Was a beautiful Saturday morning here in Mesa, AZ, and I could not wait to start the day! The night before my boyfriend and I made plans that we would wake up early and head out to Hawes Trail for a nice morning hike. Now, this wouldn’t be my first time on this trail. We went before with friends from work, so it’s not like we didn’t know what to expect. With already knowing how to pack, and what to wear, I felt I was already ahead of the game, and that I could just take on the world.
Getting Out on The Trail
Word to the wise, always pack the night before for a hike. Why? Because I don’t know about you, but if your hiking you want to make sure you’re well prepared. It’s not like going to the park for a quick jog and if you forget something, well than you can just head to the closest corner store. No, if you forget something or you run out, well good luck to you honey, you’re out of luck. Well, with that being said, let’s just say of course we did not get there as early in the morning as we wanted too. By the time we finally hit the trail it was 12pm, which for us was not the best circumstances. See, anytime between 12-3 is usually the hottest time of the day.
Thankfully, it wasn’t summer in AZ just yet, but at the same time we were still experiencing record highs. After a few minutes of hitting the trail, my body was already warming up quickly in this high 90-degree weather. Not only was I not in shape, but I was not use to this heat. Don’t get me wrong I’ve lived in Arizona since 2009, but never did I actually do things in the sun. I did what a majority of Arizonians do, I was the kind of girl that went immediately from my a/c car to quickly finding a building with a/c. So, like anyone new to the heat, it was taking a toll on me. Hiking was all new for me and I could see hiking in these temperatures, was not something I was going to get accustom to easily.
Taking in Too Many Views
After taking multiple breaks and adjusting to the heat, finally I was able to take my mind of myself and started to pay attention to everything around me. The sound of the wildlife and scenic views all around me just took my breathe away. If you’re looking for a way to get out of the city, but still close to town, this trail is for you! It’s just absolutely gorgeous! I was amazed at the location being so close to town, but yet you felt like you were nowhere close, as if you were in the middle of the desert.
It felt as if every turn or every foot step there was some form of different wildlife. Between squirrels running all over the place, birds chirping from tree to tree, flying to nearby low tree branches. Coming so close, as if they wanted to say hi. Baby lizards, running on the trail in front of you so fast you could barely catch them with your eye, before they speed off in another direction to hide for protection.
Depending where you are on the trail and your elevation, there are some absolutely gorgeous views of the Salt River you will find. Depending on the time and day or year, you sometimes can see kayakers, paddle boarders, and if your luckily enough with either a good eye sight or binoculars, you can see the wild horses going in for a drink of water from the river. Taking all this in was amazing, but with all the beautiful distractions i did not see that the terrain was starting to get a little bit rough and rocker in front of me. See, my eyes where no longer on the trail, it was on all the beautiful scenic views and wildlife that was exploring all around me.
Watch Your Step
All I could remember was my foot somehow must have stepped wrong. I Immediately heard and felt the rocks slipping underneath my feet. Before I could even fix my footings, let alone know what was going on, it was already to late. Somehow, someway my body shifted hard to the right. Hearing a large popping sound come from my right leg, without hesitation I immediately yelled “oh shit.” I knew immediately, damn well, this was not going to end well for me. Before I could even try to straighten my body out or even realize what was happening, my body than took another hard shift, but this time to the left. No pop, no pain, no nothing. I just felt my body just give up. Before I knew it, this beautiful view of the salt river I was starring off into was gone. After finally getting this amazing breeze from the heat and feeling in my element, all these feelings of happiness vanished as soon as I knew I was falling down. All I could see was nothing but large rocks and dirt in front of me, and the fear that I was going to become Jill from Jack and Jill.
The only thing I could think of, at the time was to cover my head. Cover my head from busting it open. I mean think about it, I’m on a mountain, there is nowhere but down to go. So, somehow someway, without even thinking. I don’t know if it was just fast reflexes, common sense, or a guardian angel, but I took both my arms as fast as I could, covered my face and head just seconds before hitting the ground. Luckily, without hesitation, when my boyfriend heard me yell “oh shit,” he stopped everything, turned around to see what had happened. He was in front of me, and thankfully not too far. As soon as he turned around though, at that exact moment, he saw me falling and throwing my arms in front of my face, just as my body was collapsing.
He Speed into Action
With the slope of the mountain, and area where I fell, once my body hit the ground, I didn’t just stop there. I don’t know how but Travis said my body instinctively position itself in a ball. Still in shock and confused of literally everything that just happened in less than 30 seconds, and at this point feeling nothing but rocks and scraps under my body, I suddenly came to a stop. It was Travis!! Thankfully he was only a few yards in front of me, and after witnessing everything he sprung into action, finding a safe position for himself to stop me from rolling any further.
Before I could even come to, to know what just happened. He was right there by my side making sure I was ok. Only thing going thru my mind the second I stopped was, Shit, I freaking broke something. He could see it in my eyes, the fear and terror that was going through my mind, before I even evaluated my body to see if I was ok. He must have saw my ankle before I did, because he instantly grabbed my face with his hands, looked me straight in into my eyes and said, “you’re ok, don’t worry, I got you, your fine.” I tried to slowly smile and say ok, but then out of nowhere, for some reason as soon as I heard these words, the pain immediately kicked in. My eyes began to tear up with shooting pain that was going right up my lower right leg and it hurt like hell.
Is It Broken?
As I looked down to the lower half of my leg from where the pain was coming from, it must have instantly blown up like a loaf of bread as soon as the pop occurred. I could feel the tightness of my shoe contracting against my foot and I had to get it off immediately. Travis must have known that’s what I was reaching for, since he stopped me as soon as he saw me just slightly reach for it. “Here, let me help you,” he said. Tears ran down my face as I was terrified, I just broke my ankle. I’ve never broken anything in my life. As he was trying to calm me down, slowly untying my shoe laces. To me it felt like every little touch the pain just doubled. As he tried to wiggle off the shoe, the pain just got worse. I let out a loud scream hoping that would somehow reduce some of the pain.
It looked like my foot just doubled in size. Too scared to take off the sock, since the pain was already so bad just taking my shoe off, tears ran down my face. Thankfully, like I said earlier we always come well prepared for our hikes. So, Travis grabbed our first aid kit and quickly went to playing doctor. I popped in 2 aspirin to help with the inflammation and then was advised we have to take the sock off. I was dreading it, terrified what the pain would feel like, but then again, I still had a 3-mile hike ahead of me. We were literally only at the half way maker, just a little over 3.5 miles.
See the Hawes Trail is a loop and has multiple different trails you can go on. This day of all days, we wanted the longer one to get in a good workout, but also enjoy our weekend out in the wilderness. So, I still had a way to go. As Travis inspected my ankle, wrapping it with kroto tap, he tried to see if I could put any weight on it. Even with all the pain, Thank god, I could. It wasn’t broken! One down now one to go. Now my other fear was just the 3 miles back to the car. Would I make it?
“Fears Are Nothing More Than A State Of Mind”