Sunday, April 26, 2009

A serious forehead burn

This past weekend was my first two days off and out of the hospital in 22 days so I knew I had to get out and paddle. That and the weather was predicted to be 92 degrees and sunny. Brett Beel, Adam Mueller and I decided to go on a little field trip down to Scottsville, VA and the James River. Brett and Adam would go for a bike ride and then come and pick me up a down river. Our planned meeting spot was the Highway 15(James Madison Hwy) Bridge.

We left Charlottesville around 9 and I hit the water around 10am. The paddle itself was beautiful. The trees are actually starting to carry some new foliage and the birds were out in full force. The turles had finally started coming up from their hibernation and were sunning themselves on logs the whole way down the river.

This section of the James is really pretty, the river becomes fairly broken up and for a bit of the section I would just weave in and out of large islands. One of the highlights of the morning was watching a deer swim between one island to another. I also had the chance to hang out watching a group of cows lounge in the shade for a bit. They had the right idea!

Anyway, as I was paddling down the river, I was becoming acutely aware that my sun protection was inadequate. The long hours in the OR had paled my skin and my melanocytes just were not tough enough to deal with the intense sun exposure. Even though I had put on SPF 30, I could feel the burn starting.

Around 12:10 I pulled up and under the Hwy 15 bridge and into some shade. After stashing my kayak, I hiked up from the boat launch to the Hwy, only to find that my cell phone did not receive any service. Oh well, Brett and Adam were supposed to come meet me when they were done with their ride. Not wanting to lose sight of my boat, I took up a position on the bridge and waited. And waited. And waited in the hot sun on a concrete bridge. Needless to say my sun burn became worse. The view was great though looking over the James.

Eventually Brett and Adam came and picked me up and we drove back to Cville. However, my forehead took the brunt of the sun exposure and I am bracing myself for a high level of ridicule tomorrow in the OR. Until next time.....

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