I’m Baa-aack!!

How can two-and-a-half months disappear so quickly?! That’s how long it’s been since I was last here in this space … and I can’t even claim the time was filled with fun and frivolity.

An injury has kept me inactive and housebound for the past 6 weeks, hobbling along like a decrepit old woman. Mother Nature finally graced my small corner of the world with a mild winter and I haven’t been outdoors to enjoy it.

The sad story is that I have bad feet – like other people complain about their hips or knees.

Yes, yes, I know I have many things for which I’m grateful, but these miserable feet have caused me no end of grief over the years.

Then early in December, my latest foot problem escalated into a problem with my IT band.

If you aren’t familiar with the Iliotibial band, it’s that muscle that runs along the outside of your leg connecting the hip and knee. Let’s just say that my foot problem developed into a hip and knee problem as that IT band became increasingly grumpy. Walking was painful, and stairs were an epic adventure that caused me to seriously consider how badly I really wanted to go upstairs.

Thanks to a new physiotherapist, I am finally on my way to full mobility again, and more importantly, I’m almost pain-free.

Which brings me to why I’ve smiling from ear-to-ear.

If you follow Deb at the Widow Badass, then you know that this week we hit the trail together again, this time meeting at the Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Deb has recently retired, and this hike was high on her wish list. I was more than happy to go, knowing that the trail was relatively easy but full of all the stuff I like – trees, rocks, and moving water.

The day was perfect.

It started with both of us arriving at our meeting place 20 minutes early. What are the chances of that happening when we were coming from opposite directions?!

As the morning played out, we had a hike with a little of this …

A glacial pothole formed over 12,000 years ago by swirling water and rocks as the ice melted.

A little bit of that …

At the base of the falls are the ruins of an old saw mill from the 1800s.
It’s a long drop down – with a painful landing – if you lose your footing.

With a splash of something-something to keep the chill at bay …

… and since we were hiking to a waterfall, one would also expect to encounter lots of moving water. We weren’t disappointed. The heavy rains from last weekend made water levels high and an impressive cascade.

So yes, I’m back, and with Deb we have plans percolating for new adventures in the coming weeks and months. Hope you’ll join us.

55 comments

  1. OMG, I am so sorry to hear that your foot problems morphed into hip and knee problems, transforming you from an overland adventurer to a staircase adventurer for a time. Thank goodness you are now back on the trails with the help of a good physiotherapist.

    I loved seeing your smiles on Deb’s page and again here today. A perfect day indeed. The Hilton Falls Conservation Area could warm any soul on any wintry day …and the cinnamon whiskey adds to the fire. Your picture from the base of the falls is chillingly beautiful and the roaring video made me feel like I was on the trail with you both.

    Wishing you continued recovery and many more hikes to come.

    Love from Oaxaca!

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    • The wonders of the blogging world when we can share stories from such dramatically different climates and geography! It was a pleasure to have you along 🙂

      The good news is I’m getting stronger. I’d say I’m almost back to normal … whatever that is 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad you are back on your feet!! Is this going to be where you post going forward??? Good to see you out and about again!! and I mentioned to Deb on her post – THANKS for the inspiration to bring Fireball on hiking outings. LOL.

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    • Hi Pam! This blog has been around for a couple of years. Right now it is the only space I have with a defined purpose – exploring Canada’s trails.

      I’m still unsure what to do with my other blog. I no longer know how to engage with it. Maybe it will come. Maybe it won’t.

      I’ve been looking forward to Deb’s retirement for a long time. Now that she has, I’m hoping we can squeeze in many adventures before she leaves for the west coast.

      Fireball makes a wonderful addition to a winter hike 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is a side trail in the Toronto Section of the Bruce. I think the whole trail out and back is about 18k but I’ve never done the entire hike.
      I’ve only done this hike in winter so I’d like to return some day in the shoulder season to hike the top end I’m not familiar with. My understanding is that it’s much more rugged compared to the bottom half leaving from the conservation area.

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    • Thanks so much 🙂 Not being mobile for such a long period of time was quite frustrating … although I did use the time to stretch my creative muscles 🙂

      I hope to do a better job going forward of balancing artistic endeavours with outdoor adventures 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There you are! Welcome back!! I’m sorry to hear about your foot trouble. I hope the PT helps a lot!

    The hike, waterfall, company you had, and that drink to warm you both up all look wonderful!
    The video was cool. I did turn on the sound this time. ☺

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    • I know you get it – that irresistible pull to nature, exploring trails, and framing photos in your mind’s eye. It was wonderful to be out again, especially with Deb who is a great ‘partner-in-crime’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good to see you back. I’ve been wondering what you were up to. I’m sad to hear you were layed up. Thank goodness for modern physio though. Some of these therapists can work wonders and I hope that’s the case for you 🙂

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    • It’s good to be back too 🙂 … although my other blog is still in hiatus while I consider what direction I want to take it in.

      My Physio has been nothing short of amazing. I know I still have lots more work to do but the progress is very encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So lovely to see you again Jo, and with your badass friend too! Sorry to hear about the foot issues, as you know I have been experiencing issues with my left foot/leg for a couple of years, it’s much better now, but still not perfect and I hate being immobile! I had never heard of an IT band though! Sounds like a geek pop group😆 Not sure I’d be confident walking on ice but you two look to be having a great time and I am very happy to join you from the comfort of my chair!! More please….

