Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Skiers Are Rejoicing

For all of you cold weather fanatics, the ski season is underway in northern New England.

The above photo is a shot of a skier coming from the Tram Line at Cannon Mountain, up in the White Mountain National Forest. I'm not sure if this is the south face of the mountain - if it is, then the skier in the photo is likely being hammered by steady west wind as he makes his way down the trail.

While I am not a skier, I have some outdoor experience with cold weather. Back in the day I spent a considerable amount of time operating in a winter environment; I did a couple of tours in Norway during NATO exercises as well as operations in South Korea during the winter months. And it doesn't matter where you are - cold is cold. The major differences between both places is the location; where I'd been in Norway was approximately 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle; the first time I went there was on ship, and I was one of about 80 Marines inducted into "The Order of the Bluenose."

Those of you who are readers of this blog who also are familiar with Naval traditions and customs are likely aware of the various "line crossing ceremonies" that happen on warships. The most well-known to members of the Naval Service worldwide is probably the Crossing of the Equator, where mere Polliwogs become trusty Shellbacks are enduring many challenges, each nastier than the one before. It is the same with the Arctic Circle crossing. The tasks we did on ship were not only put on us by members of the crew and any Marines who'd been through this already, but at that time they were also witnessed by Russian aircrews who were over-flying the battle group we were part of. And it was very, very cold - the air temperatures were definitely below freezing, plus the seawater that we were being hosed down with was easily as cold.

All things considered, however, it was not the worst experience I've ever had. In a perverse way, it was almost fun.....

On a totally unrelated note, I am now the proud owner of a waffle boot. This after what is becoming my weekly visit to the wound doc - since I'm now "re-learning to walk" on the brace boot, I have to use the waffle boot to off-load the wound to my heel. He hasn't classified the stage the wound is at, but he did more work on the wound itself. He debrided the rest of the dead tissue off of the top of the wound, and it now looks kind of gnarly underneath. Last week the wound was cultured and found to have a little bit of bacteria. Normal flora, no MRSA or anything that is going to cause problems for me. But with the rest of the tissue off it is much more uncomfortable than it was before.

I guess that is normal. For now, I'm stuck with discomfort even when I'm off-loading. But, as I've been told multiple times before, that discomfort exists is a good thing as it means that the circulation is functioning and the nerve endings are in the process of working properly.

Yeah. Right. Sure.

1 comment:

Laura said...

At least you don't have to worry about going out in the cold to ski. Hang in there, soon you'll be as good as new. Interesting post about the blue nose. I'd heard the expression, but you sure brought it to light. Little do we know what you guys had to go through.