Looking Forward to and Welcoming 2017

I trust that Santa found your house and you didn’t get any coal in your stocking. Now that Christmas is over, I’m all for moving right along into Spring. I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to 2017 and am welcoming it with open arms.
Ever since I had my little flurry of TIA’s 3 years ago, I’ve been trying to fill the prescription of eating right and getting enough exercise. These weren’t subjective words of wisdom. They were precise directives.
Consequently I get to the gym regularly and I have changed my eating habits significantly. I’ve only had two hot dogs in the last three years. I did try a bowl of mac and cheese and found it to be quite disagreeable.
I bring this up only to say that the other day while my wife was getting her nails done at a place on the south end of town, I decided to take a walk along the river walk. When I don’t get to the gym, I at least do a walk, which I prefer anyway.
You know where Rio Grande makes that 90 degree turn and then intersects with South Townsend? Right in the bend of that turn is a parking space and the beginning of a designated river walk path.
I’ve heard of it over the years and believe there is more to it than this section, but I don’t know. When I don’t have a need for such information I tend to tune it out. I’ve got enough miscellaneous stuff rattling around in this pointed little head of mine.
I do, however, remember something about the river walk so on this brisk winter day I struck out on the path. It’s actually a concrete path. Quite nice I might add. The trail meandered south along the river and eventually wound up down behind Home Depot. A little farther down I could see the rear of the Penny’s and Target shopping complex.
I was amazed at how many people were utilizing this trail. I probably encountered a dozen or so folks, young and old, coming and going. Some were on bikes, some walking the dog, some were jogging and others like me were walking.
What struck me the most, however, was how pretty it was along there. Views of the snow capped San Juan’s to the south, gun barrel blue of the river waters, burnt sienna and ochre brush and the wonderful grey of winter cottonwoods. Gosh. It was great.
I can see where I’m going to have to go back with my painting kit and take advantage of this. Until I do, I took advantage of a couple of the photos I took along the way and did this studio painting yesterday, my first painting of 2017.
There’s a sign at the beginning of the trail that warns of the possibility of encountering wildlife. Bear and mountain lions are mentioned. I didn’t see any wildlife on my walk but there are some benches conveniently stationed along the way if one has the need to sit and ponder a bit.
There’s a bridge that crosses over the river and that’s a good place to star down into the water and ponder too. My mission was to raise my cardiac level so I kept moving along and had to leave the pondering for another time.