Saturday, 4 May 2013

Yosemite, Part III

In the afternoon of the first day, after climbing a rocky pass, I came across a glittering pool. The water was emerald green and a waterfall was crashing down into it, bringing chilled mountain water replenishment. I’d been walking all day, building up a good sweat and hadn't seen anybody since crossing paths with a family going fishing early in the morning. It seemed like the perfect wild place for a cold mountain swim.

With my clothes lying in a pile on the bank I waded in. It was cold, but I was determined. All around was high Sierra scenery and empty space - I was living the dream. This was it.

After a couple of steps, my right foot slipped on a rock. I put my left foot down suddenly to stop my fall and it landed on the upturned edge of a knife-sharp rock lying on the lake floor. With all my weight on the foot it slid along the sharpened edge of the rock.

I looked down and saw red streamers of blood swirling into the cool, clear water.

Sitting back on the bank, I had a look. There was a deep gash along the arch of my foot, and inside I could see layers and colours and squishy bits moving around. Blood oozed out and ran onto the ground.

I moved quickly to bandage it up tight, and then the grim situation began to sink in. I’d come across the world for a hiking holiday and now I’d put a gaping wound in one half of my means of transport.

A long way from help - a long way from anyone at all, I sat in the sunshine on the bank of a clear mountain lake. Like a siren of the hiking world, it had lured this unsuspecting traveller in, to meet my demise on its razor teeth.

Though I always packed a basic first aid kit, I never really considered having to use anything except bandaids for blisters. I hadn't reckoned on spilling blood on Yosemite soil.

The question loomed...what was I to do now?

It wasn't any of these lakes, but one a bit smaller. I guess I wasn't in the mood for photos at that moment.  


  1. Aarrgghhh! My blood ran cold reading this graphic description. Even though I already know the story, and the outcome, reading it still had powerful impact. Every bushwalker's nightmare! Well told Steve.

  2. Steve's blog, that's great lunchtime reading material. Usually it is. Not today, with " layers and colours and squishy bits moving around".! Eek!

    1. haha, sorry about that. Strayed a little from the usual G rating this time...