At first-light, Bob dropped me at the trailhead in Breckenridge.
It was cloudy and cool with little wind -
a perfect hiking day.
Light dimmed as the trail led through ancient evergreens.
Especially when I hike alone,
I'm alert to my surroundings.
Besides watching the obstacles on the trail ahead of me,
I scan peripherally through the forest every few steps.
Unfortunately, on this day, only a few minutes into my hike,
my right foot snagged and held on an obstacle.
I slammed to the ground onto my left side.
My cheekbone and lip took a hard hit on rocky ground.
My lip and the inside of my mouth where my teeth scraped bled profusely.
I could feel my face swelling at the impact point.
Using ice water from my pack, I rinsed my mouth to stop the bleeding.
I began dosing with homeopathic Arnica pills that I carry for trauma.
I moved body parts to determine if there were serious injuries.
After calming myself for a few minutes, I continued on the trail.
As I hiked, I assessed the situation.
Aside from the shock of falling,
my injuries seemed minor.
With motion, I actually felt better.
So, I continued, more cautious where I planted my feet.
The Peaks Trail starts at 10,075' (3,070M) at the base of Peak 8 in Breckenridge.
It meanders 10 miles through pine, spruce, fir, and aspen forests
ending at 9,110' (2,776M) with views of Peak One and Victoria Peak.
The trail rolls through forests and meadows,
crossing many small streams and drainages.
I watched for moose or bear but saw only chipmunks and squirrels.
As I hiked, skies threatened and then cleared.
By the time I walked to my pickup point, the sky was blue.
Bob got a horrified look on his face as he walked up the trail to greet me.
I guess I looked like I had been mugged.
My lip was bloody/puffy and cheek swollen/black and blue.
However, I felt great and was elated by the beauty of the hike.
I enjoyed solitude until about a mile from the finish
when hikers came onto the trail from the Frisco side.
Yes, I hike alone and sometimes there is danger associated with that.
People ask if I carry a cell phone - I do.
However, in the backcountry, coverage can be spotty or non-existent.
Usually, someone knows where I plan to hike.
I'm careful, though accidents can happen.
I carry first aid supplies.
Arnica pills and gel are invaluable for bruising, muscle strain, and trauma.
If I were disastrously hurt, I'd hope my family and friends could take
comfort in the fact that I was where I wanted to be doing what I love.
At 72, I wonder how many more years I can enjoy the outdoors as I do.
There will be a time when my activities are curtailed.
Thankfully, that time is not now.
This morning, we woke to this scene.
Fall is short in Breckenridge, CO.
I'm smiling a bit crookedly through a puffy lip, and there is a big purple bruise on my face.
The injuries will heal, but the memories of a gorgeous fall hike will linger.
PS Thank goodness I was carrying the Olympus on my right side - no damage to it.