I’m not a big fan of hiking. Mostly because of a serious injury i sustained while hiking Chocurua in New Hampshire in 1997. On the way down i rolled my ankle and stupidly hiked on it for the next hour (the 3 guys i was with might have had something to do with my bravado). At this point i’d like to impress upon everyone that immediately after an injury you must R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for at least an hour. Every minute that you delay RICE-ing you add a day onto your recovery time. So my hour of heroism got me 2 weeks on the couch taking pain killers and icing, a month of severe pain, and 2 months walking with a limp. This set the stage for a whole host of other problems as i didn’t start seeing a physio until 5 years later. i’ve cured most of the injury with my yoga practice, but it’s been a long journey.
My family was so surprised i was intending to hike Tumbledown that more than one of them asked me if i was ok. I had to tell everyone i was definitely going so that i wouldn’t be left behind. i was a bit worried, another sprained ankle could make the next few weeks (not to mention my flight home) uncomfortable, but i put my faith in my yoga practice and recent training and bit the bullet. it was time to suck it up and join the rest of the family on the traditional summer hike.
Tumbledown is just over 3000 ft high and has several trails to the summit. One of them (the Chimney Trail) has been closed due to landslides and the fact that several people have gotten stuck in the chimney. The Loop Trail that we climbed has a small crevice called ‘Fat Man’s Misery’ that can prove a bit of a squeeze for some. The reward at the top is beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and a swim in a small pond before the hike down. The whole journey took us about 3 hours, including the swim, snacks and photo-op at the top.
After the hike down and second snacking frenzy we headed to Coos Canyon for another dip. Which proved that deep down i am a giant chicken. I blame it on the freezing water. So one small jump and swim for me and i was ready to go.
I think i’ll leave hiking for another 12 years, still not a fan. But overall the hike wasn’t as bad as i remember and i’m only a little footsore (wrong shoes). The family might be able to convince me to go again next year. And maybe i’ll be less of a chicken at Coos.