I went for a hike today on Rattlesnake Trail. I hiked up to the meadow and back. The flowers were in bloom, but there will be even more coming soon.
Yesterday I altered my homemade hiking shoes. I tapered them inward at my arches and removed a layer of EVA foam. It really made a big difference. They are more flexible and comfortable. They feel more like moccasins now but with enough protection from rocks that I don't suffer. The fit is much better. I intend to take them apart after they fall apart and use them for a pattern in the future.
I also noticed that Chacos makes shoes. I ordered a pair thinking I could alternate between my homemade shoes and Chaco shoes on backpack trips. There are a lot of foxtails on my trails so I have to have closed-toe shoes otherwise my socks (or my skin) will be destroyed in 15 minutes. The shoes came but they didn't fit so I sent them back. I'll try another size but if those don't fit either, I'll send them back too. I probably shouldn't have bothered.
I forgot to mention that the other day at the end of the hike to Pine Mountain Lodge, we reached the parking lot as the sun was setting. There was a moment there where the southwest-facing mountains before us were bathed in golden light. The white rocks of Piedra Blanca and the golden sandstone of the mountains reflected the setting sunlight and the green chaparral hills took on a golden tint. It was all laid out there in front of us like a gift. I stood there and watched the light and took note of this gift given to us at the end of a day fully lived.