The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

– FEBRUARY 8, 2015

We are on the 2015 friends & family tour prior to departing for the first stop our the round the world adventure. First stop is the Blum residence, home of Devin & Shannon (Jill’s sister) on a farm by Camrose, Alberta. This offered us the first taste of the comparison from Canadian prairie winter to the upcoming warmer weather to come across the world.

When faced with a real Canadian winter on the farm, you have to take advantage of the chance to go snowmobiling! We know that we won’t be seeing snow like this after Feb 17th, so we had to hop on board the snowmobiles and take advantage of the weather that will soon be considered  bizarro-like in only two weeks when we fly out to New Zealand.


Jill in the winter wonderland!

Jill in the winter wonderland!

There was a great snowfall that started the day we arrived in Alberta, so we missed it on our driving and now we got to enjoy the fruits of mother nature’s labor.  The tour started off with stops in a few residential “garage-bars” that we hit on the way to the Ferintosh, Alberta bar.  We were roughly 75% of the population in the Ferintosh bar, so the good folks of Ferintosh can thank us for propping up their economy for one more day!

Jill, Devin & Shannon on the snowmobile party circuit!

From left: Devin Blum, Shannon Blum, Jill Hintze on the snowmobile party circuit!


As the night went on, we had to make our way back to the farm on the snowmobiles.  I was the one who didn’t really have anything to drink and yet, it seems that the gods would not be kind to me that evening.  It was 1:30am and on the sleds we had to cross a slippery road intersection that had been cleared of excess snow a little earlier in the day, but of course that means the ice and gravel were all that remained.

As I went to make this turn, I hit a patch of ice and spun the sled sideways and rolled it on top of me. It was a fluke accident that wouldn’t happen again if I made the same turn in the same manner 100 more times, but as fate would have it this time was different. The other three snowmobiles were well ahead of me, so that left nobody behind me to help out. I slipped out from under the overturned sled and shut it off. I then realized that I couldn’t move my left leg without some pretty extreme pain. I dragged myself away from the sled and looked back to see tail lights moving on into the distance.  We were apparently only 1 mile from the farm, but sitting in the dark in an unknown landscape left me with no idea how much farther we needed to go.

Thumbs up in the triage bay

Thumbs up in the Camrose triage bay


This left me with only one option, so I hopped up onto my right knee and crawled over to the sled.  I used the sled edge to pull myself to a standing position using my right leg, then I rocked the sled ten times to finally roll it back over to be right side up.

I picked up the plastic side panels and snapped them back into place as best I could, then restarted the snowmobile.  I couldn’t move my left leg, but I had no choice but to make my way back to the farm.  Upon arrival I was greeted by our group who thought I had just been touring around on my own.  When I got off the snowmobile I immediately fell to the ground since I couldn’t stand.

The decision was quick to go to the emergency department to see how bad our luck was two weeks before leaving on this big adventure.

Once we reached the ED, it was a short wait until I was checked by the doctor.  He sent me for x-rays, as it wasn’t easy to tell how much damage had been done.  This is where it got fun for me.

The x-ray technician was very friendly and told me they are trying to get renovations done to their emergency department.  I told her what I do for a living and she got excited.

The next thing I knew there were three nurses, two technicians, one doctor and one security guard sitting with me in the diagnostic imaging area as we held their first User Group Meeting.  I sketched out the current layout and showed them some ideas on how to improve the patient experience while also providing a staff safety retreat zone.  They thought I had just split the atom!  Needless to say, the staff at Camrose Hospital will remember my visit.  I guess Amanda was right, I couldn’t get away from my job even if I tried!

Oh yeah, the doctor also told me there were no fractures or breaks.  The pic above was taken just after I heard the beautiful words “you’ll be fine to go on your adventure on the 17th“….sweeter words were never spoken!  I just have a hip pointer with deep bone bruising on the greater trochanter & femur.  It hurts like hell, but apparently I will be walking by the 17th…let’s see what happens.


The bruises started showing up the next day….and two days later it became what you see below.  See the loonie on my leg to provide a sense of scale.

See the loonie on my leg for a sense of scale!

See the loonie on my leg for a sense of scale!

It’s three days since the incident and I am still on crutches.  My left leg is improving slowly, but I am being careful to gently stretch every day and to take my anti-inflammatory meds (thanks for the advice Louise!).


For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.


2 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. That’s one nasty HUGE mark on your leg man! You better take care of yourself. I want to see posts about the trip, so don’t go getting yourself out of commission.


  2. Haha KEN!! You’re such a sweet talker– I find that hysterically funny that you were providing your expertise right there in the ER with everyone hanging on your every word. While in pain, no less. Good heavens that’s a great story, and even better of course to know that your leg is going to be just fine in a few days. 🙂


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