Radiology Rhetoric and Invitation to my party 🎉

I’m reading my MRI results on my left foot ,with a dictionary by my side ,to decipher the radiologist’s findings. Two pages long full of medical/technical terms. He does sound rather intelligent and knowledgeable in his report. But I couldn’t understand any of it.

My bone fracture has healed but apparently there are many more issues with my foot that continue to cause high levels of pain during my beloved activities of hiking and tennis. Even just walking.

I am sidelined from all impact type activities and back in a boot for the next month. After my hour or so long pity party, I decided to research exactly what’s causing all my pain.

The only thing I heard during my doctors appointment was ” Get back in the boot and stop having any kind of fun” . Okay, not a direct quote ,but that’s what I heard.

Here is the best translation I could come up with from the MRI report using google/dictionary

1. I have bone marrow swelling where the tendons and ligaments attach to my heel bone with some widening … of something around there . This is caused by response to an injury. ( guessing the heel fracture started all that )

2. Swelling ( large amounts of fluid) were found inside my ankle joint and on the bottom of my heel.

3. The tendon that attaches to the underside of my foot and controls movement in my ankle is disturbed deep enough to compress a nerve.

4. I have a longitudinal split tear. Also ,at least, a partial thickness tear. He suggested an ultrasound to confirm/enhance the findings.

5. My planter fascia is over double the thickness of a normal fascia.

6. Combine all this together and it equals planter fasciitis with tears to tendons and ligaments. With severe swelling /compression/tightening/ causing intense pain.

7. Treatment: start with a month in the boot and extremely limited activity. Ice and Motrin. Keep foot elevated as much as possible.

8. Re-evaluate and when healed begin PT and possible cortisone shots. Then consider slowly trying activities.

Once again, my goal of finishing all the hikes on my trail map is sidelined.

My love/hate relationship with Tennis is on hold. Love the sport but hate the lack of my ability to put together everything I’ve learned into practice during a match.

My hiking club is without a leader.

I feel another pity party coming on so I best stop here.

Sincerely,

Gimp

ps: you’re invited to my party

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6bAPlojfgO0

Selfie after first pity party, but at least I was having a good hair day 😉

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Hiking Club Shenanigans

What do you do when a friend suggests starting a hiking club?

Jump up and down and agree to it immediately? Yes, that’s what I did! How fun to have a group to share adventures with!

We are starting off with 7 members and 5 of us were able to do the first hike today.

We selected a short local favorite hike, Fatmans Loop. If you veer off this trail you can climb to the top of Mt. Elden.

Fatmans Loop

Click the link above for more info on this hike and it’s unique name.

One of our members had to turn around after 30 minutes into hike due to prior commitments. This is the text she sent us during her descent back down.

She didn’t even scream . Maybe because she knew it was just a milk snake and totally harmless. But look how long it is!!!

This hike is known for being a bit rocky and dusty with very little shade on the climb up. But thanks to recent moisture from a Spring snowstorm last week we were treated to some color to brighten the otherwise dreary landscape.

Next week we are tackling a section of the Arizona Trail ! So stay tuned.

Hopefully I won’t have to do this after every hike.

Heading back to foot doc today for a follow up.

Hopefully there is no mention of “rest” or “boot” or lecture on not ” over doing” it. Ha! As if I can be reasonable and moderate in my desire to hike and play tennis.

Be serious!

Arizona Trail and Tempting Detours

I am going to finish hiking all the sections of the Arizona Trail that run through Flagstaff by the end of May and thus so completing all the trails on my Flagstaff hiking map. I will add up the mileage and number of hikes once I complete these few last sections.

The forecast is predicting 3 inches of snow between 11pm tonight and 11am tomorrow but this afternoon you’d never believe it.

Bright blue skies and a comfortable 68 degrees as I began this sectional hike. An occasional gust of chilly wind was the only clue the weather change might be coming.

This section of the AZ trail goes from Walnut Canyon to Fisher Point. Last year I hiked from Fisher Point towards Walnut Canyon ,so to complete this section I started at Walnut Canyon until I reached the intersection I had previously turned around on. I’m sure there was a much clearer way to explain that.

Anyways, the trail was rocky but relatively flat until the switchbacks started leading me down into the canyon. But first..

I saw this chewed to the bone deer leg near the side of the trail and tried not to think about whatever it was that had gnawed on it.. not to mention completely ripped it off the deers body.

As I continued hiking I saw several other various bones and all of a sudden I had this incredible desire to find all the bones of this poor deer and try to reconstruct it. Not that I thought I could bring it back to life, but more like a puzzle;fitting all the pieces together. You know, how people try to reconstruct dinosaur bones all together? Yes, I have a weird brain. But I also have a terrible sense of direction and knew if I went in search of all the bones I’d most likely get way off trail and be lost forever until someone found my bones scattered all around the woods and put me back together to try and identify me. Then I got to thinking about being gnawed on like the deer and hastily dismissed all thoughts on this matter.

