It was going to be a great day.
There I was, all alone in the middle of the wilderness, enjoying my most recent hike. The day was a cold one, and the paths were covered with snow and ice. I was right in the center of one of the larger nature preserves around here, on my way back to the front of the park and out to my truck. That's when it happened!
I came to a lonely area where only the deer like to go. I was entering a gully where I like to stop and enjoy the quiet of nature. The place is like a bowl that is surrounded by trees, except for the human foot path and a deer trail that crosses it. As I got halfway down the slope, my feet slid right out from under me!
A lot of times, when this kind of thing happens, it seems to go in slow motion, but not this time. I was laying on the ground almost before I knew what happened! I did have time to kind of tuck my body to try to minimize any injury, and to try to protect my camera, which is too valuable to me to let it get broken.
I fell on my back, and my arms and legs splayed out to my sides, as I slid a couple of feet down the slope. As I was falling, my eyes turned to my hand with the camera in it. I tried my best to keep it out of the snow, but it ended up completely covered by the wet white stuff.
These are the marks in the snow from my fall.
While I did feel the impact as I crashed to the ground, I didn't really feel any pain. I guess it must have happened too fast for that. What I was most concerned about was the camera. When I stopped sliding, I sat up in the snow and began trying to get the snow off of it any way I could; it was everywhere. I was happy to see that my prized device was still working.
This whole time I just sat there in the snow. I never once attempted to stand up. I didn't feel cold or wet, I just felt frustration and confusion. How could I have slipped? I was wearing my trusty ice cleats on my feet. They should have dug right into any slippery spot. I then noticed the battery indicator on the camera was flashing, so before I got up I changed the batteries.
Finally, after putting in the new batteries, I got to my feet. I felt fine! I didn't seem to be injured in anyway, not even my hind end, which probably bore most of the impact. I had a feeling that I'd be sore later though. It was then that I decided that all I wanted to do was to get out of there. I wanted to go home.
Notice the blurring on the bottom left and the middle.
I began quickly walking towards the front of the park. I took some pictures just because that's what I do. I noticed that there were a few very blurry areas on the view screen of the camera. I hoped these were just because the lense needed to be cleaned.
It was then that I noticed I was moving so fast. I also noticed that I had a few aches and pains that wouldn't normally be there. I realized that in a situation like this that it was natural to panic just a little bit, and that's what I was doing. The pain was from the fall, and my movement had warmed me up and brought out the pain.
When I realized what was happening, I physically stopped myself. I came to a halt right there on the trail. I told myself to slow down and be careful. Tiring myself out or really injuring myself wouldn't help one bit. I reminded myself that I was fine and to slowly continue on my way out of the park.
Finally, the parking lot!
In the end, I got out of the park and to my truck, but it was very slow going because I made sure to move extra slow. My camera still works, but I don't know how well yet. I immediately felt exhausted when I got home, and took a long nap. When I woke up I felt very stiff, but other than that I'm uninjured. It could have been much worse.
This should be a lesson to any prospective hikers. Try to hike with someone if you can. I only hike alone because I have no choice. I carry a cell-phone with me for situations like this. I almost needed it. Without my phone, if I had been really injured, nobody would have heard me yell for help, because I was very much alone out there. Before you go hiking take a look at my post on hiking tips for beginners. It could save your life.
I guess that's it for today from a sore, but otherwise fine Everyday Adventurer. I hope you all have a Happy New Year!