Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vacation is Over

Alas.  So we spent two weeks out west, Montana, Wyoming and a drive through Idaho just so I could say that I had been there.  I've been home for a week and miss my husband like crazy already.  I'm also back in pain.  We hiked a bunch on vacation...  well, a bunch for us.  In Glacier we hiked out to Iceberg Lake, 5 miles out and 5 miles back,  it had some elevation gain, but nothing too crazy.  I managed and in the end it was so worth it to wander through hillsides of wildflowers and to see an ACTUAL iceberg in a lake.  Neat.  Not so neat was the poor guy that we passed on the trail on our way back that had to be airlifted up and out.

Our next hike was out to the Granite Park Chalet.  Literature says its a 200 ft elevation gain, that's net, not actual.  I was distressed at one point when we came around a corner and had to go up over a haystack and across a snow field but I just kept going and I am so glad I did.  About half an hour from the Chalet and about 15 minutes after we had passed that point some rocks broke off the cliff, bounded down the hill and smashed into two teenagers.  They are going to be ok, but they also had to be airlifted up and out.  We spent the night at the Chalet and then the next day hiked back down.  You had to go up to go down and in the end it was about 2300 ft. of actual down.  DOwn is easier in someways, cardio mainly, but it' a bit rough on the knee.

We took a break after that, spent the day in Missoula and then it was off to Grand Teton.  Only one big hike there and it was all flat.  About 80 sunny and gorgeous we were hoping to do a lollypop trail but it ended up being more of sickle.  We had to back track as there was no bridge over a creek.  Earlier in the season it had been closed for bear management.  The mud looked like it would suck us right in so we turned around.  Worth the effort however as there were two moose just chilling about 250 yards away.

After that it was up to Yellowstone. We've been a bunch and this time took in oldie but goodie sites.  Walked the 350+ stairs down Uncle Toms Trail in Canyon to get to the viewing area for the lower falls.  We hiked up to Inspiration point to see Old Faithful go off.  We wandered our favorite boardwalks in various geyser basins and in generally recouped from our first week.  We also bailed to Bozeman, after watching mother nature kick peoples ass already (also climbers struck by lightening at Grand Teton and a drowning at Yellowstone) I was kind of done when that Grizzly bear ate that poor man in a campground just north of the park.  I don't know why that bothered me so, but nature is no joke out there.  I feel very lucky that I only had one oops moment.  It was in Yellowstone and we were coming off of Inspiration point and my left foot slid.  I could literally feel my femur scrape across my tibia.  Yikes!  But I didn't fall!  This was huge for me.... and I know it is a result of the strengthening I have been doing.

That was almost two weeks ago and since then the knee has been going down hill.  Fast.  The Synvisc has worn off and I am sad to see it go.  The past week has involved some mental gymnastics.  Amazing to think about all these things I've just listed and I did them PAIN FREE.  Now I wince when I get out of bed in the morning.  I wish it wasn't so up and down, but what can you do.  Live.  And that's what I did.  I iced whenever I could but mostly I just did my thing.  It was awesome and freeing and I can't wait for the day that's me all the time!

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