17 Jun 2009

What was supposed to be a nice day…

Posted by walterheck

It is always nice to wake up in the morning, stumble into the kitchen and find a beautiful girl there that you have never met. Her name was Nat, a spanish couchsurfer who came to the US for climbing in the grand canyon, and later Alaska. After we all got up, we decided to go hiking outside of Vegas. Although Vegas is kind of in the middle of the desert, there are a lot of cool hiking spots out there. We discussed for a bit and then settled on 2 terraces, in red rock canyon. There were 4 of us: Mandie and her kiwi boyfriend Chris, Nat and me. They were all climbers and athletic people, so I definitely felt like the least fit person. That was not gonna stop me however 🙂
We set out to the canyon, a beautiful area! We hiked around 5 miles into the canyon, climbing over boulders and other big rocks until we got to two terraces. It is a beuatiful place, very serene. Just being in a canyon that far is really nice, since all sounds you normally hear are never getting into the canyon. All you hear is nature inside the canyon.

I had a hard time climbing all the way out there (as expected), but was happy to not have fallen behind. We sat there for a while before heading back. And then it happened: 20 feet from the top I twisted my ankle badly (it would later turn out to be broken 😉 ). I don’t think I have ever seen an ankle swell that fast ever before. Luckily we were close to a bit of water, so we put it in there quickly. We all knew this was bad: we were deep inside a canyon, a 5 mile climb/hike from the road. To make things worse, my flight was leaving that evening and Mandie had to work a few hours later.
We decided there was no point in waiting to start walking, since these kind of things usually start feeling worse after the first hour or so. We started hiking, me ooh-ing and aah-ing, while we were contemplating our best course of action. Luckily, we were okay on water and ration. We decided that it was best that Mandie and Chris would head out, so that Mandie could get to work and Chris could then come back with the car to pick me and Nat up.
The next couple of hours were spent stumbling out of the canyon, trying to place my foot in the least painful way with every step. Surprisingly, the steeper first part was easier since it provided the opportunity to use my hands to carry a lot of the weight. Nat was really awesome through all of this. She helped me down when I needed it, even though she is probably half my weight. She kept talking to me and handing me a cane whenever I needed it.
In the end, I was really happy when we got out. We both had unspoken doom visions of rescue choppers in the back of our heads and were really glad I made it out without them!
It was 6 when we got out, which meant that it took us around 4 hours to hike out of what took us 2 hours to hike into. I can easily say these were some of the most painful 4 hours of my life (I have never broken a bone before).
When we got to the first parking lot, we needed to find a ride to the main entrance where Chris would be waiting. It was clear we were hikers that just came out of the canyon. My foot was thick as hell and i was stumbling along. Yet, the first car we asked managed to deny us a ride (they were clearly afraid of us). The people inside were clearly not hikers, but rich people just driving the loop that passes through the national park in front of the canyon.
The next car however, picked us up and dropped us off right next to Chris’ car. He had been waiting there for a few hours already and was getting pretty worried. He had just decided to finish the chapter he was reading and then would go and figure out different options.
We got in the car and went back home. I had barely enough time to get a bit of rest, take a shower (I was dirty as hell, sweaty and tired) and grab my things. I took some painkillers and then I needed to go.
Mandie was really sweet to get out of work early, so we just caught her when I was leaving. Nat offered to give me a ride all the way to the airport, so I didn’t have to follow the original plan of catching some busses to get there. At the airport, I was driven to the plane in a wheelchair by the crankiest woman ever. I was apparently expected to tip her, but I only had two single dollars left. I ended up giving her a 5 euro bill, which she reluctantly accepted after asking me how many dollars that was (it’s around 7).
I got on the plane to Fort Lauderdale and was very happy to have made it after this eventful day!

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8 Responses to “What was supposed to be a nice day…”

  1. Well, maybe that’s the quality of your new camera but you managed to look like a downright redneck hillbilly on that video. Setting the good example for integration? 🙂



  2. Auchhhhhhhhhhh, I am sorry about your anckle, I hope you are doing better……….do you have a cast on it…… I bet lots of people will be happy to write nice things on it…..is your family worry about you?
    I bet they are!!!!!!!! so how are you surviving your travel now, I hope you talk about it and let us know how you are getting along with a broken anckle, maybe is time to take it easy and stay put for a while……
    Best wishes



  3. Did you get on the plane with a broken ankle before going to a hospital? Damn, that must have really been painful! Hope it? better now.




  4. @Ruud: let’s just chalk that one under “new experiences”. Painful and interesting ones at that 🙂



  5. Well in that case I bet you can’t wait to get assfucked by a walrus on a trip to Iceland…



  6. Assuming that would be a new experience of course…



  7. Well, don’t look at me. I didn’t tell him…!




  8. Hey walter its bruno from belo horizonte. Hope ur foot’s fine.
    Although as i saw the footage u got some great landscapes.


    Bruno Leao