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Annie : Mt Lassen - Geocaching and Hiking
Diary entry posted Tue 8:35am 5 July 2005

July 5

Hi everybody. I've been gone for a bit again, so I thought I would take a minute and update again. While my daughter was still at my folk's house my husband and I decided to take our little trailer out again and do some peaceful camping. We left last Wednesday (came back last night) and went up to Hat Creek, which is about 15 miles north of Mt Lassen Volcanic Park. It is absolutely beautiful up there and SOOOOO quiet, really a great place to get away from it all for a bit.

The first day, I got to drive a golf cart for about 5 hours and watch my husband attempt a game of golf at a nearby golf course. I say attempt, because he has played all of about 6 games in his life. I was laughing so hard at times, I think it was better than watching a comedy on our home theater. I believe what we were doing must have been some other version of golf than what most play, because we spent most of our time in the stickers playing hide and go seek with the ball. I kind of thought the ball was supposed to be somewhere on that lovely green stuff, but apparently my husband plays a different kind of game. I kept thinking if they put a GPS locator in the ball at least we could have found it. Anyway, that was one very humorous game. I hope at some point, we end up more on the pretty green stuff.

The next day we spent doing simple hikes and geocaching. That is still great exercise for my foot, but I still find myself so much more tenuous than I ever was. I suppose at some point I will become more comfortable and stare less at what this foot is doing, but for now, I am still pretty careful. At one point, we visited Subway Cave which is a 1/3 mile lava tube. The floor is riddled with bumpy protrusions, and felt like a 1/3 mile version of the BAPS (wobble) board. It is pitch black inside so you do it with a flashlight. That was a true test of my ability to trust my foot. I find myself much more apprehensive in situations than before (I used to love being underground), but I am getting better as time goes on.

One other day, we took the drive through Lassen Park, which ascends to 8500' and is simply spectacular. There is still a ton of snow up there, and a lot of the trails are still not open due to that. I was not interested in snow hiking yet, so we basically did a lot of sightseeing. We also drove to the Lake Almanor area, a favorite spot for water sport enthusiasts. It's a spot we are interested in for a retirement place down the road. It's got water, is close to tons of hiking and exploring, and all kinds of interesting stuff. Anyway, it was a really fun day.

As for my foot, for the most part it behaved. At the beginning of the trip, it was hurting and stiff for who knows what reason. It still just does that at times. Being my right foot, that is the most difficult aspect I find with driving. When I am doing the driving, I have to have my foot on the gas pedal and I cannot keep flexing it to keep it from stiffening up. As a consequence, on long drives most of the time my husband does the driving and I continually flex my foot. I have learned even though it was my "lead" foot, not to step out of the car and "land" on the ground with it as that can be jarring. Other than that, it is doing fairly well. The hiking around really works it, and I usually end up with a donut of swelling around it, particularly around my tibia knob. I have found that I can massage it and "move" the swelling which really loosens up the joint, so often before I go to sleep I will spend a couple of minutes doing just that. I also need to find some really good hiking boots with good ankle support now that the majority of the swelling has dissipated. Right now I am wearing my off-road running shoes which don't have a lot of support in the ankle area. They are working for this simple stuff though.

All in all, it felt wonderful to be back out in the open air again. The hiking is medicine for my soul, and therapy for my foot. Today, we head out with the trailer to go down by the Sacramento area as our daughter will be flying home tomorrow. Being in such huge urban areas will be nothing like the last trip, but we have found a nice campground in the trees so for a few days we can relax before heading back home. This will probably be our last trip away any distance with fire season starting to heat up, so to speak. From that point on, I will just hike my own hills and mountains and continue the therapy on my ankle. Hope all of you are continuing well in your own recoveries. I wish you all the best, Annie

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 Tue 8:35am 5 July 2005
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