Calico Basin is a beautiful area just east of Red Rock here in Las Vegas.
Sarcopenia is defined as age-related muscle loss. It can begin as a 1 or 2% loss per year at age 35, however, after age 60, it is said to accelerate to 3% per year. Loss of muscle is loss of strength.
An ugly fact is that fast-twitch fibers leave at a faster pace than slow-twitch fibers, so you don’t just get weaker you also get slower.
What does that have to do with a day hike in Calico Basin? Lots.
Calico Basin is adjacent to Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area. It is free and no reservation is required, unlike Red Rock. While exploring the parking lot I found a nice 2-mile loop desert hike. There were other hikers and rock climbers. It was a great short hike. As I exited, I came across a second parking area full of cars with lots more trails. It seemed much more popular based on the traffic and the number of trailheads. I made a note to return the next week and check them out.
The next Saturday I was there starting my hike at 9:30 am. The sign said 3.5-mile loop. No difficulty rating was posted so I figured I was fine. Lots of rock climbers were headed in with fall mattresses on their backs. They wandered off the trail here and there to shear-faced dilemmas of choice. I wandered on. At about 11/2 miles, another trail joined mine. It came from the distant highway. My trail markers soon disappeared but the path dropped into a dry riverbed so I wasn’t worried. After walking a little while a few people passed me going both directions (I’m a slow walker) and it’s a loop trail so that seemed right. There are 3 or 4 huge dry waterfalls to climb. I did what other hikers were doing. The river bed grew wider with heavy gravel and rock base, but the fellow hikers were gone. I knew I was walking around a small mountain and the backside return should be marked soon. I saw nothing so I kept walking. Around noon, I saw a couple, I asked them if they had done this trail before and if they knew the path out? They said yes to my questions and told me I had missed the trail out a ways back. They walked back with me and pointed up the side of the mountain, up a dry waterfall. They continued on the path I left. It was 1000’ up to the peak, which I reached at 1:30. I was now out of water and both quads and hamstrings were cramping. 30 more minutes across the peak and I found the down trail. It was 1000 feet vertical down, over 1 story boulders. I started down, but could not go on. I was gassed and not strong enough to continue.
I grabbed my phone and there was no service. I tried to think about what to do. I paced the rock. I prayed. I found a discarded water bottle with a swallow left. I drank it. Higher power or fate, a text came in. It was from a friend who had sent it in the morning, but there it was at 2 pm. He was home sick with covid-19. I texted back that I needed help.
As he was alerting Rescue for me, 3 experienced climbers came over the ridge. These 2 girls and a guy, guided me all the way down the 1000 foot canyon and now in the dark all the way to the parking lot. They talked on the phone to my friend and to Rescue so that they did not have to come at all. We walked out with the lights on our cell phones.
All these angles get my vote for the karma of the month. Thank you.
There are a lot of lessons in this event. Many hiking rules. The importance of maintaining my strength with regular workouts. I have returned to this area with an experienced friend and found many areas of mistakes for my improvement, so I don’t get in over my head again. Now I have completed the Loop trail correctly and it is still a tough terrain trail, but a beautiful hike.
The Blue Zone
Information From The Book
The Blue Zones
9 Lessons For Living Longer
From the people who’ve lived the longest
by Dan Buettner
This is not meant to be a book review, but a chance to impart some great information that we all need to know.
“Life expectancy of an American born today averages 78.2 years. But this year, over 70,000 Americans have reached their 100 birthday.”
Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic to find the world’s longest-lived people and study them. They found pockets of people around the world with the highest life expectancy, or with the highest proportions of people to reach age 100.
The 5 places are:
Barbagia region of Sardinia-mountainous highlands
Ikaria, Greece-Aegean Island
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Seventh Day Adventist-around Loma Linda, California
Okinawa, Japan-Island area.
They put together medical researchers, anthropologists,
Demographers, and epidemiologists to search for evidence-based common denominators. They found nine lifestyle and diet habits .
Here is the first one.
1. Move Naturally.
“The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.”
How do I incorporate this into my life?
“Have fun, Keep moving’
Do you want to add years to your life and life to your years? Start now with the first lifestyle practice and tell me how it makes you feel.
“The Okinawans call it ‘Ikigai’ and the Nicoyans call it ‘plan de vida;’for both it translates to ‘why I wake up in the morning.’ Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.”
In his book, The author says to take time to see the big picture. For me, I know some days are going to not be pain free. Having a purpose helps me push the pain and strain aside.
Lifestyle #3 next time, be sure and subscribe.
Be well, Coach Brown