Monday, July 18, 2011

The Slow Agonizing Demise of the 2011 Hiking Season

It's mid-July, the snow has finally melted from the mountains tops in Colorado and just about every hiking trail is calling my name.  But yet - I sit at home or in my condo weekend after weekend and don't get any hiking done.  Why?  My leg is still hurting me after my stress fracture in March.  I keep expecting it to be 100% better and yet it is not quite there yet.

My latest attempt to show myself to be trail worthy came last night after the sun had set and the temperatures had cooled to some degree.  I was in a crappy mood as Zack was doing everything possible to push my buttons and everywhere I turned in the house I was tripping over a dog since we are dog sitting for my brother for the next several days.  I needed to get out of the house and do some walking.  Leaving son and dogs behind, I headed out along a different route through the neighborhood.  After about 2 miles the familiar ache in my left leg began.  Yep - that bone is still healing!

During my last visit with the orthopedic doctor back in late June you could see that there was a clear "doughnut" of new bone surrounding the break - but there was still a break evident on the X-ray.  So as he has for the previous 2 visits, he warned me against running yet and said only do the activities that you can tolerate.  The pain isn't that bad mind you, but if I am feeling pain on a 3.5 mile walk through the neighborhood I am definitely going to feel a lot more pain descending down the side of a mountain.  So for now the 2011 hiking season is still officially on hold.

I am hoping that my injury will not have an impact on our trip to Yellowstone and our attempts to reach some of the geyser basins in the back country.  I have been mapping out routes and some of the hikes that we will take will be fairly lengthy (8 - 12 miles), but for the most part they are relatively level without a tremendous amount of elevation gain or loss.  And of course with the recent bear attack in Yellowstone we have had plenty of warnings about being careful when we are there.  We have a somewhat full proof mechanism to ensure we are safe and I don't mean a gun!  This is an idea that is adopted from what I do to keep the dogs safe when hiking in mountain lion country - Zack and I will be wearing bells on our backpacks that will warn every creature around that we are coming.  As long as they know you are coming they would much rather get out of your way then have anything to do with you.  We will carry a can of bear spray (concentrated pepper spray) in case we get to close to a bear.  But I really don't think that would be too effective as you have to be within 6 - 10 feet of the bear and hit it in the face with the spray.  If I were that close to a grizzly, I would be pretty useless as I would be crapping my pants!

I still have a couple of weeks to continue to heal before vacation.  Worse case - I just walk injured, because this is a very important trip for Zack.  So we will do whatever is necessary to do our hiking.

People might be surprised but I am really looking forward to this trip with Zack.  I do get a bit worn out being with him 24 x 7, but we have had some real adventures on previous trips and getting to spend 9 days together doing something like this will be amazing.  Once we leave home we will quickly get into our traveling "groove" and we will have an excellent time.  With the exception of the tail end of our trip to France 2 years ago - I have loved every second of every vacation that we have taken.  The vacations that we take where it is only the two of us are usually very special.

Good news came today in the fact that the work on my new front walk and patio is going to start tomorrow!  Originally the concrete company was not able to start until August 8th, but they had a customer cancel a job and I had asked for an early date if possible, so the work starts tomorrow!  I am quite excited by that prospect as I might be able to have the front re-landscaped before vacation.

There is a lot of blood sweat and tears that has gone into the house this summer.  But I feel really good about it.  I am re-making it in an image that suits Zack and me.  Not that I am trying to erase Patty's stamp on the house, but the perspective we had when we bought this place and put it together was that of a whole family as opposed to that of a single Dad and a teenage son.  This too will make it easier if we do not sell the place and if eventually I were to have a partner move in with me.  At that point it is Zack and my place as opposed to Jerry and Patty's place.  I know in the case of Shelly it was very hard for her to move in as she felt like it was a place in which she could have little say - and I can totally understand that.  I think there is a very different feel and make up to the place now and it continues to change as more and more work is completed.  I wish I had been able to make Shelly feel more at home here as I hated the fact that she didn't feel like she could totally relax here.

That's about it for a Monday night.  I am off to spend some time hanging out with Zack and doing not much of anything for the rest of the evening.

Thanks and peace to all!


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