Later I went away from the town, up into the desert hills. Took the path that was too steep and narrow for most. Set a goal in elevation gained and exceeded it.
Then I sat. Haze of Los Angeles smog to the Southeast. Chapparral, sage, all around. Small lizards. The occassional hawk flying above and helicopter flying below my little perch.
Sitting in the sun as lizards scurry by (western fence lizards, with blue on the sides of their underbellies) and insect eat salt from my sweat. One hour, two hours, three hours... the two liters of water is nearly gone, the trail down is a half-assed climb over weak sedimentary rock and shale, so you use the scrub for the stability it gives to the soil.
Run part of it, glissading in loose rock, fast but not as fast as when you were a kid. The knee twinges. It's okay. Slow walk back to the people place. It's all good.