Pikes SnowArghh, after a month at sea level, getting used to the altitude again here at home has been a bit of a struggle. I wanted to get back out as soon as possible to my usual hiking paths, but a long walk through the neighborhood convinced me that a little acclimatization was in order. So the last few days I’ve been putting in the miles here, near the house, rather than along the trails higher up.

There’s also the dental implant I got the other day, which is just so much fun I can’t even describe it. Oh, wait yes I can, it went something like this… Ow, ow, crap, ouch, damn, owie, owie, ack, urk, ack, Dear God in heaven, please make this stop, rinse, and spit. I wonder, why is it, that no matter how much dental work one has to get (and in my case it is rather a lot), you never get blasé about it. Like, ‘oh, well, another root canal. I hope we can get this done before cocktail hour’. I always start dreading the dental appointment a week in advance, and by the day of the procedure, Mary has to pry my fingers off the door jamb to get me in the car.

It doesn’t help that when Mary goes in to the dentist, they give her Tootsie Pop, a gold star, and tell her she’s got such amazing teeth that they’d like to take extra pictures of them, and put them up in the waiting room for everyone else to admire. I, on the other hand, hardly ever get to go to the dentist for a regularly scheduled check-up, because I’m usually having to arrange an emergency visit for another tooth that snapped off, or a sudden, and yet inevitable, root canal.

On the bright side, I usually have only one emergency procedure per year, so with any luck I should already be predisastered for the trail. To play it safe, I should shy away from foodstuffs that are hard and crunchy, or that are hard and gooey, not to mention the tough and leathery food category. I think that leaves me with oatmeal and grapes, which should make nutrition on the trail an interesting experience.

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