Let me quickly proclaim publication of my August “Taking a Hike” column, then move smartly on to what is really preoccupying me right now.
So, “Taking a Hike” – Peekamoose and Table mountains in the Catskills – can be found at The Hour (Exploring the Catskills) and Hersam Acorn (Peace and big views in the Catskills). May’s column (about Shenandoah National Park) is now available in full on this site (via the Taking a Hike tab – 2015: “May – Shenandoah NP” – or by clicking here).
Now, my left knee!
It gave me significant trouble in June, then seemed to fix itself. I did some strenuous hikes and trail maintenance in late June and July, and everything stayed OK. The knee was fine after the Peekamoose-Table Trail too. Then, after a short stroll on asphalt, it began to play up again – big time.
One of the nice things about writing about my hikes is that I can go back and check a better record than my memory. A year ago, in the Catskills again, I complained of “bashing my knee on a misplaced boulder”. Hmm. In Shenandoah this spring, I was “feeling my knees a bit”. That was a month after my “legs fell unpredictably and knee-jarringly through the [snow] crust” on the CT Appalachian Trail. Then came the two weeks of soreness and stiffness in June, right after the Ives Trail.
So this has been coming, and there are potential causes aplenty (chief among them simple wear and tear). Last week, my difficulty putting weight on the knee, pain even at rest, and the size of my left knee relative to my right, combined to send me to an orthopedist. The doctor reckons it is a torn meniscus. I am hoping the MRI will confirm a nice, clean, fixable tear, just like one a friend had. He went waterskiing a week after the operation to remove the offending fragment of cartilage!