Oh wow! I just had a flash back worth sharing!
I don’t remember exactly how old I was, probably 10 or so. I was out hiking with my mom and one of our family friends in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a beautiful, blue sky day. Our destination was Lake Haiyaha via the Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake trail. We made it a loop trip by heading back down an unimproved trail to the Glacier Gorge trailhead.
We made it to the lake, and the tradition was to spend some time enjoying the destination with some lunch or snacks. I had a point and shoot film camera along with me. I took it out while we were enjoying the scenery and started taking some pictures. There was no rush to head back. I thought it would be nice to take a photo of my mom and our friend.
I should add in, “Haiyaha is said to be an Indian word meaning ‘big rocks.'” (Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park – Ninth Edition by Kent and Donna Dannen) The name says it all! The lake is surrounded by some huge boulders and requires some scrambling over them.
Back to the photo session. I was standing on top of one of these “big rocks” and the other two were standing on top of another with the lake and the mountains behind them. I had the shot framed up perfectly and was just about to snap the photo when a voice called out from behind me – “would you like to be in the photo, also?”
Well, I don’t think we ever did get that photo. I spun around and fell backwards right off that rock! I was dazed for a second or two, and could hear the others scrambling toward me as I lay between the rocks gasping for air. Luckily, I landed on an old log that cushioned my fall only knocking the wind out of me.
The others reached me, and I must have looked terrible. My mom said she was terrified, because all she could see after I fell were my feet sticking straight up in the air. I was a pale ghost with tears pouring out of my eyes. One of the gentlemen from the other group had some training as an EMT, I think. He came over and checked to see if I had a concussion with a negative diagnoses, which I knew was the case. I never did hit my head because of that log.
After a little recovery time and getting my breath back, we started packing up. This takes me back to the camera. Well, I had the strap around my wrist which kept it from flying. It got a little banged up during the fall, too. The battery cover flew off after the camera smashed into one of the rocks or the log, and is probably still up there somewhere between the rocks. I don’t know where the batteries went either. So, the camera went back in the pack not knowing if it was useable ever again.
It lasted quite a few more years with a piece of duct tape and a small piece of metal acting as the battery cover. I’m not sure when that camera was retired, but that memory will stick with me!
This post is dedicated to our family friend. She passed away in June of 2013. I could tell more stories about the hikes we went on. Maybe some will come up in later posts.