Thursday, March 24, 2011

And the ankle says "Snap!": amid huge Yosemite snowstorm, dodging self-pity...

In the aftermath of El Jumbo Snow Dump in Yosemite (well, really, it's still happening), Bear is thinking he'll maybe ski this weekend (he supresses a drooling-and-jumping-up-and-down-clapping response every time skiing and all this fresh snow are the topic).

And he's in Yosemite valley today, all day, for meetings.

My first thought last night was "Can I go to the valley tomorrow, too?"

Then I can hike in the freshly snowed valley, take amazing photographs, get them back to you (yes, I think about you a lot), then work (day job) on my computer in the Yosemite bar.


Then I remembered.

biobabbler is lame

On my last day in New Orleans, after a week of hazards,
  • super busy conference so overwhelmed-by-sessions-and-socializing-from-8am-9pm
  • speed-walking back and forth between my hotel and the conference in new-professional-person-shoes (NOT used to them, trust me, I live in running shoes) amid traffic & construction
  • sleeping-away-from-home exhaustion stupor
  • getting yelled at by hotel security at 10:30 at night (guy was 10 feet tall, I SWEAR!) for TALKING (yes, talking)
  • exploring French Quarter streets day and night with all the attendant people-freakiness and crowded, cobbly, bumpy streets
  • eating famously fatty/hazardous food
  • a pontoon boat tour of the bayou, rubbing shoulders with alligators
I injured myself.

How, you ask, did the ever-so-light-of-foot and (semi-) adventurous biobabbler succumb?

NOT running from alligators, as was suggested I proffer in lieu of the real story.*

NOT running from New Orleans muggers or cops or defending a helpless child using my new mixed-martial-arts-fitness-class skills.

NOT dancing with the handsome kilted Irish men in the nighttime St. Patrick's Day parade.

NOT battling for beads.

NOT lugging 10,000 lbs of over-packed luggage 6 blocks from one hotel to the other 'cause I'm too cheap and carbon-embarrassed to use a taxi.

Nope, here's the pitiless marauder, the heartless villain:

A lawn. I hurt myself walking across a lawn.


Mind you, biobabbler has:
  • Tromped MILES across the rocky intertidal zone, through ocean waves, on slippery kelp, teetering boulders, carrying piles of equipment. For YEARS.

  • Climbed then hung head first off of the edge of crumbling sea stacks to measure owl limpets, dangling 20 feet above ocean and rock.
  • Walked 27 miles in one day.
  • Hiked down into, camped overnight at the bottom of (in rain), then climbed back out of the Grand Canyon, with rain-soaked (tent leaked, so everything was 20 lbs heavier) camping gear during a SNOWstorm that was blowing snow sideways (a friend I saw at the conference last week reminded me of that, and said that my face was blue) days after being really sick.

    This is the Hance rapid. It's the highest rated rapid of those I experienced (rated 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 for the Colorado River Grand Canyon, 10 is most crazy, 1 is mildest. Pretty sure our guides said the water level made it an 8).
        • Been complimented on my balance by people I barely know.
          • Been paid to relocate rattlesnakes.
          (photo Tigerhawkvok)
          • Was in a burning car once, briefly trapped, then escaped with just a slightly melted jacket and an irrational fear of the smell (so diesel exhaust freaked me out years afterward--I'd always look to make sure there weren't flames at my side).

          And a lawn brings biobabbler down, making her ankle go "SNAP!" Sprained, not broken.

          So I am biohobbler, once again.

          And with all this (possibly record breaking?) SNOWY GLORY I do NOT get to SNOWSHOE IN AT LEAST EIGHT FEET of fresh snow in MARCH.


          Logic equation: If bb = snowshoeing, then bb = happy.

          And today it's been snowing for hours at my house, so it's STILL piling up at Badger Pass.

          Anyhow, I've not exercised for days, now. Too busy pouting.

          And the options are pretty much pilates or sitting down/one-legged yoga and possibly free weights and pushups and sit ups (wheeee!).

          However, I've decided on a new mental approach.

          I will try to view this exercise as the start of my summer-hiking-get-in-shape program.

          In high country with trail-dirty bum: bb happy.
          Gaylor Lakes, Yosemite NP.

          Work on building strength (since cardio will be hard to come by for a while), muscular endurance (lotsa situps, pushups, back exercises, core stuff), so I will not tire as easily as I might if I hike with bony back and arms.

