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Breaking’s Bad

By the time you read this account, I will have been through most of my recovery time. Performing my daily duties as Winter Caretaker for wilderness properties I tried to be so careful … .It had already been a challenging day. At the most remote of three camps, I was already dealing with having lost the phone and computer access at the lodge two days before. Late morning, I also lost electricity. Without power on the property, I couldn’t even contact headquarters with the walkie-talkie. In that this is a solitary job, I was feeling pretty isolated. Glad I brought my 0-degree sleeping bag, and I could always start a roaring fire in the fireplace.Halfway through my cabin rounds, I had to make a choice of how I’d negotiate a large ice sheet cascading down from a culvert. I chose poorly. I had walked carefully over this little bridge spanning a frozen creek several times that week. But, in a micro-second, off a small patch of ice, I was down on my back. On the ground, like an overturned turtle, I took inventory on just how bad the fall had been. It wasn’t until I got back to the lodge (with lights back on!) that I could strip off my heavy jacket and see that my aching wrist was bent at an unnatural angle.I was able to drive myself down the mountain to the emergency room. Surprisingly busy at midnight on a Thursday — with some poor souls needing far more attention than me — I had a nice stay until 4 o’clock in the morning, sandwiched between someone moaning endlessly and another coughing up blood. With no rooms available, sitting in a hallway, I found out that my wrist was indeed broken, certainly confirming my pain level at about a 15 out of scale to 10.Following surgery that put Humpty Dumpty back together again with plates and screws, I’m back at work again. My biggest problem now is to figure out how to successfully duct tape a deodorizer to this stinky cast for a few more weeks.T. Duren Jones spends time in the Colorado wilderness as often as possible. He has hiked hundreds of trails, completed the nearly 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, and has summited all 54 of Coloradoís 14,000-foot peaks. He loves the outdoors. He hates snakes.

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