Ringing in my 50th year

Bring on 2020!

I will turn 50 this year and I have decided to make a list of “50 firsts.” They are things I have never done that I have always wanted to do. This is a challenge for me. I have done a lot of things — lived in other countries, swam with giant turtles, gone whale watching, hitchhiked in Oz and motorcycled the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

I have stayed on top of Devils Tower overnight (that was an accident), skied the Birkie in Norway and saw fireworks over Moscow’s Kremlin. I have walked the Inca Trail, rode the Icefields Parkway, seen the “Nutcracker” at the Bolshoi and smoked a Cuban in Cuba. I’m not trying to brag in any way but I can go on and on.

Yet there’s still so much I want to do and see. I am a doer, and adventures fill my soul the way family does for most of you. I’m getting older, though, and with that a sense of finiteness courses through me.

Will I have enough time to see all the places on my “bucket” list and do all the things I want to experience in my lifetime? Hence the 50 firsts list!

I figure this list will be a way to force me to think about what I want to do still. My pocketbook is tight and my time limited so seeing the Great Wall of China or climbing in Patagonia will not make the list. But I have generated a few things so far.

For instance, I have never stood on the bottom of the Grand Canyon so I just booked a night at the Phantom Ranch forcing me to forfeit $150 or make my way down to the bottom!

Somehow, I have been across this country on bike four times but have never motorcycled Red Lodge Pass. I haven’t seen a concert at Red Rocks, which is supposedly an amazing venue. I haven’t panned for gold before and I live on a darn creek in Keystone! 

I have always wanted to camp in the Badlands. I have never seen a bison in the snow (although seeing one in frozen fog is pretty nifty). I have also never been to the Buffalo Roundup, biked the Mickelson from end to end, or ridden on the 1880 Train!

There are some things I have no interest in doing like goat yoga, which was a suggestion by a friend. I did yoga with Sadie before and that was a total disaster so I’m good with animal yoga.

I also have no interest in bungee jumping — I’ve been skydiving before and that was totally cool, but the up and down of a bungee would likely make me sick.

There’re things I want to experience that I have no control of...like seeing the Northern Lights. I have tried to see them in Iceland and thought I saw them in Russia but they have still eluded me.

I have technically been in a major earthquake but since I was in a subway at the time I did not feel it. Hurricanes and tornadoes I luckily have covered! I have some odd list objectives in my life that might make the 50 firsts list.

I want to hop a freight train. I can’t run worth a darn but I figure that won’t get better with age so I should get the nerve to try that in 2020.

I would like to be homeless in New York City for a week — or a few days at least. I know some of you are saying, “why?” I think maybe it’s because it’s about survival and self- preservation, much in the same way backpacking is, only in a concrete jungle versus a beautiful forest or trail.

I don’t know if that one is going on the 50 firsts list...might be a better thing to do as I get more senile! I also would love to do a stand up comedy routine because I think I am super funny. But that might have to wait for a turning 60 years old list, when I have less to lose in case I really am totally not funny at all!

As we leave 2019 and this decade (which was called what by the way?) and move into the re-roaring 20s are there goals or accomplishments you want to strive for? What’s on your “bucket list” and will this be the year you “go for it” or another year that you let pass by?

I hope that at the very least I have made you wonder at what could be and dream of what’s possible in this year and decade we are about to begin!

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