There is little to no water to be found on a majority of the Arizona Trail. So this handmade ” game water” sign intrigued me. Was this truly notification of water nearby? Was this how the predator lured the deer closer? Was it a mind game? Why was it protected by a barbed wire fence? Such mystery. Upon closer inspection I saw this:

Looks like metal roofing laying on the ground. I see no water. Nor water troughs. Doesn’t appear to be constructed to collect water. The barbed wire and thoughts of the gnawed deer like kept me from further exploration.

Back on the rocky trail and onto the switchbacks led to beautiful views and glimpses of the canyons beauty which eased my mind back into a peaceful purposeful hike.

Some darker clouds made an appearance and suggested rain might be on its way. And if temperatures drop that rain could turn to snow. Oh Flagstaff , how I love your quirkiness! No April showers or May flowers for this city. Too ordinary and expected .

I finished the rest of the section I needed to and uneventfully so.

Though some sweet soul left ” trail magic” for the hardy through hikers.

I might return to this spot someday and leave trail magic. The kind of trail magic I’d like to find. The stuff you’d never carry in your backpack .

I’m thinking an ice chest full of raspberry chocolate, ice cold raspberry ale, fruity ice cream bars, raspberry lemonade-and slushees. Hmm. Can you tell what I crave when I’m on a long hike?

Until next exciting adventure,

Cure the Flu by following the Force

I was hit TWICE by the nasty flu and was barely able to stay awake much less hike.

I decided enough was enough and I needed to make progress on my hiking goal so my also sick , daughter and I headed out to do the Deer Hill Trail. It’s long but relatively flat .

This is what 2 sick girls and a pitiful tea cup chi look like during the hike.

We needed to lay on the couch the rest of the day but we decided it was worth the effort. Check that off my map.

A few days later I talked Clutch into doing the Priest Draw/Howard loop, home of world class bouldering.

The only boulder climbers we saw were just lying on a rock slab tanning. But the limestone rock does want to make you climb. So I did. Sorta. The first trail was well-marked but abruptly ended at a wooden fence with no signage. So Clutch decides to bushwhack our way through the forest until we meet up with a trail looping back. Just when I thought we were in the middle of no where , we came upon this sign .

No doubt this was a trail. But if this was Darth were we just being led to the dark side ? Okay, his head his white so maybe it’s safe. We get on this trail and soon it disappears.. but look what was waiting for us..

Bless the souls who left the Carin for us.. we continue on until a steep ravine is in front of us.. but once again..

A market told us to carry on. And we did until this next sign

Whoever made these markers, bless you! We followed them until we ended back on the loop we started.

We hiked a little over 4 miles and I was a bit whiny but only had to nap for an hour when I got home.

New Years arrived and I was going to kill this flu inside me… once and for all! I convinced my neighbors to do the 2 mile trek on Sunset to get to the Brookbank Trail which took us to the Oldham Trail then to the Rocky Ridge Trail. Oh yeah!

Proof! Of course I had to stop to hold up some boulders and force some jerky and water down myself.

What a beautiful day for such a nice long hike that allowed me to check off 3 trails on my map! I didn’t even need a nap. I was still able to breathe and my coughing was almost gone!

2018 I’m ready for a healthy hiking goal achievement! The weather has been unseasonably warm so I’m able to crank out some hikes. I only have a few sections of the Arizona Trail left, and 3 more other hikes!! I’m so close I can almost taste it! It’s gonna taste like sweet success which will indubitably lead to a new hiking map !

Adventure awaits you!

Get outside and breathe fresh air and follow Darth markers to the path of healing.

See ya soon

Andorra, the love child of Spain and France

🇪🇸 +🇫🇷 =🇦🇩

The Spanish and French flags are combined into one for Andorra.

Click below to learn a bit about the history of this unique place.

History of Andorra

While in Barcelona, ready to embark on a 13 day trans Atlantic cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic, we took time to explore a tiny bit of France and a great portion of Andorra.

In France (ax-les thermes) we explored a few natural hot springs. One was in front of a hospital that used to treat lepers.

I did not venture into this one, but did opt for a more central hot spring that I dipped my toes in.

We dined at this Amazing restaurant that is entirely run by the owner. She cooks, serves, cleans, and even lives in her small restaurant.

This is my brother and the restaurant owner outside her place. They are holding a bottle of very lovely, and inexpensive red wine. It was served with lunch and so outstanding we bought 2 bottles for later!

This fresh produce market is next door to the restaurant and where she can conveniently purchase the freshest ingredients to cook with!

This quaint commune was so picturesque I could not get enough of it, but here are a few highlights:

The civil unrest in Barcelona extends into other areas where the Catalonian’s reside. Our tour guide is married to a Catalonian and gave us a unique viewpoint on the current conflict .

Now onto, Andorra. My featured country. I will withhold my comments and allow the pictures to speak for themselves.

More adventures to post later!