TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Mission Unaccomplished

First mission unaccomplished was my original plan to wake at the crack of dawn and go for a mountain run.  I did wake at the crack of dawn (actually before dawn).  I could not however, walk due to the pain in my foot.  I pushed myself from wall to wall to move about the house.  Even though I knew my foot would probably get better (it’s always the worst when I wake), this disheartened trail runner went back to sleep.

I woke again several hours later feeling way, way down in the dumps.

I didn’t have a good morning.

I didn’t have a great early afternoon.

Eventually, I laced up my shoes and ran out the door for a run along some of our beaches.  Yes, that’s right.  I opted for sidewalk and sand over dirt trails.  I felt a bit sluggish but enjoyed my time running the city streets.  One thing I noticed was that it was LOUD with all sorts of noises:  car motors, people talking, dogs barking.  But it was also beautiful.  I live in a gorgeous city.

 Beach Access:

Even though I see the Pacific Ocean every day, catching first glimpse of white water at Salt Creek Beach on my run this afternoon was breathtaking. 

After running Salt Creek’s crowded sand, I turned the corner for a run along Dana Strands.  Off in the distance I focused on the headlands, Dana Point’s famous headlands.  I’ve run on top of them, I’ve near and around them on both sides.  But it’s been a long, long time since I’ve gone around them.  It’s a daunting task, and probably shouldn’t be done alone.  The rocks are steep and jagged, and the way is very slippery.  On the plus side, there’s a private little beach where I could get my quiet solitude that I missed from trails.  I was game and a little giddy about it!  The tide seemed low enough to make it.  And I figured I’d be okay because I’d climb carefully and would certainly turn back if the tide was too high.

The Headlands:

Making my way along the base, prepared and confident for my first climb:

The First Big Climb (not so difficult, but slippery and a fall could mean a plunge into the ocean):

After making that first climb, this is where I stood – absolute bliss:

The front base of the headlands was numerous with tide pools as I remembered.  Occasionally, a wave crashed up on the plateau as I made my way across.  The work was difficult, as I needed to use both lower and upper body strength to make my way up and down the sharp boulders. 

With a water bottle in one hand, I clicked the camera in my other.  My private beach was now in view when I stopped for a few last pictures before descending down the plateau’s rocky edge.  I jumped that last step, as it was too far down to reach.  When I landed I took another step (I think) and then I don’t know what happened.  I remember realizing that I was losing my balance, and then I went down, down as in tumbled down over the sharp, jagged rocks.  My knee, my arm, my shin, they all took terrible hits.  Then on the last tumble, I flew right down into a gigantic tide pool.  I went under, fully submerged, taking my camera and phone with me and a big gulp of salt water. 

In utter disbelief, I quickly jumped out.  I stood there with my sopping wet camera in my hand and cried.  Blood streamed from a gash in my right shin.  My right knee as well ached with a minor scrape revealing itself right away.  And my right arm, specifically my elbow was bleeding.  I was most worried about my camera.

Okay, take control, Lauren.  That’s what I told myself.  I stopped crying and decided that I should not continue the journey.  I chose to carefully make my way back and call my husband for a ride home.  That is what I did.  Back at home, he cleaned me up, disinfected beneath the torn pieces of flesh on my elbow and arm. 

I didn’t break any bones.  I have worn my right arm in a sling all night.  The arm is swollen and ugly.  Ibuprofen did wonders.  So did a warm blanket.

These were two of the questions I got from my family:

My husband asked, “Were you scared?”  Funny, that’s one thing I wasn’t.  I never felt scared.  I felt surprised.  I felt sad.  And I felt angry.  And then finally relief.  But I never felt scared (too stupid to be scared Winking smile).

My middle son asked, “Did you almost drown?”  No, I didn’t come anywhere near drowning.  Even the gulp of seawater that I took in didn’t take my breath away.  Thank God I didn’t hit my head.  If I knocked myself out, there could have been much more dire consequences. 

Well, there you have it.  My missions unaccomplished today.  I did get in a 6.25 mile run.  So that is good.  My husband rescued me.  And that was good.  And I seemingly haven’t broken anything, and that is good.

Here’s one last picture, probably the last one I took.  Off in the distance is the private beach where I wanted to take in some silence.  My fall occurred probably about twenty five feet from my position.  It is beautiful, don’t you think?

4 comments:

  1. It is very beautiful! Now there is a run I can come and do with you one day. I would love it! I had many similar runs in Mauritius recently and loved it. Luckily I never had a fall. I see myself as quite a good rock hopper next to the ocean... ;) I'm glad you are OK. Take care Lauren!

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    1. Mauritius looks like paradise. Would love to run there.

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  2. Gorgeous photos! I'm glad you are OK. You are brave for venturing out there alone!

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