That’s what my family called me. No hike in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho was too daunting for this woman.
Not only was I an avid hiker, but I would always take a topographic map to make sure we could find hidden lakes, ghost mining towns, and other unique destinations not accessible by established trails. I also carried books about wildflowers and the history of the lakes we were climbing to.
For nearly 40 years, I scampered over fields of shale, on top of fallen pine trees and up waterfalls to reach challenging destinations. I even led our hiking group to a secret lake called 8522, which only a handful of locals knew about. It was identified on the map solely by its topographical elevation.
I climbed over boulders, balanced on rocks and tree limbs to cross streams. Never fell down. Never broke anything.
But I had my other spills. I was a pretty aggressive skier. My husband and I would start at the top of 9300 foot high Baldy Mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho, and then ski down some Black Diamond runs (the scariest ones) from the top to the bottom of the mountain without stopping. And we would do it over and over again for hours.
Over the years, I had a few disasters. The first one was a concussion. It was one of those days when the visibility was zero. A weather front had moved in along with blowing snow and no sunlight. As an experienced skier, I tried to feel the snow with my skis but wound up flat on my back, with my daughter asking me who was the President? I didn’t’ know the answer and wound up overnight in the hospital with a concussion.
That didn’t keep me down. A few years later, I was skiing with my husband and while on the ski lift we noticed that one of the blackest of all the Black Diamond runs had been groomed and it looked like satin. We skied over to the top of the run and I started down this almost vertical wall and then hit a field of ice. Cranking my edges into the mountain, I lost it, or more accurately, my knee collapsed and I did, too. There I was at the top of the run, alone, stretched out on the ice, waving and yelling. My husband had gone down ahead of me not knowing I wasn’t behind him. A good samaritan spotted me and alerted the ski patrol. They brought me down on a ski-mounted gurney. I’d torn my ACL. I needed surgery on my knee. So, that’s two trips to the emergency room thanks to my love of the great snowy outdoors.
Following surgery with a local orthopaedic specialist and lots of physical therapy, I was out of commission for a long time. With keen insight into the obvious, I decided I didn’t need a third trip to the emergency room. No more skiing for me. But I still got to keep my title of Mountain Mama because as summer came, I was out there climbing those mountains again.
Fast forward. Remember Tree-Maggedon? We’ve been dealing with trimming and removing many trees at our home in Los Angeles, because of our concern that our huge, old pines might come crashing down again on our house and us.
So, we hired some tree trimmers. The day they arrived, I got dressed in my boyfriend jeans but decided that my lace-up shoes did not look cool enough with my outfit so I put on my black patent leather clogs. A little voice in my head suggested that perhaps I should wear something more appropriate like running shoes. But fashion triumphed and I decided I needed to look chic for the tree trimmers.
As multiple chainsaws began their piercing sound, I ran up the hill to the neighbour above us to observe the trimming on our property below. As I sidled up to a nearby fence to get a better view, (and looking very smart in my patent leather clogs), I stepped on a small garden hose and slipped off my clogs. Rip! –– the chilling sound of tissues tearing in my foot. I tried to ignore it, but, it really hurt. But, I continued to run around in pain directing the tree trimmers –– clogs, damaged foot and all.
Finally, the pain became so intense that I called the doctor who immediately sent me to Urgent Care. They took an X-ray and declared, “It’s a Jones Fracture!” Great! What’s that? It’s six to eight weeks in a hard boot, no weight on the foot and crutches.
Have you ever used crutches? There’s a lot of pain using your arms and hopping on the good foot. I was instructed to sway. Sure. You try swaying with one foot. I felt like a drunk flamingo.
A friend told me about a scooter where you rest your bad leg on the seat and push with the with your good leg. Now, this is fun. I have to control my self from not racing like a Lamborghini. Zoom, Zoom!
Do you notice it’s the same bright red as my car? The only thing I’m missing is my moto jacket with my name on the back –– The Glamor Klutz!
I need a name for my scooter. Any ideas?
Also, have you broken anything? Tell me I’m not the only one.
Some shows I enjoyed watching while recovering.
A few good books
The woman in the Window By A.J. Flyn You will not be able to put this down. You are warned.
Sycamore Row by John Grisham An oldie but goodie.
At Home in Mitford By Jan Karon I must comment on this series. It’s a about a preacher in a small town in North Carolina. I’m not a Christian, but I found the series to be so sweet and charming. Perfect for lying in bed with your leg raised and iced.
PS. When you see text in orange, click on it and it will take you to the link of that subject.
My new mantra