Carroll Dubuar (right) hiking with his son-in-law, Richard Rubin near Tillamook Head in 2006. Dubuar, 90, survived a 60 foot fall down an embankment in the Columbia River Gorge earlier this week. Courtesy of Nancy Dubuar
After reading this, I will use it as a kick in the pants to myself whenever I don't think I have the energy to get out for a hike!
Hiker, 90, says he's feeling pretty good, considering fall
Carroll Dubuar, trying not to laugh with a broken rib, wants to get back out there
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
KIMBERLY A.C. WILSON, The Oregonian Staff
Tumble dozens of feet off a steep hiking trail, landing face first onto a mat of felled trees and rocks, and you'd be lucky to look and sound as good Carroll Dubuar did on Monday. Five days after the fall, the 90-year-old retired forest worker lies in a hospital bed, his skin a mess of bruises and abrasions, a broken rib cutting laughter short with a wince.
"Gruesome-looking," Dubuar said Monday, trying not to chuckle. "But I feel pretty good -- considering." Considering his drop face-first down a 60-foot ravine during a weekly jaunt with group of over-70 hikers could have been much worse. The hikers, nicknamed the "Hotliners," have been together since the early 1980s.
The fall Wednesday on a steep trail near Elowah Falls in the Columbia Gorge knocked Dubuar out momentarily and is blamed for a new, halting speech pattern.
"If I get back on my feet I plan to hike some more," he told reporters as his daughter, Jan Barkhurst, looked on with concern.
"My sister calls it 'confuzzled,' " she said softly. "He didn't sound like that before the fall." Doctors and relatives hope the mental haze will fade, along with the bruises.
Good thing, because he isn't likely to stay in bed much longer. Those hiking trails are still calling, he said.
On Sunday, Dubuar walked the halls of the intensive care unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center, venturing to the open-air Children's Garden for a taste of fresh air.
Along with the views, it what's drawn the second-generation hiker to trails and backcountry across Oregon for nine decades.
"I like," Dubuars said simply, "to be outdoors."
When the Laurelhurst man is discharged, perhaps as early as next week, he heads next to a care center until he is able to return home.
"We've threatened him with taking away his walking stick, making him wear a helmet, elbow and knee pads, all of it," Barkhurst said, teasingly. "It won't work -- he lives for his Wednesday hikes."
Now if that isn't INSPIRATION, I don't know what is!!!
[posted while listening to "Mojave" by Afro Celt]