I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a shin splint. I over did it and now I’m paying for it. Luckily I’ve met Ryley who is proof that one can recover and carry on hiking. He gave me some ibuprofen (a.k.a. Vitamin I, an anti-inflamatory) and advice as we walked this afternoon. The advice is to have a rest and once I reach Truckee that’s just what I’ll do. It turns out that the pain-killers Dad left me also have ibuprofen in too so they’ll help the inflamation go down and help me ignore the pain in the mean time.
But before I discovered all this I was grimacing as I limped along. At first I thought I could use my hiking poles to keep the pressure off my left foot, but I couldn’t develop a sustainable gait. I tried Dr. Bug’s* idea of making an ice pack by wrapping snow in a bandana and applying it to the swelling. It may have worked but I wasn’t making any progress north that way. Then I tried distraction. Food fantasies come easily out here. I thought of lying on the couch at The Green Pub (my old flat in NZ) all weekend, catching up on TV shows and making trips to Burger King, Wendy’s and The Flying Horse. But that just made me hungry so I switched to the iPod instead. Still the foot hurt and still I forced myself to go on, feeling a little glum and generally needing something to lift my spirits.
I crossed Ebbet’s Pass and soon met the answer in the form of a couple of lovely day-hikers. They’ve been reading a few trail journals and knew plenty about the PCT. Immediately they offered fresh fruit and some Clif bars which I ate with delight and perked right up. On hearing I’m from New Zealand they mentioned a book they’d read, Dances With Marmots, and of course they were surprised to hear the author (one George Spearing) worked with my neighbour.
Feeling emotionally better I walked on and talked with Heidi, a recent graduate and now doing Sonora Pass to Oregon (700+ miles) with her two dogs. I’m 40% done and still meeting new people. Which is good because trying to catch Blue Sky and Vortex had nearly forced me off trail.
Early to bed early to rise, helps my foot heal and get in the miles.
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Sonora Pass to Donner Pass
*Dr. Bug may not be an actual Dr