Freak Injury

I was out here hiking Toleak Beach alone while Theresa nursed her injured back. With all the adventures we’ve been involved with it was our backyard hammock that almost ended her outdoor activities. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we decided to forgo a matinee movie and enjoy a BBQ in the backyard. Theresa pulled out the hammock.

The ferns have grown considerably since our first visit in April. Photograph by Steve Weileman.
The trail was heavily overgrown compared to our first trip out in early May. I felt Theresa’s absence like a weight on my back. Bending down for a better look I saw yet another bit of cougar scat. Unlike the previous trip this was obviously not fresh but that didn’t keep my head from constantly swiveling as I started up the trail to Scott’s Bluff.

No sooner had she sat on it then a link in the chain snapped with her crashing to the yard. It would have been funny under different circumstances but she landed on the support beam across her lower back. I’ve never seen someone in so much pain.

She had fractured her left L1 and L2 transverse process. It could have been so much worse but it did mean a long rehab process that would see her side lined for most of the summer.

Someone's interpretation of 'Wilson'. Photograph by Steve Weileman.
Looking down Scott's Bluff toward the survey beach. Photograph by Steve Weileman.

Toleak Beach Solo

The trail up and over Scott’s Bluff is starting to feel like an old friend. Mind you a somewhat sadistic friend. But I now know what sections are going to bring the discomfort and how long I have to suffer so it seems much more manageable.

But there was a twist this time. It was more like a friend in need of a haircut. The ferns and nettle were almost shoulder high and it seemed somehow more claustrophobic. And having spotted multiple signs of cougar didn’t help.

Once I was at the beach I did my survey. Nothing changed here with the exception of sharing the beach with quite a few hikers. I think I counted approximately 20 while walking my beach. No birds is a good sign I suppose, but I’d like to put my training to the test as some point.

Steve Weileman

I've been lucky enough to have some of my work featured on CNN, Outside TV and, National Geographic. Join me as I continue to both learn the art of film-making and document the exciting new modern world of citizen-science. His work has been featured on CNN, National Geographic, and OutsideTV, as well as numerous local outlets.

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