Senior Living In The Mountains


| 6/14/2017 12:30:00 PM


Tags: age adjustments, life in the mountains, Bruce McElmurray, Colorado,

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Twenty years ago we moved to the mountains to live in our small cabin full time. We live here at 9,800’ elevation with our four German Shepherd dogs living fairly remotely. We are now in our senior years and while things have changed as we become older we are still able to handle the rigors of harsh mountain living by adjusting. While the weather is mostly ideal when it turns bad it can be severe. Last winter we had some of the heaviest snows we have seen in our time here plus winds that blew to hurricane force at times. We have spent much of the early spring time cutting up the trees blown over or broken off due to last winter weather. Maintenance of property can be never ending which for us seniors requires continual physical demands.

Living here fairly remotely can be strenuous at times, especially as we have become older. We heat our small  cabin with a woodstove and because of our long winter season we burn up to 10-11 cords of firewood per season. Assembling that much firewood requires considerable  physical labor in cutting the dead trees, hauling, splitting and stacking in preparation of next year's needs.

Hiking To The Mountain Top

Life for us is not all work and we enjoy the natural benefits which living in the mountains has to offer. Yesterday was one of those recreational times as we live on the last road that parallels the mountain to where we can simply walk out our back door and hike up the mountain. The top of the mountain is 10,500’ elevation and the climb is steep, demanding and very rugged. There are numerous deadfalls and dense stands of small trees not to mention the rocks that make footing treacherous. The closer to the top of the mountain the steeper it becomes. In places it is so steep it is necessary to crawl on all fours to safely ascend further. I would classify the hike that encompasses about two hours to the top of the mountain as extremely strenuous.

Maintaining Physical Well Being

As a senior it seems everything we do whether for recreation or work is strenuous and it is necessary to be relatively well conditioned to accomplish living as we do. We have seen those who have moved to our area and misjudged their physical ability only to become disappointed and ultimately leave. There are much easier hikes available but to enjoy the beauty from the top of the mountain it is necessary to keep fit enough to make that climb.

Disabilities Do Not Eliminate Activity - Only Slow Down Achievement

With very bad knees I was able to still make it to the top of the mountain by stepping carefully and progressing slowly. The view from the mountain top is remarkable and you can see for miles (see photo). Standing on the very top of the mountain is an exhilarating feeling that only those who are able to make the climb experience (see photo of Carol). The panorama and view is worth hiking, crawling and gasping for breath to get to the top. Sitting on top of a mountain sharing crackers and cheese while taking in the expansive view is not only enjoyable but leaves one feeling very small in those surroundings.  




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