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    • Hi Jude! I know you’ve mentioned foot problems for a long while. It really is quite annoying since our lifestyle demands good feet. When they are unhappy, it makes our life miserable. I’d already given up on ever running again, and I admit I wondered if my hiking days were also behind me.

      We had ice grippers with us but happily didn’t need them and my leg held up very well. I can hardly wait for the next one … and yes, there will definitely be another one!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So wonderful to see you back here. Hoping your feet continue to feel better & allow you to do all of the things you love to do! If you have room for a 3rd on any of your adventures, I know a gal! Keep me in the loop!😘

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  7. Hey – your new camera works great, Joanne! I look kinda badass perching on that rock over the crevasse. 😄 (Definitely not as scary looking from where I was standing). I am so glad your IT band is better and we can “get out there” once again! And now during the week!!! How perfect is that?
    Yeah, as I told you on the trail I feel I do need to up my snack game, at least when with you 😉
    Here’s to many more enjoyable outings together before I leave for my new home (and then some when I am out there!!!)

    Deb

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    • It felt good to have a camera in my hand again and I am quite happy with the results. That’s an awesome picture of you looking badass at that crevice!

      It was a GREAT day and I’ve been smiling ever since. I’m back doing something I love and the company is AMAZING. You’ve taken to retirement like a duck to water 🙂 Now my head is screaming MORE, MORE, MORE!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about the problems with your feet, but happy to see you back out on the trail I love waterfalls, so I appreciate the video. Good luck, I hope the therapy continues to help.

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  9. So glad to see you again! You were missed. Every day, I looked for a notification and today I was rewarded!

    And so sorry to hear about the IT problem – when I read IT, I thought you might have been referring to the computer tech problems… THATI know was a heartbreaking upset while you were in Portugal – then to add insult to injury, or injury to insult, however you wish to view it, your body rebels.

    I look forward to further posts!

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  10. Yeahh! How great to see you up and about and on again! I was thinking of you and didn’t know of your injury. Let me tell you, I also often reconsider how badly I need anything from the first floor of our home. I have calcination of both heels (I should really learn the proper term) and some days every step in painful. I’d need some of that physiotherapist of yours! So glad to see that you’re fit again for more waterfalls, woods and sinkholes (well, not that last one). I wish you a most excellent and adventurous year ahead, Joanne! A great start!

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    • Hi Manja! It’s nice to be back in this space, although I seriously questioned whether it would happen. My other blog is still up in the air.

      Sorry to hear that you too have feet problems. It can really make doing just about anything miserable sometimes. I found an excellent podiatrist several years ago who has been wonderful, but in the process of fixing one problem, a new one was created … as is quite normal with such a complicated piece of bio-machinery as our bodies.

      I wondered if I would eventually have to give up hiking – as I did with running – but thankfully, not yet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That old mill looks cool with the ice – and the fireball whiskey is perfect.
    I hiked with the hubs last fall (not something I prefer to do often but hoping to go sometimes) and he had a flask of regular whiskey and it was so perfect after the arduous hike up.

    Anyhow – glad you were healed enough to go and the two of you seem to have great chemistry – 😊

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  12. Sorry to hear about your foot problems. About 10 years ago when I went to Amsterdam I had terrible heel pain and there were days when I could barely walk. I was in tears. Not sure how or why it disappeared but I haven’t had a problem since. Glad to see out hiking again and writing about it.

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    • When our feet are unhappy it’s remarkably hard to function normally … especially when we try to maintain an active lifestyle. I’d already given up running a few years ago and I feared hiking was going to be next on the list. I’m working hard to delay that decision as long as possible.

      I’m glad to hear your heel problems were temporary … although I suspect Amsterdam will be forever memorable in your mind, for the wrong reasons.

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  13. Welcome back, Joanne. I could feel it in my bones that you were going to re-enter the blogosphere soon. I have missed you!

    Darn, about your feet. Great on the new therapist.

    I did see and enjoy Deb’s post. All of your photos are great. I especially like the one of the base of the falls (ice plus water). I also love the last one with your smiles. Last night I showed my husband your trail snacks plus Fireball hydration. I know he already extra likes you. Great to see you and read your posts, again! 🙂

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    • I think I caught Deb – with her healthy snacks – off-guard with my Cheez-Its and Fireball. As I told her, I’ve had more practice … and Helen as a mentor 😀

      I still have some unresolved issues with my left foot, but at least the reflected pain to my IT band is being addressed. Being back on the trail again after such a long absence reminded me of how much I love – and need – to hike.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yay! I am very glad to see you are back! Sorry about the IT band problem. Ouch. Painful. Nothing a little Fireball can’t help, though. Geez Louise–when you guys go for a hike, you REALLY go for a hike! I’m amazed at that ice. Welcome back, Joanne.

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    • Thanks Lois. My other blog is still very much up in the air, but I’m happy to be back here, especially considering what this space means to me 🙂

      I was actually quite confident going out on this hike. I’ve been on this trail before – in winter – and knew it was relatively easy … and we were armed with ice grippers, if needed. They weren’t 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Welcome back, Joanne! Glad to hear your PT has made your feet and IT band be well-behaved. Hiking outdoors with your friend Deb is an excellent start to the new year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020 with many more enjoyable hiking adventures!

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    • I was actually starting to question whether hiking was still in my future and I’m glad to be back. I still have an unresolved issue with my foot that I’m working with a podiatrist to fix, but at least this reflected problem has been addressed.

      Like

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