Seven months after ankle reconstruction surgery, I had hiked to the top of Handies Peak, one of Colorado’s fifty three “14ers.”* In the previous week, my ankle had carried me high into the San Juans, up vertical climbs to impossibly blue crystal lakes and over treacherous rock slides to exposed wind swept crags.
With my surgical scar hidden beneath the strap of my hiking sandal, no one could see the evidence of my three bone and ligament grafts acquired in November of 2012. The few determined hikers we encountered around Durango, Silverton and Ouray saw only a mother and daughter pair, celebrating a graduation and a relationship, pausing only for photos and occasional gasps of the thin air.
* Mountains with an elevation of over 14,000 feet.
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