It is time to share something personal instead of a lost coal mine or how crows love their families. Today I am going to write about how I have been given another life and hence my gratitude in this time of distress and misery.

As I sit here today a month later out of commission and looking months of recover in the eye, I ponder the what if of life. What if I had not turned left. What if I had not turned at all. What if I had turned right. Each of these would have different consequences. All of them would have been made in a blink of an eye.

So.. you say what are you talking about Robin. Has Batgurrl gone to smoking whacky tobacco? Hell no it is not an illusion in the photo. The mirror shows the reality of what happened on September 27, 2022.

What if I had not turned? That would be probably the best of the lot. A motorscooter would have zipped by me super close but it would continued down the Cedar River Trail. Neither the rider nor I would be hurt. But why was he so close to me? How can one not turn when you hear something so close? And motorized anything is banned so one does not expect a fast moving big thing zipping by a foot or two away. Still the “what if” is a game one plays in ones head.

What if I had turned to my right? This is where it gets tricky when I ponder in the middle of night what if. Would the scooter have just run me over and knocked me backwards to the pavement. The back of my head smacking that hard surface and lights out….perhaps forever. Yup.. my notion of immortality has been shaken. What if? Could be worse!

That means I have a second chance to do things unfinished or not conceived yet. Hence Gratitude. Which we all need to practice everyday. Be joyful, positive and dance in the face of the devil.

Be safe out there. It can happen in the wink of an eye. Life changes forever from a bit of wrong place wrong time. How do we protect against that? I don’t know but one must carry on because the alternative is bleak. Here are the details what happened that day. May it be a cautionary tale for everyone.

I was standing on the south side of the Cedar River Trail videotaping the site where the New Black Diamond Coal Mine used to stand. Today most people know this as the place where a Lakeside Industries want to build an asphalt plant. I was sorting out how the drainage from that site could get to the Cedar River just on the other side of the trail and highway.

I had just scrambled around next to the river trying to find the drainage pipe that the county had put a white marker up for. What I found was a remnant of the Coal mine. A man made rock drain thing. Here is a video and photo of that.

Old Drain from the 1920s to 1940s New Black Diamond Coal Mine.

This drain goes under what used to be the railroad and the Renton-Maple Valley Highway. The Cedar River is behind me. The railroad bed has been converted to a wide paved trail for walking and bike riding called the Cedar River Trail.

Now the video I took that day explaining my find.

So then I moved up on the trail like I mentioned in the video. I am half on the grass and half on the edge of the trail documenting the Lakeside property and a manhole on the highway’s shoulder there. I took another video there explaining how things look from that perspective.

Had shut off the video and was getting ready to take a photo of the manhole area when I heard a sound in my right ear. It was not too loud and I sensed something was coming down the trail behind me. I turned to my left with my camera still in my right hand.

Bam!! My elbow hit something solid. I saw in a flash a man on a scooter. Then I hit the pavement on my left side skidded a little bit on my shoulder and forearm. Skidded enough to get road rash but not enough to abrade my t-shirt. Then my camera took the hit for my right hand and my knee struck the pavement. Again no damage to my jeans but that cracked my knee cap. Then my head came last & I hit my forehead on the ground.

Holy shit Batman! The toll is a broken left elbow with a hole from the scooter brake lever, a cracked kneecap and busted camera. Thank god no brain damage but perhaps a slight concussion.

Nearly a month has elapsed. Three weeks ago I had surgery to fix my left elbow. It was broken in two places and now has a 4″ plate and 7 screws holding it together. I keep it bent at 90 degrees and still can’t touch my face or anything higher than my waist. I am exercising it by letting gravity pull it straight. That is all I get to do for now. Physical Therapy is coming at some point. A pillow is always near holding it up.

My days are on the couch with my right leg propped up and in a thigh to ankle brace. Have to keep that leg straight for about 6 weeks. Ever try to do that? It is tough but now that the elbow doesn’t hurt like hell I am getting serious to get that crack healing.

I have a new admiration for disabled people. Living life with one hand and one good leg is tough and makes me ache even in my limbs that work. Taking a shower is an ordeal and I can count on one hand how many I have taken since the accident. I yearn for the ability to wash my hair or even put a hair tie on. Just about near impossible without help.

Gratitude is all I can say. I will recover and be out and about again. Be able to do my own grocery shopping, hike to see the fall leaves, and sort out where the ghost town of Sherwood stood. I hear life in general calling me. Can’t give up at this point and let this be the end of me. I was given another chance at it and have to grab that with both hands and both feet.

Grab the day everyone! No matter the good and bad of it. It is your day! Have Gratitude to be alive!


