The author works to retrieve his gear and extract his gear from the Petenwell Flowage, where a winter squall blew him relentlessly onto a rocky shoreline. (Contributed photo)

Back in 1982 I fractured my lower spine in three places and spent two weeks in Madison’s University Hospital with some serious questions about my ability to walk again. I do not know if I have ever written about this subject but long story short, I had an incredible recovery and the one thing that I remember my doctors repeatedly telling me is, “Stay active or arthritis will set into your spine and life will not be pleasant.”

Wednesday, April 21

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