Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun and Mishaps on the Shenandoah

So a few friends and I took a brief weekend trip out to the rural Shenandoah Valley for a much needed end of summer weekend getaway.

Saturday morning Sal, Sancho and I crammed all of our outdoor equipment into the back of my truck with not an inch to spare and set out on Route 66 westbound.

We ended up getting to our destination (the Down River Canoe Company) well before the rest of our crew so we took the initiative to set up our tents and camping equipment at our campsite nearby.

I had brought most of my extra gear for Bryan and his wife who are novice campers.

A couple of hours later we were loaded into a bright yellow school bus and driven the three miles upstream by an older butch looking woman.

Our goal was to float down and into our campsites. The river was seasonably low and moving at a snails pace. In a couple locations we were forced to get off of our inner tubes and push ourselves over rocks. "That's ok", I thought. "It's all about the relaxation."

At one point the river picked up and we managed to find a pretty decent sized swimming hole. Not too long after that I hopped off my raft to "relieve myself" of all the beer I had consumed. While I was attempting to leap back onto the raft, my foot slipped off a flat rock and managed to impale itself on a very sharp rock adjacent to the flat one. Blood immediately began gushing down my foot. I was concerned because as beautiful as the Shenandoah is, I knew of its reputation as a make shift sewer system for dairy cattle.

Retrospectively, I should have gotten medical attention immediately. But so it goes. After a long day of being in the open sun and rafting we finally made it to the Low Water Bridge.

Shortly thereafter with overwhelming appetites we started up the grill and threw on some hot dogs and burgers that would end up taking over 4 hours to cook.

We ended up getting a blazing campfire going and cooking our dogs over it. Even though I've sworn off eating pork, I was so hungry that I chose to disregard my moral principles and chow down on a dog or two.

The next morning the aching in my foot was starting to get the better of me. After the hour and a half drive back to DC, I hobbled over to Matilda's house to show her my battle wounds. She insisted that I go to Urgent Care and get stitches immediately. After thinking about it for a minute and remembering that the open sore on my foot had been marinating in the foul water of Shenandoah river for quite a while I decided it might be a good idea to get it looked at.

Three hours later I found myself face down on a doctors bed and a crusty doctor injecting my foot with Novocaine. Talk about excruciating pain! The needles hurt more than the abrasion. The doctor said that I had punctured my foot pretty deep and that it was at risk for an infection.

I am still taking my antibiotics and can not put pressure on the back of my foot.

All injuries aside, it still turned out to be a beautiful weekend.

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