I'm happy to be in physical therapy, but at the same time I can't wait to be done because of all the time it's sucking out of my waking hours. Man, I hope it's worth it! I hope my back ends up stronger and more functional as a result. I'm really not sure if that's happening or not. I've been doing the same exercises for weeks. Shouldn't they be getting more tough?
I went hiking this past weekend. If you recall, I fell down on Wednesday and kind of roughed myself up. Skinned knee (still scabby), roughed up palms, whiplash, back all kinds of unhappy.. but good enough to hike. DeLee, unfortunately, was not that lucky. Her doc said no hiking until she got an MRI. So she was on the sofa with an ice pack all weekend. Me, I went on. Perhaps foolishly. But I needed the mental break.
JD drove me out to Bears Den Hostel Friday evening so I could get an early start on Saturday. It was nearly deserted when I got there. Soon, however, three people I sort of knew showed up. Total coincidence. They went out and had hijinks, but I just went to bed, since I wanted to be gone around dawn. And I was.
It was lonely without DeLee, but still beautiful. The weather was about ten degrees colder and 30 mph windier than forecast, but I managed all right. Part of the point of the weekend was working on my cold weather camping technique, and that I did. Cold weather hiking technique, also. It's a little tricky to wear enough warm stuff in windy weather while not wearing so much that you soak yourself with sweat. I didn't get it right the whole time, but I managed to dry my clothing out while hiking so it worked out okay.
It was cold enough Saturday evening that my mug froze right away when I set it down with a few drops in it. I pulled out most of the stops - I made a hot water bottle, I wore down slippers to bed, I opened up two "hotties" iron filings packets, and I started out wearing my down jacket in the sleeping bag. Oh, and I slept in my down skirt. First time ever that my butt didn't freeze.
I was able to take off the down jacket relatively quickly. After that it was just a long, long night. It was too cold to stay out of the bag after sundown, so I was in from around 6:30 to dawn. The dawn was gorgeous, btw. No pictures because the camera was still off from the night before. I just lay there in my sleeping bag and sleepily gazed. I had deliberately set my tent up just at the very edge of the ridge so that I would have an unobstructed view of the dawn, and I reaped the reward of that in the morning. At night, I had the unexpected effect of seeing all the lights in the valley, which was pretty in its own way.
In the morning I got moving shortly after sunup. It was below freezing when I started but warmed up quickly. I saw hikers, which was pretty different from Saturday. The day passed quickly as I bopped along the ridgeline. Unfortunately, Saturday had been quite rocky (as was Sunday for that matter) and my arches weren't too happy with me. I think I may have stepped on some of the rocks wrong, with weight on the arch. At any rate, my feet kind of hurt on Sunday. In fact they still kind of hurt now. JD hiked in on Sunday and walked the last mile and a half with me, and was treated to the sight of me wincing and mincing as my feet completely gave up and just started screaming "eff you!" with every step. They were happier once we got to the car and I changed out of boots and into crocs.
JD and I had celebratory pizza in Harpers Ferry, and then we drove home. I had a shower and then a nap. My nap lasted twelve hours. It was a good nap.
|We had dramatic clouds on the way out|
|I got the best bed in the bunkroom|
|There was a mysterious banana at Bears Den overlook|
|Rocks. Rocks are cool.|
|Hey look, I'm in West Virginia!|
|The view from Raven Rocks.|
|Annnnnd there's the rocks|
|Lunch - peanut butter on pilot biscuits. Delish. I even found a warm bit of sun to sit in. That's a log, btw, not a table.|
|I got water down at Blackburn Trail Center. Probably should have just left the filter home, as now I'm wondering if I left it out long enough to crack or not. I don't think so, but..|
|I never did get an exterior shot of the tent. It got a little crowded inside after my pack explosion.|
|Rockdancer hat: check|
|I didn't stay in the shelter, but I did use the nice chair (with back!) to retie my shoes and add some tape to my feet.|
|Hey looky, a town!|
|And a husband. And pizza.|