11.7 mi rt walked
gain: 2435 ft
max: 3107 ft
Dave and Stacie and me and Miranda and Fudge and Barkley
gpx track, see earlier post
I am ready to talk about it.
I had gone up to Split Rock two weeks prior but Dave and Stacie wanted to go up and I wanted to survey the wetlands at the base of the rock for Cascades Frog (rana cascadae). I packed my hip waders into my pack with the rest of my gear, grabbed Miranda and headed out to meet Dave and Stacie at the parking. We headed up the motorcycle trails/roads topping out at the upper road at the end of Pat’s trail. We went left and went up the next trail that I had learned about two weeks prior. Then it was pretty much a road walk/jeep trail walk to the rock.
After I was up here last, I had called and reported the destruction of the wetland and was impressed and amazed that dnr had actually come up and posted signs! Not that that will stop the assholes but hey, I didn’t see that one coming! Thank you dnr for following through!
While D and S had a snack, I suited up and crawled around the meadow, it was a beautiful place (except for the truck tracks). There were streams, pools, even a sink hole. The water was still frozen in many places and it was too early for the frogs to be out yet. They over-winter in the mud, I wonder how many were killed by the careless play of the trucks.
I wrapped up my survey and rejoined D and S and we headed back down the hill. Fudge and Miranda are both older so we shaved off some distance with the short bushwhack I did two weeks ago. Then out on the road for a bit until we got back to the trail system.
We started down the first trail and about 1/3 of the way down I looked down and was surprised to see my foot bending in the wrong direction and then…I heard the crack of my fibula breaking. Of course I wasn’t sure what had happened at that point but I was sure that it hurt like hell. Like nothing I had experienced before and I have hurt myself plenty during my play time outside. This made my trochlear lesion seem mild and that hurt! As I was laying on the ground swearing, Dave quickly filled my request for 800 mg of ibuprofen. After a few minutes, I gathered myself together and tried to stand. At that point I knew it was going to be a long day because there was no way I was walking out of there.
I knew I couldn’t walk down this muddy motorcycle trail, it was steep, with lots of rocks, roots, ruts, and holes. I had probably a little less than half a mile to get to the road. Seeing no other option, I started down on my butt. Dave wanted to give me a piggy back ride but I was afraid we would both end up hurt due to the nature of the trail. After I hurt my knee, I researched and bought hiking/trekking poles that I could use as crutches (pacerpoles) and I was glad I did. On the few parts of the trail that leveled out, I was able to use them to hobble instead of crawl. Sadly,those times were few and far between. It took about an hour I believe to get out to the road.
While Dave stayed with me assisting me and my gear out, Stacie went down to the road and was able to find a motorcycle rider who said he would go and try to find help. Once I reached the road and started hobbling my way along, we had to face the fact that we could not go out the two miles to our cars by trail but would have to spend the night walking out on the road system. Dave and Stacie were great and I did not want to put them through my slow hobble so I relented and called 911 making it clear that I did not want nor need SAR, all I wanted was a sheriff’s deputy to come up and drive me out. Dave and Stacie would walk the trail out with Miranda. At this point it was getting dark.
The sheriff called back and said it was out of their jurisdiction but they were going to try to see what they could do. Not knowing if they would be able to come nor if the motorcycle guy would come back we started walking out. After just a short while, maybe a half mile, we heard a motorcycle and two trucks off in the distance. It sounded like they were looking for us but we had no way of getting to them. Just as Dave was about to take off to look for them, two other motorcycles came from a different direction and asked if we needed help. We asked if they could go tell the trucks where we were. They left then came back and asked where the trucks were. Seems as though the trucks went the other way at the intersection so the motorcycle riders went and got them again and directed them to us.
I was so relieved, I may have had a few tears leak out. I am not prone to leaking tears. The people in the truck were camping out here and had already wrapped up playing for the day but when they heard that we needed help they four wheeled in to get us. They went above and beyond and I thank them greatly. One of the trucks had a back seat that Miranda and I could ride in, Dave and Stacie and their pups rode in the pickup bed of the other. We headed on out of the mountain. On the way out, I heard ice in a cooler and asked if there was beer back there and they were so kind as to share. Miller Lite has never tasted so good (nor I doubt will it again, I am an IPA girl). About 2/3 of the way out, two cars with lights flashing were heading up…the sheriff came through! We let them know that I was taken care of and thanked them profusely.
Dave and Stacie drove me, Miranda, and my truck home then Jud took me to the hospital. An Xray quickly confirmed my fears, I had indeed broke the fibula above my boot. Guess something had to give when your foot goes places it shouldn’t. They put on a temporary cast/splint that night and I got my pretty purple one on Tuesday. I am in this one for a few weeks then if all goes well I will go into a hard boot. I am six weeks non-weight bearing then into rehab. Doc said that I should be summiting mountains this summer no problem. I am a lucky hiker.
I teach chemistry at our local community college and lecturing on crutches did not seem feasible so the doctor prescribed and insurance covered about 85% for this:
I went back to work as normal last week but it was a long week and I was so happy when Friday came around. I have spent the weekend with my leg in the air. Well, yesterday I went on a short walk/roll then out for beer but other than that, leg in the air! Back to work tomorrow. I can’t wait for the pain to subside. I read that it will in two to three weeks. One week down, 5 more to weight bearing, 2 more to diminished pain.