SOUTH BOWENS CREEK AREA – January 6, 2018
The day started out perfectly, everyone arrived on time, we nailed the route we wanted to take and explored the creek we wanted to explore, but by the end of the day, I’d be spending two hours in Lithgow’s emergency room. And I still don’t know how I managed to injure not one but two legs!
We had always said we’d go back and explore one of the other side creeks to Dug’s canyon to see if there were any other canyons in the area. Steve R, Trish M and I had the day free and Anna O-B, Emma P and Murray N joined us. I didn’t really think twice about scheduling the trip on the weekend before I was due to fly out to the Scandinavian countries to maybe see the Northern Lights. But the closer it got to the weekend, I was wondering the wisdom of going out into the wilderness (and rightly so some of you will be saying).
It was around about now, only half way up the 1k that we had to travel, that I walked into something submerged in muddy water, couldn’t see what it was but it really hurt. I had knocked both legs. I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit, but was wearing thermals. I rubbed the legs (always do that with a bruise) but didn’t look at them. We then caught up to 3 other people and when we all stopped to chat I had a look down at my right leg. “Sh*t, that doesn’t look good”, quickly covered the wound up (hate the sight of my own blood). Then looked at the other leg “Sh*t, that’s awful!” and quickly covered that. Emma, Anna and Trish all moved into high gear. We halved my snake bandage and they bandaged the wounds as best they could. I had another hour or so of walking plus an hour or so after the exit route, but amazingly there wasn’t much pain and not that much blood! I didn’t take many photos from this point on, only a couple.
We’d been told by the people that we met that we were 1/2 hour from the exit and there were a few climb-ups (it actually took much longer than that). The crew really looked after me as I was very nervous about banging either of the wounds. They helped me up all the climbs that I would have struggled with and took most of the gear I was carrying out of my pack, and eventually Steve took the pack off me.
We got to the South Bowen (S.B.) exit at around 4pm and Steve headed off to get Trish’s vehicle and bring it up to the S.B. car park, we had parked about 2k further along the road.
We arrived at the S.B. car park at 5pm and Trish bundled me into the car and off to Lithgow Hospital (she was forward thinking enough to call ahead to find out if they were busy, otherwise we would have gone to Katoomba). The hospital staff and doctor were wonderful. We were out of there by 8pm and back at camp by 9 for a late dinner.
Right leg has a 4cm V tear, left leg has a 10cm gash, you would have thought when I hurt the first leg, I wouldn’t have moved the other leg forward wouldn’t you. I think I’d better wear shin guards from now on, or at the very least the wetsuit legs.
So, a couple of days have gone by, I’ve visited the doctor, and all seems ok. I did say to the doctor at Lithgow, “maybe I shouldn’t be doing this sort of thing at my age” and he pooh poohed that idea, so I guess once I’ve recovered, I’ll be out there again, this time with more leg protection, and maybe elbow guards!