On the trail for 3 hours, haven't stopped to rest, trying to reach that lake before the clouds close in. My hiking boots beat the ground, and I forget how sore I am, distracted by the scene that gets more beautiful as I go up the trail. My Sheltie dogs, on leashes in the wilderness, the male in the back, female in the front, driven on by the smells along the unfamiliar trail... I go through a pair of hiking boots every Summer, the soles get worn and the boots get loose. After 50 years of this abuse, my knees are trashed and my legs are bowed like I've been riding a horse all my life (I haven't). So now, with one Sheltie, I trudge up the trail with a rough hewn wooden cane. I'm a no-excuses kind of guy. I tell my knees to shut up and I get to where I want to go - the patch of blue and white Columbine on the mountainside, off the trail. I saw a picture - flowers in the foreground with a jagged mountain peak in the near distance. I get the picture, and a storm closes in. My dog pulls me the other direction, sensing the thunder and lightning. We're above the tree line, exposed - so we head down for the timber. Beatin' feet in Colorado.