Bob Falls on Goodspeed Trail, Fractures Bone
June 5, 2023

Pretty much on the spur of the moment Bob decides to hike up to Gunsight Overlook in Hood Mountain Regional Park from Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood, California.

Most of the way up it was foggy, but still it is a beautiful hike about 6 to 7 miles long through woods and up to a ridge, ending on a rock overlooking the Valley of the Moon.

The hike up goes well and a lizard watches as Bob walks by.

Bob is thinking to himself as he nears the top how cool that at 75 years old he can do this without a problem. At that point he meets a couple maybe ten years older coming down who had taken a much longer, more difficult route. Bob hopes he will be able to do the same at their age. It had been foggy most of the way up, but approaching Gunsight Overlook the fog is clearing.

Being spring time, flowers are in bloom. Although there is plenty of green forest, there is also considerable burnt forest, because of fires over the last few years.

Arriving at Gunsight Overlook, Bob meets a couple who were just leaving, so perfect timing. While on the Overlook Bob takes a pic of a bird flying towards him (see the bird in the first pic below? - click on pic to get full resolution, then click again to zoom in), then a couple of selfies.

After texting Shirley, Bob heads back, figuring he will catch up with the older couple who he had passed earlier.

Not going to happen.

As Bob hikes down a steep incline and follows a rocky trail switchback, his left foot slides suddenly forward as he falls and his right leg hits the ground hard. Quite painful. As it turns out, Bob's fibula is fractured and ligaments are torn.

Luckily, just a few feet ahead of Bob, there is a broken, dead branch exactly the right size and strength to act as a cane. So Bob gets it and begins limping down the trail.

After a bit, Bob calls Shirley, tells her about the accident and warns her not to try to come up this long, steep trail. He estimates it will be two or three hours before he can get back to the parking lot.

Shirley agrees not to come, hangs up, then immediately calls the Sugarloaf Ridge ranger station. Rangers suggest that Bob not try to get all the way back to the Goodspeed trailhead parking lot. Instead, two rangers will meet him near Pierson Road, which the trail crosses. Shirley calls Bob who agrees that is a really good idea. It means hiking down only about 1.4 miles more, instead of almost 3.

As Bob is hiking down, a good sized gopher snake is crossing the trail. This of course requires Bob to stop and take a photo.

Bob then hikes down to a stream just before Pierson Road and meets the two rangers there. This is a good thing because there is no way Bob would have been able to cross that rushing stream with his injured foot.

The two rangers help Bob cross the stream and accompany him up the trail to the road. One of the rangers had gone ahead and gotten the truck turned around so it was right there next to the trail and Bob could get in. The rangers drive back to the parking lot, drop Bob off, and head back to the park station. Bob waits at the car until Shirley and Reenie arrive. Shirley drives Bob back home and Reenie drives Bob's car back to their home (thank you Reenie).

Shirley then drives Bob to Providence Memorial Hospital Emergency room, where X-rays confirm the fibula bone near the ankle is fractured. Before that happens while Bob sits in the waiting room, a guy comes over, first presses his finger above the ankle, Bob feels almost no pain; then presses his finger against the ankle, Bob literally screams in pain; then presses his finger below the ankle, Bob again feels almost no pain.

Doctors and nurses check me over, they are so wonderful, they take care of my right ankle and fibula bone including follow-up surgery to attach the ligaments to the bones with plate and screws.
And here's a picture of the "cane" I used to hike almost a mile and a half. I was so incredibly fortunate to find that near my fall.

[I completely heal quickly and 6 weeks, 4 days later on July 21 hike up Yosemite Falls trail with no problem at all.]

Other Websites
By Bob:

Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
February 17, 2023