Friday, December 9, 2011

Moccasin Wildlife Trail or Oh, My Aching Back

Well, this has been an unplanned and unintentional day of rest.  Gene is down with his back.

This all got started yesterday as he was connecting our utilities after we arrived at Oak Mountain State Park.  We are both prone to back issues so this was nothing out of the ordinary as far as that goes.  He bent over to get something out of one of the storage compartments, and, wham, there goes that muscle.  It doesn’t happen often.  For him once every couple of years.  For me, I may go for four or five years.  But all it takes is one wrong twist or turn and you’re done for.

Sometimes, it’s not so bad.  A few back stretches and a couple laps around the campground and you’re almost like new.  This time, however, it was bad.  He spent the rest of yesterday afternoon in the bed with heating pad and a prescription muscle relaxer (leftover from the last episode).  Walking is good, but he couldn’t even do that yesterday.

Today has seen much improvement.  He was able to be up much of the day and has made several laps around our area of the campground.  With his back brace on, he can sit at the table and surf the internet.  He’s talking about doing a little hiking tomorrow.

With him down with his back, I’ve been left to entertain myself.  No problem there.  It was so cold this morning I really didn’t want to be outside.  After morning chores, I finished a cap I’ve been knitting on for the past couple weeks.  Thin I started a festive holiday party scarf.  I’ve also been reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  Not very far along, but so far it is a very compelling story.  After lunch, I went out for a walk.

Yesterday, as I was making photos down by the lake, I noticed a sign for the Moccasin Wildlife Trail.  This trail is not on the maps we have, however, I suspect it is what is the beach and lake trails which are listed on the maps.  I followed the well-trodden path which meanders along the lake shore.  I was more interested in photos than making miles.  Gene will stop anytime I’m busy photographing something, but he’d really rather keep moving.  I was taking advantage today of being alone to do my own thing.

I spotted a heron right away and crept along trying to get as close as possible.  I was surprised at how close he let me get--probably within 20 feet.  After that, the only real wildlife I saw on the Moccasin Wildlife Trail were a couple squirrels.  The lake was there, though, with its reflections.  I just had to wait for the wind to die down and the water surface to become calm.  Also saw a few red leaves and an interesting fungus.

I didn’t go to the end of the trail.  I was afraid Gene would be worried about me since I was taking so long.  The trail doesn’t go completely around the lake, but I’m not sure how far it does go.  I’ll check it out, perhaps tomorrow.

There are several short trails along the perimeter of the campground.  If Gene is feeling up to hiking tomorrow, we’ll select one of those.  Can’t do anything too difficult nor anything requiring a ride in the car.  Our car sits so low to the ground it is very difficult to get in and out of when your back is acting up.

That’s what we’ve been up to today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. Oh my, I can certainly empathize. I sure hope Gene recovers faster than I. When I have a bad spell, it takes months to get back to normal. I'm at about six weeks now, but still have minor almost constant pain. Best wishes.

  2. I sure hope Gene's back is better quickly! What is your toad? We are considering towing our Miata - also low to the ground.

  3. Tell Gene we are sorry to hear about his back...keep doing those stretches. Glad you were able to get out and do a little hiking and enjoy taking some pics.
    Take care and hope Gene is doing better tomorrow!

  4. hope Gene recovers quickly!..take it easy this weekend!!