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Ooops! No Top-o-Mountain Majesties for me!


Twin Lakes, Colorado

I was really looking forward to seeing the backbone of the continent from the top of Mt. Elbert, but my own backbone has failed me again. I think there's really something wrong here. It's been bothering me off and on for a year, but it's a teasing sort of thing. Days go by when I hardly notice it.

It's bad when bending over, like when I'm brushing my teeth, and yesterday evening it got bad again when I was bending over to exit the trailer, carrying a hot pot of potatoes and green beans and a raw steak down to the pit. Somehow I managed to sit down in the doorway without spilling anything. Stayed there a while, thinking sic transit gloria, etc. A little later I took some codeine and went to bed.

This morning I'm wearing a brace.

There's been a uneasy pattern this trip. A bad day followed by 4 or 5 days of recuperation, then another slip.

I can't complain too much, though. This is beautiful country to get laid up in.

But I'm getting convinced it's time to quit fooling around and develop the spine to see a surgeon. I've been hoping it's a pulled muscle. I mean, the pain doesn't travel down my limbs, like it did when I broke my neck. But a muscle eventually heals, and this is not doing so.

My father died of a thoracic aneurysm, because he wouldn't go to the doctor when he felt bad. In this regard I am not about to take after him. When I get back, I'm going to get to the bottom of this. And if it doesn't get better, I may be getting back sooner than I had planned.

I had hoped for a more physically active trip. I may have to settle for reading and lazing about above a lake in the shadow of the finest peaks in the continent. Darn.

I managed to get about three quarters up Elbert a decade ago, but a couple of 12 year old boys declared they weren't taking another step.

Actually what I was hoping for this trip was not so much a peak as a second wind. At one point or another, this country has always given me a burst of energy, a second wind. I haven't been able to do enough this trip to earn one.

So. Today I'm just gonna try to get some laundry done. That's it. I'm glad I got the tire off and a new grease cap fitted Monday, before this happened.

Maybe I'll backtrack 20 miles and try the springs again. Yeah. Like I said, this ain't such bad country to be laid up in. It's nearly noon now, and only 61 degrees. Life could definitely be worse.


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