Futureatwalker. Personally I would not leave it that late. Several of my friends are over 60 and many of them seem to have developed some kind of physical impairment. Few of them are backpackers, but just because we try and keep fit, the unexpected can and most likely will happen sooner or later. Some medical problems seem to hereditary and no amount of exercising, eating the right food etc is necessarily going to prevent illness. Also, we donít heal as fast when we get older. I have a friend who is over 70 and an avid walker. He seemed to be in pretty good shape and had worked hard all his life, but he took a fall off a step ladder a couple of year back and has never been the same since. He still walks, but only on the level, as hills are now out of the question. I do see a lot of folk on the trails who are much older than I am, but I bet that for every old codger on the trail there must be at least 10 in the city who arenít capable of such a workout. That isnít to say I donít plan on hiking when I get older. There is a well known Scottish saying, ďthe plans of mice and me gang after gleeĒ. It means they go wrong.

Howie