Yeah, it’s an oxymoron. As a man who has just whizzed past his sixtieth year, I know that, after a certain point in life, thoughts of adventure can seem elusive at best. And therein lies the challenge.
I first faced this challenge in the summer of 2010. I realized some parts of my life (not to mention some parts of my anatomy) didn’t function as well as they once did. So I went in search of physical (and philosophical) restoration — aboard a Surly Long Haul Trucker bicycle, guided by a set of maps and sustained by the seventy-five pounds of gear I stuffed into the Surly’s panniers. My destination? Taos, New Mexico, a two-thousand-mile ride from my home in sunny St. Augustine, Florida.
You betcha. I was also hoping to regain my misplaced sense of purpose and spontaneity along the way. Pedaling my trusty Surly across America that hot summer, I learned this: life is what I make of it. And since that summer, I have made a certain kind of peace with my middle-age life. I just need to add enough adventure to keep things interesting. Thus, The After-Fifty Adventure Man was born.
But The After-Fifty Adventure man is nowhere without you. You see, on that Florida-to-New Mexico bike ride, I rekindled my appreciation of the human race. As I chugged my way across America, one hill at a time, I came to understand that the people I encountered along the way — and the folks back home who followed my stories about those people — actually made the journey possible. They were the fuel that propelled me forward each day.
Let’s face it. Middle age is an adventure, no matter how you slice it. And us Baby Boomers, we’re in it together. This August, I turn sixty-one. My hair is mostly silver and most of my parts don’t work as well as they used to, but now more than ever, I understand the power of community and the comfort it brings.
So, thanks for taking the time to visit — because it’s no fun without you. Follow The After-Fifty Adventure Man. I hope to see you seated by the campfire very soon!
The AF Man
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Are you still hiking? I miss your posts.