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the beard broke my fall

January 31, 2011

You may or may not be thinking “sure, bloggers lead a glamorous life,

but is it dangerous?”  Until Saturday I would have said “no”.  And then

I climbed up a hill.


I needed some photos for my last post about our micro-hydro system.

Slinkee is always up for the trek to the springs, but elderly Roameo has

been passing on it for months.  I was surprised but pleased that he chose

to go with us.


When we arrived at the lower spring where the catchment barrel is, he

flopped down.  It had been his habit to wait there for Slinkee and me if we

had business at the upper spring.  We went on.  I was absorbed with the

pics and she was investigating everything she could when he joined us.

I finished my shots and headed back.  I knew Slinkee would follow soon

enough and assumed Roameo would.  I was climbing down next to the

stream.  I looked up to see him on a precipice and took this photo of him:

(It’s not of “National Geographic” quality, but it’s vital to the story.)

I crossed the stream to take more shots.  As I got closer to him, I took this:

Then I realized that he hadn’t changed position for several minutes.

He was stuck on the precipice.  I knew I had to reach him fast because

his legs grow more rubbery every day.  I quickly pocketed the camera

and scrambled to him, almost straight up.  By the time I could touch

him, he was leaning forward even more, the brow of his great mug

knitting furiously.  I put my hand on his chest to steady him as I tried

to climb onto the precipice.


All that would have gone better if Her Nibs hadn’t zipped over to check

things out.  There was precious little real estate available.  Slinkee didn’t

actually run into me, but I shifted my weight in anticipation of that and

lost my balance.  I fell 20 feet, landing headfirst.  I did a hasty body check

and clambered back up to secure Roameo, shooing Slinkee away.  The

three of us slowly worked our way down, me slower than them.


I’m estimating the length of the plunge.  It might be more accurate to

say I tumbled for however long it takes to enunciate the colloquialism

“SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!”

I ended up with soreness, dizzy spells, a chipped tooth, a few bumps,

many abrasions and a bruise shaped like Newfoundland.  Oddly, the

body part that stopped first, my chin, wasn’t hurt.  My winter beard

broke the fall.







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7 Comments
  1. January 31, 2011 12:00 pm

    I just watched the movie “127 Hours” last night and it makes me think of how bad this fall could have gone for you. You might not have had to cut off your own arm, but you might have had to drink your own pee! Always leave a note ahead of time, if you’re going to fall, so Jude can fetch you!

    • January 31, 2011 2:54 pm

      It turned out just about as well as something like that can. I saw on the news that James Franco’s arm has grown back.

  2. Meghon permalink
    January 31, 2011 4:59 pm

    Glad you’re alright! Be careful out there, old man.

    • February 1, 2011 8:25 am

      I will. I promise. It’s good to find out I still have some flexibility, although I realize there are safer, easier ways to learn that.

  3. Nina permalink
    January 31, 2011 10:08 pm

    Yikes!
    Glad you’re O.K.
    Who knew facial hair could be such a life-saver. I’ll have to grow me some – being a chronic clutz, it might come in handy.
    😉

    • February 1, 2011 8:26 am

      You would wear it well, but why don’t you borrow Chris’s for a test drive?

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