Tripping: do it while you can.

Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
300
Location
In the mountains North of Montreal.
I've been putting off any serious trips the last few years in the pursuit of another activity always saying to myself that there are more tripping years ahead. Well I had a pretty serious injury about a month ago that may compromise any future serious wilderness trips. Only time will tell what I'll be able to do. I'm not a young person any more but my fitness has allowed me to pretty well forget about my age and hang with people 20 years younger. Now that may have all changed and all it only takes is a freak accident to put an end to something one loves to do. So I'm pleading with you all. Do it now because nothing is sure.
Take care friends.
Gerald
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
I am so sorry to hear of your injury, Gerald. I wish you a recovery that will allow you to take wilderness trips.

It's an odd coincidence that you posted this tonight as I was going over our canoe tripping choices for this summer. I never really intentionally planned portageless trips, but somehow have two planned; one on Lac Manicougan and the other Lake Superior. We did a trip in Algonquin last year to "prove we could still carry on the portages". And we did quite well. Probably more slowly than we used to. I am so aware that a fall could be very dire, and I bounce nowhere as well as I used to.

Freak accidents can happen at any age. The irony is that when you are young and heal fast, the office binds you. I am retired, footloose, and fall prone. And I am aware that I have outlived my parents. Seems unfair that the young have to work so hard.

Is part of the appeal of canoe tripping is that nothing is sure? I think so. We always hope for that elusive wildlife sighting or perfect light or fighting fish.

You and Nicole are in my prayers. Let us know if we can help your trips happen.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
137
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Damm! I'm really sorry to hear that old friend.
Any chance at all of a little LaV or La Mauricie trip? Don't need to be in a hurry. I'll do all the portaging, if any, which means that we definitely won't be in a hurry:)
I know that you've always been strong, self sufficient and proud of that, but your friends are ready to help as that's what friends are for.
Please keep us informed on how you're doing.
I have 2 solo Yukon trips up north this August. Your cautionary words have me thinking that it's time that I slowed down the pace and to be a whole lot more careful.
All the best,
Ted
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
300
Location
In the mountains North of Montreal.
Thanks YC and Ted,

Don't stop doing what you are doing now. Just be a little more cautious. Give yourselves an extra day or two to complete your routes so that you never have to rush or take chances.

We all love being in the wilderness and things happen when we expect them the least as happened to me that beautiful morning while out hiking. Here is a copy of a note I sent family after my misadventure.

"A little note to let you know that I just got out of the hospital late this afternoon. Was operated on yesterday (Saturday) for a massive quad strain. I had to wait for 4 days on "stand by" to manage to get into the OR. Quite an important sprain with lots of internal bleeding and tendon damage. I had one lousy hospital meal for the full time I was there as I had to be fasting in order to get the surgery done. It took the doc 3 hours to get all the tears sewn together. Boy does it hurt in there. I will be laid up for 6 weeks for the stitching to heal. After the 6 weeks of healing I then have to go through another 6 weeks of a supervised training program to try to get some strength back in that leg. At first they did not want to repair but just fuse the femur to the tibia because people my age usually never recover use of their leg muscles after such damage. It's only when he realized how fit I was did he decide to take a chance with me.

It happened off our snowshoe trail. I left the trail to follow a ATV trail. Did not need snowshoes that morning as everything was frozen solid from the previous mild weather. I was not paying attention to my footing as I was looking for signs of coyotes who had killed 2 deer the week before close behind the house. On a downhill my right foot slid forward and my reflex was to kick it even further forward so as to remain upright. However my boot caught a obstacle and stooped it’s forward motion instantly. All that energy was absorbed by the quad muscle witch laterally blew apart. As I mentioned it took the doc almost 3 hours to sew from the bone out to the skin in all the fissures. I fell to the ground and could see my tibia trough my pants sticking up besides the knee cap. Could not even stand. The cell phone signal was not getting to me so I went up the hill another 300 yards backwards on my ass until the signal came in and called home catching Nicole stepping out to go shopping. She managed after a lot of effort to get a neighbor (Denis) to haul me out on his ATV. A ambulance came and took me to St. Jérôme. Looks like my firewood cutting, bike riding, house repairs and Fio’s competitions are compromised for this year. Will let you know how it goes."
 
G

Guest

Guest
That is very sad news, Gerald.

Having suffered injuries in recent years that greatly reduced and limited my own canoe tripping for the past 3 years, I understand what you're going through. In my case, fortunately, it was a very slow-healing soft tissue injury (2 of them) that I'm finally getting over, but I can sympathize with your plight and can only hope with you that the prospects for recovery are better than they might appear to be now.

And thank you for posting this sobering reminder to not put off tripping on the assumption that there will always be time. Time is not enough. Wilderness tripping requires an able body and infirmity can come sooner than one expects or with complete suddenness.

In the event that tripping is no longer an option for you, I hope you will still be able to discover some other form of outdoor recreation that furnishes you with some satisfactions that you used to get from tripping.

All the best,
- Martin
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Sorry to hear the bad news Gerald. Gee, There's a picture of you walking a portage in LaVerendrye when I posted the trip report on Circuit 16, you put me to shame with the load you hauled up that hill. Lot's of options though after your feeling better, base camp with an old friend or 3 and do day trips. I haul the canoes to the water, you tell me northern stories around the campfire, call it even.

I'm planning ahead for the day I can't portage, a road trip to Yellowknife pulling a wood canvas freighter canoe with 10 horse kicker, dump it in a big lake and cruse the shorelines looking for easy campsites, room for two in them boats ya know.;)
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
300
Location
In the mountains North of Montreal.
I will do my best to get back from this as I don't want it to end yet. I really miss you guys and will do my best to join up with you. In the meantime all have a good summer and I'll be looking for your trip reports.
Gerald
 
G

Guest

Guest
I’m sorry to read of your serious injury Gerald. You are so right in saying we all need to trip while we can. Especially if you regard canoe tripping as a metaphor for living. It’s easy to take for granted many of the good things in life: good weather, good times, good friends and family, and good health. I’m confident that your good family and friends will help you “smell the roses” for now, and then join you in pushing on to enjoy all of those other good things once again. In time you’ll replace those crutches and canes, with paddles and ski poles. And then, you’ll continue your trip.
Take care.
Brad
 
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