Dealing with an injury that sent me home

  • Friday May 26th 2017 is a date I’ll never forget. It’s the day I sustained an injury that interrupted my hike.
  • It was a beautiful day to hike after a day of constant rain. The trail was wet but that made it even quieter than usual. I hiked along totally enjoying the day and soaking in all of the sights, sounds and smells! A few hours into my Hike that day I called my friend Davis Cole just to share what I had experienced the past few days and to share the wonder of such a beautiful day!
  • Around noon I encountered a pretty high wall of huge boulders that extended up probably 3 to 4 stories. It was an exhilarating climb and I totally enjoyed the challenge. From the top of that climb the trail went on up to the summit of Mt. Arden. The top was solid rock! It was the huge boulders the size of school buses. I took off my pack and set it down to lean back on as I stopped for a bite of lunch. It was a truly beautiful sunny day and I was thoroughly enjoying it.
  • After eating and resting a bit I put the pack back on and started the descent. As I said, there were huge boulders there that I had to get off of. As I descended the mountain the boulders continued in shapes much like huge whale shapes half buried and strung out down the mountain. They were at odd angles but always sloping steeply downward. The going was tiedious and slow because of the steepness of the boulders and the fact that some of them were still wet from the previous days rains. It was on these boulders that I sustained my injury.
  • I was inching my way down a very steep,  huge boulder when the traction from my Salewa hiking shoes gave way to the angle and the moisture. My feet went up and my body was slammed down on the boulder. I took the whole weight of that fall on my elbow and my upper arm was shoved up into my shoulder dislocating it. I also fell about 10 feet to the bottom of this particular boulder. As I shook the shock from my mind, I started to assess my condition. I knew my shoulder was injured and hurt badly, my elbow also was obviously in pain. I found that I had difficulty raising my left arm. Other than that I seemed to be ok so I got to my feet and regained my position on the trail to continue my descent.
  • It was less than a minute that I found myself on another huge boulder and the slope of it was ever steeper than the one I’d fallen on. I was moving at a snails pace when, yep, it happened again. Down I went. This time landing on my left hip and shoulder. The one good thing from that fall is that it popped my shoulder back in place.
  • I would find out about a week later that I had fractured my humeral, the ball that fits into the shoulder, and torn my labrum, the seal if you will that helps to hold the shoulder socket together. The injuries were very painful and as I said, I couldn’t raise my left arm. I once again found myself about 10 feet down at the bottom of the boulder. I shook off the pain that filled my mind and assessed my condition. I found that I could stand and walk but it caused a lot of pain. At this point I retrieved my phone and texted a message to my family. I had checked my location and found that I was .6 miles from Hwy 17 at the turnoff for Harriman State Park near Southfields New York. I still had to desend that distance to the road and it was not an easy descent. It took me 2.5 hours to do that .6 miles. Then I had a 2.1 mile walk into Southfields. I checked into the Tuxedo motel and that was the beginning of my family getting me back to Oklahoma. Today is Tuesday June 20th and I am 1 week into a 3 week physical therapy regime my doctor ordered. At the end of those 3 weeks he will assess my shoulder to see if surgery is needed or if it is mending on it’s own. The injury I sustained has sent me home but it hasn’t ended my Hike! I am eager to get back to the trail! I’m pumped that one of the first things I’ll face when I return is the Lemon Squeezer! So until then I wait! But I also get to be with my awesome family and friends! Happy Trails from OneWay!
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