The weekend was one that I had been looking forward to for some time now. I took time off, we found a babysitter (Grandma and Grandpa) for the WHOLE weekend and we headed North.
Saturday, October 17
As we entered the Northern Forest I thought to myself it was going to be a cold day. Snow was in the forecast, the wind was howling and I forgot to bring an extra pair of socks. What were we doing in the forest in the middle of nowhere? It’s moose season.
When it comes to moose, I feel they are like the Sasquatch. There’s talk, many stories and a few photos, but are they really out there?? I’m kidding of course, I know they’re real but sometimes they appear in the least expected places and when you go out looking, they become non-existent. The entire forest was quiet except for the odd bird calling out to its friends about the crazy orange creature’s location.
It did snow that day. It was cold that day. It was also very uneventful and relaxing. the smell of the jack pines, the feel of the cold air biting at your face, the warmth of the fire as it thaws your fingers.
Dark comes early these days, earlier than usual when the skies are covered with snow clouds and you’re out in the bush. So we stopped for a quick cup of hot coffee while we put our feet up and enjoyed the quiet. Then we began the journey back toward our truck to get things packed up and make our drive back home. Hard to believe there is ice on the ponds. Where has the summer gone?
Sunday, October 18
This was the morning I got news of my friends husband. It was a hard morning and I really just wanted to crawl back into bed and hate the world. But… I got my stuff together and we headed out again looking for that elusive moose. Other than the bad news, this day looked much like Saturday only the wind wasn’t as high. Deciding to try a different area, we opted for a more densely wooded area which would provide more shelter and more difficult terrain with the quad. This also means more adventure 🙂
A couple of kilometers into the forest we stumble upon a tent with a chimney, a couple of atv trailers, gas cans and a fair size pile of wood. Obviously this means there are other hunters in the area but my mind went straight to the crazy cabin in the woods and I could see no good end to this meeting if it should happen. Off we drove, leaving the camp behind us as we came to a fork in the trails. This is the moment I imagined we would pick the wrong one and end up lost with some crazies on our tails as we try to find our way out of the forest maze unharmed and alive.
The way we picked ended up at a “dead end” of sorts so we instead of chancing the ice on the swamp, we opted to turn around and find a surely drier way to go. A lot further down on one of the other small trails we took was a wide open space where loggers had once been leaving fallen trees and debris from their visit scattered across a large amount of the area. New trees have yet to grow and this will one day be a beautifully green and full area of forest and all the critters that comes along with that. But for now it meant a nice place to stop for coffee and enjoy the sun shining down and warming us while we perched our behinds on a couple of tree stumps.
It was time to head back. It’s hard to know how far to safely go in a dense forest without getting lost. My fear is that something will go wrong and we won’t have cell coverage or be able to get out…or no way for a helicopter to reach us. Not that anything has ever happened (knock on wood).
As we re-traced our tracks heading back toward a different trail we came across the men who were staying at the camp. As far as I could tell they were a couple of very nice individuals who were welcoming, hospitable (offered us drinks at their campsite before leaving for home) and good sportsmen with a great sense of humor. They were from Fiske and Imperial, two places I had not heard about previously. And an important note to make here is that they, in no way what-so-ever, seemed to be a threat LOL (Although I still suggested we decline the meeting for drinks later on)
Around 2 pm, we had travelled our last trail and after tipping the quad and nearly falling into a knee deep swamp through the ice, closely rolling the quad down sideways down a steep hill, not quite steep enough to be considered a cliff though, I humbly asked if we could call this a day and go the 3 hours to pick up the kids. I also mentioned it would be nice if I could walk (or slide) down the hill, across the makeshift bridge at the bottom, over the rocks on the other side and up to meet the hubby and quad on safe ground. This of course was not a well received suggestion and so I got back on the quad and off we went. Less than a minute later I was screaming out in pain. My knee had buckled as we hit a small fallen tree about 4 inches in diameter. Just the way the tire hit it, the quad jumped and my leg bounced up and when it came into contact again with the quad, it somehow buckled and left me in more pain than I could have imagined. More pain than I had ever felt before.
My leg was swollen from my knee to my ankle and I couldn’t put any pressure at all on it. It was quite a task to get out of the hunting attire and into the truck. I was still in pain as we borrowed some crutches from that same friend who was with her husband in the hospital. It’s been many years since I was on crutches and I must confess this is not an easy task to master. The crutch-walking skill is not like riding a bike haha. It requires practice and muscles that you tend not to use too much as you get a little older. I’m a stubborn goat when it comes to going to the hospital. I don’t have a problem making an appointment and seeing my family doctor, but hospitals are different. But after being home for less than an hour I realized that was exactly where I was heading.
Our hospital is small. Really small. With only 2 ER rooms I knew I was going to be put in one that held terrible memories. My defense was to just hurry this whole thing along as quickly as possible, I answered the questions, made some jokes, made small talk with the nurses while waiting for x-rays, etc. After two hours there I was told that I needed to take calcium pills, my bones weren’t as good as they should be for my age and nothing was dislocated. (Thank you for stopping by, here’s your cheque, have a great day)
I asked the doctor as he was turning to leave. “Is it the ligaments then? Should I ice it and relax?” My mind is racing because number one, I’m sitting in the same room and bed that my mother died on, the same room that my Grandma was rushed to when she had her last heart attack, and my freakin leg hurts to put pressure on it. You can’t tell me that there’s nothing wrong with it. Well, you can but I’m going to argue with you. He proceeds to tell me that there’s no need to ice it because there is no swelling, to which my voice begins to get a little louder as I tell him to look at it again because I’m no going to let him tell me there’s no swelling there. How can you say that? His reply? Well, maybe a little.
This is where I take a break. If you’re still here, thank you for reading and I will continue my story later.
Take care Friends,