"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
That was the theory I decided to go with today. Instead of letting the lingering winter weather prevent me from getting out and enjoying the outdoors, I'd just make the best of it. The weather today has been really weird though. It goes from sunny blue skies to full-on white-out snowstorm and 50 mile an hour winds the next. Highly unpredictable. We also had our statewide tornado drill today... although I can't imagine anyone even thinking about tornadoes when we're still dealing with snowstorms.(And just so you can fully appreciate today's weather fluctuations, I want to point out that all the pictures taken for this post were within a single 45-minute hike from 5:00pm to 5:45pm).
It's Friday night and I wanted Charlie to be good and tired so we could "veg" out and watch a movie on the couch. We headed up to the East High athletic fields and I figured we'd wander down to the Sylvan Hill Park trails if they weren't too muddy and hopefully get a long hike in the woods. As soon as we got to the fields the wind whipped up and the snow started blowing and I was immediately frozen!
I hoped once we made our way down the slick embankment to the woods below the fields that it would ease up a bit. By this time, my shoes were already soaked in mud and the cuffs of my pants were filled with snow; I had definitely worn the wrong shoes today. I was so wishing for my boots, but wanted to keep going. I just gave in and decided that my feet were going to be wet and cold by the end of the walk but that it would make snuggling on the couch all the more earned.
A few minutes later we were safely within the shelter of the trees which made a nice wind-block. The tops of the trees were twisting and bending in the wind and making eerie noises as they rubbed together. It's funny how as soon as we get in the woods, Charlie fully realizes that "we're on a hike" and she totally lets loose - no restraint whatsoever! She took off so fast, leaping over logs and raced down the path.
She chewed happily on sticks and scooped up snow in her mouth when she got thirsty. The smile that lit up her face made it all worthwhile! As we descended down the hill, I began losing my footing a bit. The intermittent snow throughout the day had coated the slick ice on the path, giving it some grip, but as the hill got steeper, the snow only covered the hidden danger beneath. I really regretted my shoe choice again. I started keeping to the side of the path and stepping in the ice-crusted snowbanks to make sure I had good footing. I ended up zig-zagging from one side to the next, hugging trees as I went.
I haven't fallen all winter. Until today. And you know what? It hurts. There's that split second when you know you're falling and there's nothing you can do about it. *Luckily* I landed on the soft, fleshy part of the backside of my left thigh, just below my butt. The bad part was that I landed on a tree root.
|Scene of the accident.|
I think you can even see my butt-print in the photo above. I yelled out involuntarily and Charlie actually stopped her frolicking and ran over to check on me. I was surprised because she could usually care less about me when we're hiking, but she must have heard the pain in my voice. Sweet doggie. All I wanted to do was curl up at this point... but we still needed to get back to the top of the hill.
|Me and Charlie on our way back up the hill - post accident.|
I was so happy to get back to the Jeep and finally home. I wanted to check out how bad my leg was bruised, but also afraid to look. There's a big purplish-red bump about the size of my fist and it hurts to sit with any weight on the left side. Looks like I'll be vegging on my right side tonight.
It's snowing and blowing outside the window again, making the wind chimes play their song. Charlie is napping peacefully on her dog bed and I'm going to make myself a big plate of spaghetti and pop in that DVD.
I honestly can't say for sure, but after tonight I really don't feel like hiking again until winter releases us from this torture. We'll see how I feel in the morning...