Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 26 : Down But Not Out

14 miles today
2262 miles to go

Injury! It is not fun to be injured. It is even less fun on the PCT. I have become one of the slowest of walkers. The first mile was easy. Then the knee reminds me with every step that it is not having fun. The pain is energy sapping. I don't think it's my knee joint. It feels more like the tendons around my knee hurt. There is nothing that I knowingly did to injure it. As soon as I stop moving it stops hurting. This is aggravating in that as soon as I stop I feel ready to continue. I hike down to highway two. Now I have options. Besides choosing to road walk, follow the PCT for three more miles, or take the twenty mile detour, I have a better choice. I choose to use the pit toilet. Luxury of luxuries. Then I rest on a picnic table with my leg elevated on my pack. I take two Motrin. Maybe that'll help? I don't know, I'm not a doctor. Is my hike over? I don't know. I rest for about thirty minutes before deciding to push on up the PCT there is a campground with running water in seven miles with two miles or so of road walking that seems to be the easiest. Then perhaps camp? I have to make it there first.

I climb up the PCT and my knee protests. Dang! What did I do to it? I struggle for about a mile going about a mile an hour. The cold wind that has dogged me since being dropped off two days ago is still chilling me. I climb up and around a corner. The wind is gone. Wow! I find a log at a switchback and lay in the dirt. I put my right foot atop my pack leaning on tech log. Nothing hurts! It's warm! I lather on some sunscreen. Then lay back with my face under my hat. So comfortable. I here hikers plodding by on their way up the hill. I lay still, pretending to sleep. How long should I lay here? I have about two liters of water. I have sevenish miles to go. Twenty minutes and I can't sit still anymore. I get up and start hiking. 

There are definitely things that I am doing that aggravate my knee tendons. I'm not a doctor, but it's definitely not my knee joint. I'll say it's my tendons. Lifting my right leg and bending my knee is a sure fire way to feel maximum pain. Let's not do that again. Going up hill is a pain in the knee. Especially if my right leg is on the uphill side. If I twist to face uphill and side step my right leg, picture a zombie walking stiff legged. That's my walk with my right leg. Going down hurts too. Especially climbing down a rocky trail. Flat level trail is the best. 

I reach the road with Anmei and her mom. They are road walking too. We walk the road until they leave me behind. I just can't walk that fast. I am trying to avoid doing anything that cause pain to my right knee. I am assuming that if its not hurting it's healing. I'd like to think so anyway. I pass And Dizzy & Brownie at the rest area. They were the hikers that originally past me as I struggled down the hill from Little Jimmy Camp to highway two. They tell me I should rest my knee. “I know,” I say. “When I get to the campground.” I walk all the way to the campground and find everyone there. Anmei, her mom, Brownie, And Dizzy, Simba, Bigfoot and his girlfriend. I lay in the dirt with my leg on my pack. I eat a peanut butter tortilla and think of Braveheart. She's the one who showed me this treat. I wonder where she is now. Walking at least twice as fast as me she gets further everyday. 

From the campground it's only a few miles to the PCT. I can do that. After resting, my knee feels normal until I try to do the things that aggravate it. I try avoiding those things. I make it to the PCT. I can walk slow and carefully and my knee almost doesn't hurt. Slowly, oh so slowly do the miles pass. Everything except my knee is feeling great. I plod on hour after hour. I reach mile four hundred. A brief “Yay,” I wonder if I'll reach five hundred. The hours pass and the shadows get longer. Where to camp? I reach Glenwood Boy Scout camp. It's too dusty. Ha, that's funny to say. But it's true. It's too hard to keep the dust out of my stuff. Especially if it's breezy. Which it is. I refill about three and a half liters of water. The next reliable water is the Mill Creek Fire Station in eighteen miles. I hope to make it there tomorrow. But first a place to rest. I hike another half mile or so and find a nice pine needle covers knoll. I setup my tent and cook Greek lentils and quinoa with ground beef and minute rice. I really enjoy it. Then I grab my maps and the last of my caramel popcorn and sit in the twilight planning my day tomorrow. My hope is that my knee will be doing better. Into my tent for my three wet wipe bath and to bed. 


  1. Three wet wipes?! That's practically a bubble bath at a spa. Hope you feel better soon. We are thinking about you.