Friday, March 11, 2011


Being able to do all four activities within a 15 mile radius and sometimes not having to venture further than your back door.  Yes, that is why I love Plumas County.

Back over the summer I used that as a selling point to convince Renée that she wanted to move up here.  In my sales pitch I told her that there is nothing to preclude you from climbing, biking, skiing and paddling all in the same day.  (Okay, so we found out that is not entirely true...I'll get to that in a bit.)

Yesterday, March 10th, was a significant day.  In fact, so important that Renée and I started planning the itinerary for it all the way back in August.  Anybody who is anybody knew that Thursday, March 10th was Miss Renée E. Hartsman's birthday.  To celebrate we were going to do it all: climb, bike, ski and paddle.  Our logistics for the day were laid out perfectly, or so we thought.  We were going to start with an early morning paddle before I had to go to class, after class we would break out our climbing shoes to do some bouldering, from bouldering we would go to Buck's Summit to ski, and from skiing we would finish with a sunset mountain bike ride.  It sounded like it was going to work, however, we hadn't made accounts for weather or visits to the doctor.

I have been house sitting on a ranch in Genesee Valley, which wove perfectly into our plans.  Wednesday afternoon Renée came out to stay with me and anticipation grew as we began to prepare for the next day.  We did everything that we could do in advance to save time on the big day- inflating the canoe, securing it on the car, packing our gear, etc.  That evening I was out splitting wood and obtained a splinter in my finger from the hatchet handle.  It was deep and out of sight, but I was unconcerned.  It was just a little splinter- let it fester inside and it will eventually work its way out, right?  By late that night my finger had swollen to almost double its normal size.  We tried a few methods to remove the foreign body, but that proved unsuccessful since we couldn't even see where it was.

Morning couldn't have come too soon, and after a hearty breakfast of banana pancakes we were on the water before 0800.
We put in a few miles upstream from the house, did a mellow class I section of Indian Creek, and took out right on the ranch property.  Canoeing wasn't our ideal mode, but it was the best option since my shoulder isn't quite ready to kayak yet.  It was still nice to be on the water, regardless of the craft we were in or the difficulty of the run.  We were aware ahead of time that the canoe had 1" gash in the left tube, but we slapped a good amount of duct tape over it and crossed our fingers.  We brought the pump along with us and had to stop a few times to refill the rapidly leaking air.

When we put in we could see storm clouds looming over the ridge in the distance.  They caught up to us by the time we made it to take-out.  We dumped the canoe off at the barn and had just enough time to get changed before I had to go to my class.  It was pouring rain when I was done at school.  Renée and I looked at each other in disappointment, both knowing that we would have to scratch climbing from our day.  We looked at the bright side; rain in Quincy probably meant fresh powder up at Buck's!

It is always a good day at Buck's, and yesterday was no exception.  After skiing/snowboarding we were preparing to go back to Genesee where we would get good and muddy while mountain biking, clean up, and soak in the hot tub before dinner.

Until this point I had been ignoring my finger that now resembled a sausage.  Swelling + redness + heat = infection.  I knew that, but I was in denial.  It took a couple people telling me to go to the doctor before I finally gave in.  I felt silly for going to the doctor for a splinter, but it was imperative that I start antibiotics before the infection spread to surrounding tendons and bones.

Fortunately my other roommate, Cynthia, is in a management position at the family clinic and she was able to squeeze me in to see a doctor at the end of the day.  Because of the location of the splinter, they opted to not dig for it, so as to avoid damaging the nearby nerves and tendons.  I got my antibiotics, and well, hopefully this splinter will continue to fester its way out.

It was dark when I left the doctors office.  I suppose we still could have gone for our bike ride by headlamp, but we had already resigned to ourselves that it wasn't going to happen.  I know I was ready to be clean, warm, and full.  Cynthia and Renée both came out and stayed with me at the ranch that night.  We dressed up, had a nice dinner, and indulged in the chocolate silk pie that I had made the night before.  The day obviously did not go completely as we had hoped, but it was eventful and MEMORABLE nonetheless!


Nature has no mercy at all.  Nature says, "I'm going to snow.  If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough.  I am going to snow anyway."
Maya Angelou

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Wow - kayaking in March - you are brave!