Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 59 : That Right Knee is Telling Me Something

21 miles today
1663 miles to go

It sure was comfortable last night. Cool but not cold. I get up and am eating breakfast before the sun comes up. I am packed and moving just as the sun peeks over the mountain. The trail goes up, but not for long. I climb over the pass and now it's downhill all the way to Benson Lake. I think it's about three thousand vertical feet. Down, down I go. My right knee is feeling it today. There's snowy spots that really make me feel unstable. Down, and across more streams, no logs, no boulders, nothing but to march right through. My feet get wet pretty early in the day and stay that way. More fords, more cold water on my feet. 

Benson Lake is a lake I hike by. I don't want or need to stop there. Mosquitoes are out and looking for a free meal. I don't want to be the free meal. I lather on sunscreen and insect repellent. Then I climb over Seavey Pass. The way I say that makes it sound, oh that was easy. But no, I'm just running out of adjectives. Granted Seavey Pass isn't a big high pass like the others, but it is hours getting over it and into Kerrick Canyon. Then the hike down Kerrick canyon surprises me on how far and how long it takes. On and on it goes. Down slurpy slippy trail with snow, mud, and water. My feet are wet and sandy too. The good news is I have happened upon a pack of Thru-hikers. At the bottom of the canyon is yet another ford. This one is large and deep. I cross it and then sit with the other Thru-hikers and eat my lunch. I meet Morning Glory, Pinkie, Pizza Taxi, Big Mike, and others. After lunch it's time to go up again, then down, then up, then down. I lost count there, was that four times. My right knee wasn't having it any more. Twang!!! Wow, haven't felt that in a while. I slow down and walk carefully. Hmmm. Why does it do that? I'm wondering if maybe it's hyper-extending. I decide to change the way I walk. Instead of my nonchalant vertical stance that may be causing me to hyper extend my knee I decide to try leaning forward slightly and keeping my legs bent at the knees. This immediately helps the twanging, it stops. I feel like I'm Bigfoot or a Neanderthal, dragging my knuckles. I am going to try to keep walking this way and see if it helps.

I find a camp at the Fall Creek ford. I am about thirty miles from Sonora Pass. That's where I have a two part hitchhike one way to get to Bridgeport to get my box. There is a part of me that doesn't want the hassle and unknown of the hitch. Will anyone pick me up? How long will it take? I need the food, I would like to sleep in a real bed in a motel there. I would like to eat some town food. I'm glad I don't have to make any decision right now. The mosquitoes are in full swing here. I hang out with the other Thru-hikers for a bit, but the mosquitoes and my wet feet demanded that I retreat to my mosquito free zone. 

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