Last week I took Friday off to prepare for my long awaited Memorial day weekend up at Hippie Hollow. It was a lovely day and I was feeling rather blessed to be able to take a day off with no problems and indulge in things like a pedicure and a trip to Central Market to load up on food. It was going to be an awesome weekend!
I caught myself feeling rather guilty at having such a good life. Then I checked myself. A long time ago something (minor) happened that made me realize I should enjoy the good times because right around the corner is a big pile of shit waiting for you to step in it. Case in point: my Memorial Day Weekend.
It all started well enough. I had my book on cd from the library and a freshly loaded and charged ipod. I woke up bright and early at 5am, stopped off at BofA to get dinero for the park fee and, of course, Starbucks to get me through the first leg of the 3 hour drive up to Austin. I made it to the park early and was happy to find only one other car in the lot. The primo spots were mine for the taking.
Unfortunately the water level was still low. This proved to be bad for reasons beyond not finding a decent spot to lie in. But more on that later. I wandered around to my new favorite spot in the little cove beyond the second bathroom only to find nothing but rocks near the water. I ran into the one other park occupant who told me it was very unlikely I’d find a spot near the water. I ended up trekking back to the little place before the second bathroom where there was an actual beach, even if it was clouded in shade at that moment. In a few hours I the sun would be high enough to give me that tan I so desperately needed, right? Little did I know….
There was one clothed man eating an avocado at the stairs where I wanted to be. I didn’t like it one bit, but he didn’t have the aura of an ogler and he was sitting there first so I had no cause to complain. There’s no point in going to nude beaches if you are worried about people seeing you naked after all. So I made my way down, created a comfy spot (or as much as there can be at Hippie Hollow) and stripped.
An hour later a reader of this blog woke me from my stupor and introduced himself. We sat and chatted. It turns out he’s a Mormon (LDS?…I’m not sure about the PCness here) and he was thanking me for introducing him to LDS nudists through my blog! Always happy to be of help to fellow nudists. He had created a spot higher up where the crowds usually are and so after about half an hour we parted ways.
Then tragedy struck.
If you happened to be in the park around 9:30 ish and an hour or so after, all that hoopla? Yeah, that was me. Unknown fact (til now): I have hip replacements. So there…now you know all bodies on nude beaches aren’t perfect. Anyway the right was recently done and I made the boneheaded move of turning my knee inward and…bam! out came the ball from the socket. I won’t go into the details of the excruciating pain that caused, except to say I imagine it will be what it’s like if I give birth….to twins…..at the exact same time…without meds. Here are photos to illustrate the point:
As I lay there screaming and helpless but, in the words of Mr. Burns, finding only slack jawed gawkers (and shame on you guys!!!), I finally called out specifically to a man who happened to be walking by. He also happened to be my Mormon (LDS?) friend from before. I’ll call him Sam*. Someone up there was paying attention. Related Note:This whole experience questioned my lack of spirituality. Still opposed to organized religion, but I’ve no cause to pick on religious individuals and have to wonder at certain pieces falling into place.
Long story short in bullet format:
- Sam rushes down to my aid, holds my leg in place to keep it from moving and bringing on more unimaginable pain
- Sam continues to hold even when it’s obvious rocks and pieces of glass from inconsiderate asses who violate the park rules and bring in glass bottles only to break them are digging into his knees
- I stupidly ask Sam to get my phone so I can call my mom and have her look online to see how we can get my hip back into place
- Mom, predictably, tells me in no uncertain terms to CALL THE PARAMEDICS!
- Sam, thinking far more straight than I am at the time, suggests calling the ranger and does so
- Ranger calls EMS
- Sam, still thinking far more straight than I am, suggests I put my top back on. Note I am now rather embarrassed at the indelicate poses I must have made completely naked while my mind was focused elsewhere.
- All in all poor Sam made about 4-5 trips up and down the rocks for me. And got all my belonging safely back to my car.
Now here’s the part that will be helpful for your purposes. When EMS is called you get not only EMS, but the fire department and a bunch of park rangers as well. This is especially if, as was the case this weekend (Memorial Day Weekend!?), there are no boats on hand to carry you out the easy way. All in all there were about 15 guys total. Fortunately they were all strapping handsome men and perfectly friendly and helpful, thus making me feel like the Queen of Sheba as they lifted me from my spot on the beach, unnaturally low because of the water level.
The nice EMT gave me a delicious shot of something to curb the nausea and and even more wonderful shot of something to kill the pain. Thus I felt nothing when they lifted me on my towel into the “rescue” stretcher. Everyone seemed like they were having a grand old time despite the hike up. I’m sure the fact that they were surrounded by nude gawkers helped alleviate the same-old, same-old of the experience. Still, kudos to them for bringing a sense of levity to the situation. Even more kudos to them for managing to haul my hefty ass up all those rocks without dropping me or falling to their deaths. Case in point:
Some fun Hippie Hollow facts from the rangers who tried to chat away my distress. The highest the water has ever been was at the railings for the path through the park in 2007! For those who’ve been there, the water was at eye level in all the bathrooms. The lowest was about 16 feet below what it was that day. According to him I would have had to wait for a boat had that been the case.
Then I was whisked off to Seton hospital where they made me sit and wait several hours because I had the non–prophetic bad sense to actuall eat something when I got to the park. Then they gave me more drugs (unfortunately NOT before the excruciating experience of being moved from the stretcher to my hospital cot or having to shift my leg to take x-rays), tried 4 times to knock that sucker back in (of which I was thankfully conscious for only 1). Finally they gave up, put me completely under and got it back into place. Thus forcing me to spend the night.
yadda, yadda, yadda, as I type this I’m pretty much back to normal except my entire body is sore, I suppose from being tense for 5 hours straight. What a work out! I have some sort of post traumatic thing happening where I shudder at the thought of going back to Hippie Hollow lest it should all happen again.
But how can I avoid the place I love, which has brought me so much joy? Rest assured I will whip my subconscious back into shape in time to get a pre-vacation tan so I don’t look like a complete novice on the nude beaches of the Netherlands/Belgium!
Here are photos of the whole endeavor Sam caught with his cell phone. Sorry for the small size, it was too blurring when enlarged
*all names have been changed to protect the nudists.