“Back already from your trip?” you ask, “I thought you just left for Evolution Valley yesterday?”.

Lesson #1 – Gaiters do not work when they are in your backpack and not on your legs
Lesson #2 – Watch your footing on granite when shaley rocks are present, regardless of slope
Lesson #3 – If you do need to bail on your trip to seek medical care, do so where you have relatives living right down the hill

After 6 hours in the car yesterday we arrived at the high country reservoir called Florence Lake which looked interesting as its mostly drained right now so they can do work on the dam.? The usual packing, sunscreening, clearing out the car and putting stuff in bear boxes and we were off to the closed down store at the edge of the lake? to consider our route. The dry lake was the reason we? needed to hike extra mileage, as the water taxi was not running, but also offered another opportunity to cut some mileage off the southern shore maintained trail route. The off trail northern route looked doable as the basin was mostly smooth granite, little mud as far as we could see.

We set off and not 500 yards from the lot I slipped on some shaley granite. Torqued my ankle a bit but popped back up prepared to go on. Until I looked down.? A wide 2″ gash in my shin? – dark red with fatty tissue popping out.? Shit. It hadn’t even hurt that much.?? I sat down and compressed it and it wasn’t bleeding much but was looking nasty.

Jim and Donna were sweet in their care and irrigated it, neosporined it and taped it up best they could (which the doc later said looked great).? I decided starting an a long trip was probably not the best idea without getting it looked at.? We figured out logistics and they went on and I headed down hill in Donna’s car, not finding a medical center until two hours later – the Clovis Hospital.? After many hours there (why I did not think to go further on to an Urgent Care instead, I do not know) I drove just a few minutes to my sister-in-law‘s family home where her brother Robert awaited (my hero), scarfed down dinner, made some calls trying to locate an open store with water treatment tablets (did not) and went right to bed.

Doc said I coulda hiked on in, and I considered it but did not have any of the communal? gear, including water treatment? – a key issue – and it would have been a 2 hour drive and a? 9 mile hike to catch up with them – a lot for a tired sore ankled girl. So, I decided to come home and just chill, work on house projects, get a massage and sit staring at the ocean instead of a lake.

I now feel as tough ass as the most pierced and leathered in Santa Cruz with my 5 stainless staples sticking up outta my shin. Gonna make a pretty scar I tell ya.

Feeling grateful for my good life, having medical insurance, and the love of all my peeps.