that is rocking it well into our old age. Maybe I'll have a great big beard and a wooden staff, and she'll of course be one of those classic old beauties, not with the curled up bun hair but with straight, gray long locks and piercing blue eyes. We'll be slower than we are now, but we'll still be in the mountains.