Friday, February 25, 2011

Riley Moore Falls

Two weeks ago, I ventured our for my first dose of athletic activity since the twisted ankle and torn back cartilage.  I made yet another trip to the mountains of upstate South Carolina, and went out on a hike to Riley Moore Falls.  Chris (my cousin) and I had been wanted to head up that way for awhile and do some geocaching down by the river.  The weather forecast looked perfect for a deep woods hike.

I didn't have a good map of the area, but I had a GPS with some geocaches stored as waypoints to give me some idea of where we were going.  Chris and I drove eleven miles into the mountains before turning onto the unpaved dirt road that took us closer to the trailhead.  We had to park at the start of an old logging road, as my Altima is NOT a working substitute for a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  The GPS said it was about half a mile from the start of the logging road to the river.

About 1/2 mile later, we reached the trailhead.  Another 10 minutes or so on the trail, and we reached the sign that said the falls were 0.6 miles away.  Now, I don't know about you, but my math tells me that by the time we reach the falls, we will have hiked around 1-1.5 miles.  Stupid GPS.  But we kept trudging along, enjoying the crisp winter air, the privacy of being the only two people on the trail, and the possibility of being the FTF on a new cache at the bottom of the valley.  And the we turned a corner....

.....the sound of the water reached our ears.  We manuevered some switchbacks, and then, there they were.

Aren't they beautiful?  The length of the hike stopped mattering.  We made our way the last 50ft or so, and stood together on the riverbank.

The next hour was spent searching for that elusive cache hidden somewhere at the falls.  You may have deduced that I'm not great at reading the maps on a GPS.  So you shouldn't be surprised that we didn't find anything except a gorgeous picnic and swimming spot.  But if that is the only things we EVER find down there, it will always be completely worth the hike.

As for the hike back UP the mountain, I will simply say that I have never been so happy to see this car.

So, what did this hiking equation add up to?  I've discovered that I absolutely LOVE hiking.  I think I've found a new athletic activity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's a Freaking Conspiracy

That stupid twisted ankle!  No, my ankle doesn't hurt at all.  It hasn't hurt since the day after I twisted it.  But my back?  My hip and pelvis?  It turns out that when I twisted the ankle, in the process of saving myself from falling, I tore my L5, and possibly the L4, facet.  Nothing horrible, nothing requiring surgery or anything like that.  But enough to cause excrutiating pain for about 3 days, followed by not-so-excrutiating pain for a day, followed by the last two days of moderate muscle soreness and stiffness.  I've had two days of treatment, which literally worked miracles.  In the midst of all the pain, I did managed to drive to South Carolina and visit my new 3-week-old cousin.  Holding him may have caused extra muscle soreness, but it was totally worth it!

So, to sum it all up, I'm still not exercising.  It's all I can do to walk from my office to my car every morning and evening (and that walk totals close to 3/4 of a mile, so I'm not really complaining).