All posts tagged hiking

Twisted Ankles

campsite

Have you ever been mad at yourself?

I mean really mad?

Last week, for the second year in a row I went on a four day backpacking trip with a group of guys.

These aren’t your “lets take the camper to the lake for Memorial Day weekend” campouts. These are your “take everything on your back or you don’t have it with you in the woods, no bathrooms, filter your water out of the nearest stream” campouts.  Each year we explore somewhere new and this year we headed for Red River Gorge Kentucky (about an hour Southeast of Lexington).

A lot of personal preparation goes into a trip like this. Because you have to carry everything on your back (your house, your bed, your kitchen, your food, your clothes…) you are very careful about what you take. I spent a lot of time getting ready. I also spent time training, walking area trails with a full pack to get my body used to the idea of carrying an extra 40 pounds.

After all of the preparation and a six hour drive I was excited to get started when we finally set out. We had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to hike and the things we wanted to see when we got there. The first day was great. We arrived in late afternoon, hiked about a mile and a half in and set up our first camp. The next morning we woke up, ate breakfast, struck camp and set out.

Sky Bridge rock formation in the Red River Gorge

We were hoping to cover around ten miles that day. The Red River Gorge area is beautiful, with huge rock formations, large stone arches, and beautiful streams. It is also amazingly hilly. Hilly doesn’t do the terrain justice. These are the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. The valley floors are several hundred feet below the ridge lines. Trails descend down one side of a gorge to the floor, and then ascend brutally up the other side.

The first trail of the day was a descent into one of those valleys. The trail was downhill and steep. After only ten minutes of hiking I made a mistake. I planted my foot in the wrong place and when I shifted my weight the weight of my backpack swung me around, but my foot stayed still. I twisted my ankle badly and skidded ten feet down the hill on my back.
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Blessings,