          The thought arose this a.m. while viewing photos of summertime Yosemite high country.

          Trail side creek on hike to Elizabeth Lake,
          Yosemite NP.

          Unicorn Peak, from Elizabeth Lake,
          Yosemite NP.

          View south (I believe) from Gaylor Lakes,
          Yosemite NP.

          Yeah, could be worse.

          And at least my legs usually work.

          And I live pretty near a staggeringly beautiful place, and have the time and health to explore and enjoy it.

          For that I am truly grateful.


          * BTW (by the way): who knew re: many sites telling you how to avoid, and most interestingly, survive an alligator attack. Think you don't need to know what and where an alligator's palatal valve is? THINK AGAIN! And, by the way, it can only be reached if your ARM is in the animal's MOUTH!

          P.S. Do they really need to suggest you see a doctor promptly if you've been attacked by an alligator? How stoic can people be?!?

          P.P.S. I just LOVE that there's a "crocodilian biology database"--that's where the palatal valve link takes you. TOO cool! University of Florida, of course. =) )


          1. P.S. Now I've peeled myself off the ceiling, I really hope your ankle doesn't take too long to mend so you'll be able to get out and play in the snow.

            I would really think common sense would tell you to see a doctor after being attacked by a croc, but then on relection there are many, many people with zero common sense. For example, when you buy a tin of paint over here now, there's a label on the lid which informs you that it should be kept upright. Well, duh!

          2. I do not mean to laugh at your misery. That being said I can so RELATE! I've managed to get myself into some pretty hairy-scary circumstances and manage perfectly fine. I can actually RUN in high heels.....but I twisted and sprained my ankle stepping off of ONE step on my back porch in sneakers and was laid up for over a week!

          3. sorry - laughing the whole time I was reading this.... still doesn't outdo my friend Lisa, who sprained her ankle NAPPING - but she doesn't tell as story as well as you do! I'll be there in June to hike with your strong self!

          4. Oh, ladies, PLEASE DO laugh, it's a total coping mechanism for me, so you help me when this amuses you. =) SOMEthing good's got to come out of it.

            @Bub: sorry for the snaky scare. Read you Sunday post--SO funny. I could have been reading my own writing re: "something's different" and the words that flew out of your mouth. =)

            @MObugs I am in AWE that you can run in high heels. I almost never wear ANY heel, and certainly no high heels (soooo tall already), super impressed. Yup, only time I even chipped a bone was twisting ankle on FRESHLY paved, PERFECT street with NO traffic, clear skies, dry pavement, etc. NO reason. And BLAMO! Down she went.

            So odd. xoxoxoox! =)

            @Sprout: while napping. That is truly amazing. Don't know what to say. Wow. =)

          5. First- Aww, too bad. Hope you're better real soon and in time to do more SSing!

            Second: this post reminded me of the recently posted John Muir quote on FB below.

            "I was startled by a rustling sound in the rushes behind me. . . and I at once believed that the sound came from an alligator. I fancied I could feel the stroke of his long notched tail and could see his big jaws and rows of teeth, closing with a springy snap on me, as I had seen in pictures.

            Doubtless these creatures are happy and fill... the place assigned them by the great Creator of us all. Fierce and cruel they appear to us, but beautiful in the eyes of God." J Muir

            Third: My daughter once slipped on a wet lawn and rebroke her recently healed broken leg.

            Fourth: That photo of the Trail side creek is spectacular!

          6. Your recovery will make you thankful for your mobility and health and balance.

            Trust me on this one. My partner broke his back five years ago, and is now paraplegic. We are no longer able to hike, but we stubbornly and slowly explore the natural world as much as we can.

            We haven't been back to Yosemite since the accident. Long car rides are really painful.

          7. @SFG: Nice re: Muir quote. Yup, not sure the words "good" and "bad" are really useful when one is studying nature. At least I'm not a big fan. One creature's bad is another's good.
            And OHMY re: slipping on wet grass = re-broken leg. POOR thing.

            @L&R That's exactly where I was going at the end of the post. A reduction in my ability to do the things I normally do makes me grateful for what I typically can do and think about those who never get to. Glad you and yours are fighting the fight to still get out when and where you can. bb


          Cool people write inside rectangles....