A few days after I wrote my last entry, I was hit by a car – in the Mission Hospital (Asheville) parking lot, of all places. I went to visit a friend, parked my car, started to walk toward the street and hospital entrance and never made it.
A woman hospital employee in a large SUV came speeding into the lot and ran over my feet. I was thrown backward and hit my whole back and head on the concrete. I wish I had the nerve to let you know the name, address and phone number of the woman who hit me. I was taken to the ER where I found out I had a concussion, a fractured vertebrae and a few other problems. After a day of tests, I walked out of the ER. Everyone says I was very lucky; I say it should never have happened.
Now I’m engaged in the hard work of recovery to get back on the trail. I’m walking, exercising, doing physical therapy. I went into the Smokies this past weekend and did the Rich Mountain Loop out of Cades Cove. With a little ways on Indian Graves Gap Trail, it was only about nine miles but I was exhausted. I spent the next day “recovering” from the hike. Obviously I was not ready for a full-day hike.
One of the benefits of being part of a hiking family, the Carolina Mountain Club, is knowing others who have had the same problems and worse. Accidents, illnesses, operations – hikers, many older than me, have temporarily shelved their boots but came back to the trail. I take great comfort in these role models who are now hiking and backpacking as well as they were before.
So, I’m going to try a half-day hike on Sunday and let you know how I did. Let me know about your recovery experiences. Email me.