Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Beautiful Disaster

Disaster may be a bit of an overstatement. The afternoon hike started well just because it wasn't raining, as the forecast had predicted it would. The clouds lifted just about the peak we were planning on clearing, and the sun peaked out behind the clouds to warm our shoulders as we hiked the rocky gravel trail. Curtis and I led our drivers up the path as it gradually grew steeper, and climbed and negotiated boulders as we made it to the top. The view of the city was beautiful, and amidst jokes of "you said this hike was easy" we wandered around the flat peak alternately taking in views of surrounding mountains, ocean waters, and developed civilization in the midst.

The four of us made our way down the steep boulders, down the semi-steep gravel grades, and around to the last relatively flat portion of the trail when it happened: I wiped out. This was not a foot slip where you crouch to your hands to catch yourself, this was an awkward catch-of-the-toe that leads to both knees slamming into small (but lethal!) rocks while scraping elbows because momentum continues to carry you forward into a roll.

As I clenched my teeth against my screaming knees I heard a nearby adult say calmly "no, kids, I don't think she wants an audience." Great. I had made my inglorious fall in front of a group of ten year olds, who were now holding their breaths in hopes I was still alive.

I finally got up, brushed the dirt off, and kept walking...past the group of gawking children. As we continued on the trail I asked Curtis, "Why didn't you spread your arms in a dramatic fashion proclaiming 'IT'S ALRIGHT EVERYONE; I AM A DOCTOR.'" Curtis, without missing a beat, countered "I didn't think you would have liked that very much." And he's probably right.

Attracting any more attention on a busy trail on a beautiful day to a fall on practically flat ground was not what I was looking for in the least. Given the dramatic nature of the fall, and the magnitude of pain, the external wounds were pretty mediocre.

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