  1. I just found your website while searching for images of white crows and saw the photographs of the unusually colored crow you found. So beautiful. My heart goes out to you as I read about your ordeal. I had an accident last December resulting in surgery and confinement and want to send you a kind word of hope. I am an artist from Oklahoma and would love to send you a get well card, those gave me great encouragement. You can email me if that sounds like something that would boost your spirit. I hope you have a beautiful day.

  2. I would love to send you a get well card! I just found your blog last night as I was searching images of crows and read about your recent accident. I had a fall last December and can resonate with much of what you are experiencing. Cards of encouragement helped me and if you would like one, just to brighten your spirit, send me an email and I will get one to you. Have a beautiful day!
    -Christen. Artist from Oklahoma.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. Just your offer of a card has made me smile today. No need for the actual card it is that lovely moment of light and love you sent that matters

      The caramel crow was so lovely and felt blessed that I was able to get some good photos and video. Perhaps this fall/winter I can go search for him/her again. From what I heard there are several in the area so odds are good to see them again.

      • OOOOOO I hope you do get to see more of them! And should you change your mind about a little art through the mail, I am happy to send you a card. In the meantime, beauty to you!


  3. VERY sorry to hear this news! Please let me know if I can do
    anything for you and PLEASE give me a call when you feel like it.

    • Thanx for the kind thoughts. It is tough to be laid up but in time will be back in the field.

      Soon I will be publishing an article on a lost road in Cedar Mtn that I located. Would be great if you could take a peek at some old cement structures I found. Get another set of eyes to figure our what they are. History calls us!

  4. Robin

    I am so sorry to hear about your misfortune. You are so active, so curious in the field – I can’t imagine how challenging it has been for you to be fairly idle. Also, I know you are a care taker and imagine that has introduced additional challenges.

    Namaste (the divine in me honors the divine in you) to you that you titled your post “Gratitude,” your post describing how an illegal (on the Cedar River Trail) moto scooter hit you and caused so much harm. I am and will think of you in warm, healing light.

    XO, Dorothy on Lake Desire

    • Oh Dorothy it is a mess but time will heal and will be back at it. Thanx for the good light My bones will take every bit we can get.

      Just a few days ago I thought of you. Am working on an article about finding a lost road at Cedar Mtn. While searching the King Co Road Map Vault found some old aerials of the Lk Desire area. Will send you an email with either a snip or a link. Be careful out there!!

  5. Aargh – that sounds like such a terrible accident and so glad it wasn’t worse. It must be a bit of torment to be so laid up — not just the difficulty of washing your hair and other day to day “luxuries” but also not being able to get out and about for the exploring you so love. Wishing you a fast recovery and perhaps some bird visitors to your window to bring you messages that the back country is out there waiting for you!
    June in Vancouver, BC

    • Oh thank you for the kind words. Yes the birds are keeping me happy out in my yard. Our resident crows come every day for snacks.

      The other thing I am doing is writing up articles on things I never had time to do. I bet you have a treasure trove of info never shared too. The latest article on the Lost Road I found last year is a prime example of that.

      Take care!!

  6. Holy Nightmares Batgurrl!! You didn’t even mention if the schmuck stopped to ask if you were okay…arrgh! I hope your recovery has made great progress. Thanks for sharing (and crediting) my story of the Caroline Mine on Tiger Mtn in a different blog. There are so many more details I’d love to share with you and perhaps we could share a walk with you at the Caroline Mine in the new year. Please send me an email and we can make a plan for that.

    • Thanx for the kind words. Yes us history searches have to stick together. Would love to go walk up there together in a few months. I am making good progress and am out and about again.

      And yes thee schmuck stopped. He had no choice. The motorized skateboard he struck me with went into a spin when the handle bar hit my elbow. I think he got his leg tangled in it which then caused a spiral fracture of his leg. He spent 3 weeks in the hospital and has 3x the metal in his leg than I do in my elbow.

      I also talked to a lawyer and they said I have a case. However since there is no requirement for insurance on that kind of vehicle I would have to go after his homeowners or renters insurance. That is if he has that. So they sent me some other lawyers to contact and last ditch effort will be small claims court. Or I just thought.. Judge Judy. LOL she would tear him up.

  7. Holy Nightmares Batgurrl!! You didn’t even mention if the schmuck stopped to ask if you were okay…arrgh! I hope your recovery has made great progress. Thanks for sharing (and crediting) my story of the Caroline Mine on Tiger Mtn in a different blog. There are so many more details I’d love to share with you and perhaps we could share a walk with you at the Caroline Mine in the new year. Please send me an email and we can make a plan for that.

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