Monday, November 28, 2011

Hello Again

Me enjoying a Seven Devils sunset
I feel like I've been in hibernation. Tucked away in a cave somewhere sleeping the season away. In my case it was the whole year I slept away. Hiking be damned. Writing be damned. Life be damned. If I wrote a book about this year I might call it: "The Year I Nearly Drowned In A Sea of My Own Self Pity."

Wow, I can't believe 2011 is almost over. The year I was supposed to hike the Appalachian Trail. The year I suffered three serious injuries back-to-back-to-back that completely derailed my AT dreams. I can't help but feeling like I missed the boat. Like I missed my chance. Instead of taking the trip of a lifetime I took two ambulance rides to the ER...

Didn't I tell you after my back fiasco I got into a freak accident with an exercise band and temporarily blinded myself? It was brutal to say the least. The band stretched to it's limit broke free of the door jam and in a millisecond hit me in the face directly in both of my open eyes. The lights went out and I dropped to my knees in the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. Seriously, this pain made my back feel like a sore muscle. I literally writhed in agony on the floor sobbing like a baby for 10 minutes straight. When the panic left  and I was still blind I realized I needed help... I searched for my phone by feel in the blackness. Gliding my hands over my bed, the chair, and finally the table where I found it. I voice dialed my Grandmother who called 911. It took nearly two days to get some of my sight back, and my first vision test I scored something like 20/500.

All injuries aside, I feel great coming into 2012. All my traditional aches and pains seem to have subsided and my new ones are healed up. I feel like hiking. I feel like writing.

It's a shame The Northwest Men's Magazine didn't last. I only wrote one story for it, and it turned out to be about the only thing I wrote all year long. I'm leaving that in the rearview mirror now and wondering where I can go next. I think a good start will be my blog.

2011 was a short hiking season for me. I didn't get anywhere near accomplishing the goals I set forth at the end of last year. So 2012 has to be the year I make up for that. No, I can't do the AT, my moment has passed (for now), the stars aren't aligned.

As inactive as I was in 2011 I still had a chance to hike the entire Seven Devils loop trail in the Hell's Canyon wilderness. We spent 5 days and 4 nights and logged about 50 miles total. I had an amazing time. The scenery was the best I'd seen yet, and apart from the worst mosquito swarms I'd ever seen, it was a perfect trip. It's always hard for me to go back. I remember my last day out there and all I could think was that I wish I could just keep going...

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