Just Shelley


Now, hear me out before you condemn my stupidity.

I did go to the park today for a light, gentle hike, at Washington Park, to be exact. Except that I had read my guide wrong and instead of grade two hikes, these were grade four, which is one level below absolute wilderness.

It was cold and only a few people were about, none on the trails. I started out at the Thousand Steps trail, and it wasn’t too bad — a barely visible dirt path buried under leaves along a meandering creek; rough road but passable, even with a sore hip. Well, until I got to the Steps.

The Steps are really incredible — rough, hand hewn stones set into the side of a steep hill to give people some stability for their climb. Except over time the stones had settled and drifted about and now it’s a toss up as to which is worse to climb: the Steps or the hillside directly.

This was a level four climb, and that was a level four path and there was no way I was going to attempt it with a sore hip, no walking stick, and wearing my tennis shoes. Do you think I’m daft, now?

When I got back to the car I checked the guide again and saw my mistake on the level of difficulty for the trails. But another trail, the Opossum Track Trail promised to provide relatively easy going until it hit what it called “The Exercise Hill”. I decided to walk it until the Hill.

The trail was a little rougher than the Steps, but fairly level and extremely pleasant. The path followed a creek that was partially frozen and it was cool but sunny. No highway noise, which was a treat.

When the trail started getting a bit rough for my hip, I turned around. During the return walk, I heard gun shots in the distance, surprising me as I didn’t think hunting season was in effect and the guns sounded a bit close. Not close enough to be a danger to me, but too close to the Park, itself.

Being out there in the rough woods with not a soul around and listening to the far off gun shots reminded me of the movie Deliverance. I thought to myself, I’d have to hook the song into the posting when I covered my little hike today. In fact, I was so caught up in thinking about the weblog that I stepped on a hidden stone, twisting my ankle and losing my footing, started to fall and grabbed out at a smallish tree, thereby pulling my body around with considerable force and causing massive pain to the same hip and lower back area that was injured in my previous fall.

(Where’s that damn gooseneck lamp when you need it.)

Though not particularly fun, I made it back to the car. What normally would have taken about 15 minutes took over an hour, but I made it.

Before you say that you have no sympathy for me for getting hurt while hiking through unknown, rough, peopleless woods with a injured hip, I know — it was a damn stupid, macho trick. I know, I know — stooooopid. However, if I had been paying attention, I still wouldn’t have been hurt.

Injured while weblogging and without a keyboard in sight. That has to be a first.


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