Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Darwin Awards Also-ran

Hardly. Not by sheer definition. Not yet, anyway.

I did an extremely foolish thing today; it was fun. Grabbed the HuggaMutt and walked down to the Water Board property along the strand. It is one of those exquisite winter days, all sun and no snow. Crisp, cold air that we can feel warming even during our walk.

The Chemung was cold and low, so Ellie got a sip and a sniff and wanted lots more. The area behind the Board is sometimes an island, sometimes just surrounded by wetland. Right now it's surrounded by thick ice. You can probably see where this is going.

We followed the river front right to the westernmost edge of the island, with the little terror checking out every burrow along the way, right up to a dead racoon. Looked peaceful; cold must have killed it. I dragged Ellie away before she could roll in the nasty thing and pointed her towards the more interesting (I hoped) sounds of a gaggle of Canada geese. Their nesting area is currently frozen solid.

Or so I hoped. The safer trip back to the levee would have been a quarter mile, and I was flagging. I sent the Mutt onto the ice. All thin and dry on the edges and solid in the middle. You know, crunchy on the edge, blue-gray, no visible water. Yours truly stepped past the crunch, and slid immediately further from the bank. And got the first warning crack. I dropped to my hands and knees, with some cartoonish picture in my head, possibly from the Boy Scout handbook. There were enough of them lying around when I was a kid.

No more ice cracks, just groans. I flattened myself on my belly and fairly swam the ice to the other side, with no further reports. Found a spot that wasn't mucky, and pulled myself out. HuggaMutt set off to find groundhog holes.

So no exciting ending. Just muddy knees and wet shoes. The walk home was sweet, except for anxiety-induced asthma coughing. But it was shorter. Just definitely not worth the risk.

Little Pond


Karen of Scottsdale said...

Oh! How terribly frightening and yet it must've been exhilarating at the same time. Bet your heart was racing! Glad you're okay. Wouldn't want you to drown before you win that trip to Scottsdale. :-)

Darlene said...

Yikes, you poopie! I guess it must have been fun, but boy, as I was reading this my face was screwed up in an "oh, no!" feeling. Eeeu, you're lucky you used your smarts! But does your body smart now, where you landed? Dang it, you'd better not let anything bad happen to you. I care about you, you know.

Darlene said...

Do you realize how much fun it is reading this site? And I love your style, just casual, person-to-person, friend-to-friend. I love it!

pb said...

Sorry, guys. Just wanted to share a funny story, not worry you. The water couldn't be more than waist high right now. It would have been a cold, nasty lesson, is all.
I have Ellie with me at all times, and I carry a cell phone when I go to the Chemung.