September 20, 2009

The Fall

Off Ramshorn Road, somewhere around here, I fall a couple of metres over a dry riverbank while taking a photo some distance away from my car and the "road" (a rough dirt track, in reality). I land on mixed sand and rock, and sprain my right wrist and ankle, bruise my shoulder, cut my arm, graze my leg, and tear my jeans (and just avoid destroying my camera, somehow, which was all that really mattered at the time). I can't seem to use my right arm properly to get me back up to the car (it's partially paralyzed). When I do get back up I sit on the dirt road in the shade next to the car thinking I'm the dumbest guy I know: I just casually broke every one of my own rules for wilderness work on my own, and damn nearly ended up with a bunch of broken bones (or worse) in the middle of nowhere without anyone having a clue I was even in the area; and it's possible no one would have come across me for days.

I drive very slowly back out over the bumpy dirt road towards civilisation and just as slowly the shoulder and right arm start working again, and by the time I'm back in Mt Shasta, I feel sore but fine, and I can joke about it to the supermarket checker as I'm buying bandages and antiseptic. I must look a sight — I have blood on my shirt, and my hair's a matted mess of sweat and blood (mostly from my arm as I brushed the sweat away). I've bought some Hello Kitty bandages along with the more serious stuff, just to cheer me (and anyone who sees me) up. The checker — a woman about my age — looks at the HK package and then up at me, and says conspiratorially "Hello Kitty will fix anything, won't she?".

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