Rather than just give you a boring update on my retirement to date, I thought I might give you a little taste of what I am doing in retirement.  My oldest son, Henry is the starting center, as a freshman no less, for the Smith Valley Bulldogs.  He had an away game in Owyhee, Nevada on September 4th, 2010.  One of my dreams for my retirement was to follow my boys around and watch them play high school sports.  Owen, my youngest son, is in 7th grade, but will be playing basketball this fall.  Henry will be playing basketball and baseball also.  While the run and gun style travel is hard, it was great to be there to see Henry play.

Jen and I in Lamoille Canyon.

The wife, Jen, and I drove to Elko on Friday night as Owyhee has little to offer int he way of services.  We drove up to Lamoille Canyon that evening and I did a little fishing and we ate dinner on the tailgate of our truck in the canyon.  Lamoille Canyon is really a beautiful spot.  I have had the fortune to get to go there three times in the last year.  Once in the fall of 2009 as part of a trip for work before I retired, once in August 2010 as part of a fishing trip with my boys, and this trip.  Unfortunately, it was a little early for fall colors, but the canyon is awesome to behold year around.

Looking up Lamoille Canyon, obvioulsy carved by a great glacier.

These peaks show why the Ruby Mountians are considered the most rugged in the lower 48 states.

After we left we headed to the town of Lamoille.  If Jen had not been on a restrictive weight loss diet during this trip, we would have ate at the Pine Lodge, a great restaurant and hotel with spectacular animal mounts and museum quality diorama in the back of the dinning room.  I ate there last fall and sat next to the display.  A great place to go if you are in the area.  We also saw a couple of flocks of wild turkey and the ever present deer roaming around Lamoille.

Wild turkeys foraging in Lamoille, Nevada.

A quaint church in Lamoille.

The following morning we headed to Owyhee.  The drive is typical Nevada.  Distant mountains, broad sage-covered valleys and long stretches of two-lane highway.  That is until we reached Wild Horse Reservoir and the Owyhee River canyon.  Wow, the river is beautiful and the canyon isn’t too rugged, but it is very tight with steep sides.  45 mph was the rule.  95 miles from Elko is Owyhee.  We spent the night a block from the team, but didn’t get to see Henry until we arrived.

Henry before the game. I think I was embarassing him.

Pre-game warm ups.

The game was a blow out.  Smith Valley was lethargic and allowed 5 first half touchdowns while only scoring one.  The second half was closer as the Bulldogs rallied, but the final score was still 58-22.  Ouch!  Henry spent most of the game feeling like he was going to puke.  We ascertained on the ride home that he had eaten EIGHT pieces of french toast that morning and was up talking with his roommates until 1:00 am.  That might have had something to do with it!  Still he toughed it out and played the whole game.  He played well against a defensive line that was much bigger.

The team captains meeting before the game. Henry was made a captain due to his hard work in practice.

The Bulldogs lining up on offense with No. 76 at center.

The ride home is a blur.  We were all tired and it was 10:30 when we finally rolled into Smith Valley.  This is what retirement is all about.  the freedom to do stuff like this.  Do what you want, when you want.  If I was working, I likely would not have gone.  That would have been a shame.  You can’t replace experiences like this one.  I was so proud of my son gutting it out and playing well.  Hearing about it later, would have paled in comparison.

So two month in and I love it.  It isn’t all wine and roses, but it is still great.  I am realizing how much work took out of me.  On many levels I am still recovering from the years of stress.  Now, I am a better husband, a better father and I am much happier.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.