My boyfriend and I went to Waterton National Park for a few days. We have never been there before and the area is beautiful.
Sort of having a disability issue though
It seems like an excellent place for hiking but with chronic pain I don’t exactly make much of a hiker. I usually do go on shorter walks and paths when we go to places like this but I have had some difficulty walking lately. With what seems to be ‘drop foot’. And so after a very short time walking I’m basically tripping over my own foot and dragging it. So it really alters my gait and makes it both exhausting and very difficult to walk definitely over any terrain that isn’t very flat. The way you have to walk when this happens is not cool with my fibromyalgia either. So that isn’t fun all around.
This really bothers me. As it would anyone when your mobility is curbed that much. And you keep literally tripping over your own foot. So sort of disturbed by that. I have had two falls already. And I couldn’t get up because it isn’t just the foot that is weak and not working it is sort of the whole leg, knee, area. And it just doesn’t work right so I couldn’t really get myself up. Because my Other leg has been really, really overcompensating for the lack in the other one and basically helping me lift and pull the other leg along. So it couldn’t take all my weight to pull me up. My boyfriend had to pull me up. And that was embarrassing.
Since this is a relatively new issue I don’t know my limits or what to do about it. Sort of all new to me. But I definitely Now know I can’t walk far at all. And the more I walk the weaker I get. Which really sucks. So I really need to do something about this soon. I am thinking since no one seems inclined to diagnose what the cause of this is anytime soon I will go to physiotherapy Now so I can help myself Now- and help my actually ability to function Now. This isn’t the sort of thing I want to wait however long for whoever to figure out.
I really am not cool with this leg issue but I am used to limitations of all sorts. So I just tried to find other things we could do within this set of limitations. There isn’t really any other choice. Well, I could mope and do nothing. But that isn’t an option for me. The other one is try and push through it but that also doesn’t work because the leg simply doesn’t comply and also the weakness is leading to falls and that isn’t fun.
There is nothing wrong with compromise. It can be infuriating that your body refuses to function. That it is always a limit and you can’t do what you want to do. And have to plan and choose smaller, tiny options. However, if you accept the limitations you have at that moment in time, you can find all sorts of things to do and have an awesome time. Not free of fatigue and pain, perhaps, and, yeah, pacing and rest are necessary facts. But definitely things that are totally awesome.
Taking a drive:
When you go to National Parks there are always drive routes to check out. Scenic views and possible places to spot wildlife but if not definitely some awesome scenery. We took a couple scenic drives. And this is the substitute over hikes, even easy short hikes can be out of the question sometimes. It is what it is.
I don’t think people quite understand that an ‘easy’ hike may not be so easy when your body isn’t quite functioning. When you have pain, fatigue and weakness. And all that just gets so much worse as you go. I am all for ignoring pain for short term gain. So I have done short, very easy hikes before, if they are short. And pain that pain price. And it always has a price. But you pay it because you Want to explore nature and just enjoy the experience.
But when my vertigo started that made it very difficult to walk around on uneven ground and for any distance. Now with this foot drop, well, after a very short distance I am tripping on my toes and dragging my foot. It is very hard to walk and so draining. I am incredibly slow. It is cumbersome and a tripping hazard. Not a good idea to be trekking around on uneven ground. Or walking any real distance. It just takes so long to get anywhere.
So scenic drives make a fine substitute. There is the drive up Red Rock Canyon road and then you can check out the canyon itself. Whether you trek down into it or not, it is still awesome to see the red rocks. The there is the road up to Cameron lake. The lake itself you can rent equipment to go on the lake. There is a short hiking path there too. And if my leg/foot was fine I would have attempted that one since it is said to be ‘easy’ level.
On such drive was specifically to go around the Bison Paddock where they have relocated some bison in 2017. We went around their area and came across them chilling down by one of their water areas. It was quite hot while we were down there so makes sense they were hanging out by they water. It was pretty cool to see them.
We went to Cameron Falls which is right in Waterton itself. You can go up a steep incline on both sides for a better view but obviously I couldn’t but we took in the view below.
Walk by the shore: waterton international peace park
They have a path along the shore that starts at the dock and is called the Waterton International Peace Park. We went there at dusk when the heat of the day was a bit settled.
Shoreline Cruise Company boat tour
We took a boat tour of the lake which was very decently prices and a wonderful, beautiful tour that takes you right across the border into Montana. I loved it. It did trigger my vestibular symptoms a bit as you’d expect since it is a boat. But I expected it and it will settle back to normal levels in a day or two.
So you keep yourself pretty busy with things you can do and rest breaks. Then checking our local restaurants. We could one in particular we really liked and ended up going there most of the time. We even checked out an ice cream parlor that was highly recommended and sat by the water eating that. That was because a high school friend of mine lives close by there and she came into Waterton for ice cream with her husband so we met up with them. That was pretty awesome.
So I really enjoyed this trip. It was just a short trip really and in-province but we just needed to get away for a bit of a break. And it is a beautiful area for sure. I think we will definitely be going back sometime.