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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PCT - Day 27: 5/15/2018 - in need of a zero

Trail miles: 11.4 from 454.5 - 465.9
Miles hiked: 13.6
Agua Dulce
Breakfast at Sweetwater in the tiny town of Agua Dulce was really damn good. Nine of us hungry hikers sat together and ate. It was noticeable how quiet it got when food was delivered. Hiking forces one to focus intently on food when it’s placed in front of you.

After breakfast, the others went to the grocery store to resupply. I headed to the liquor store in search of an ATM, but found it out of cash, so I just bought a beer instead. I waited out front of the grocery store sipping my Modelo at 9:00am.

When my hiker family was done shopping, a gentleman offered us all a ride back up Darling Rd. to Hiker Heaven.

We just hung out much of the day chilling in various areas around this special place. The day was filled with many highlights.
Hiker Chilling
Hiker Napping
First, we were blessed with the opportunity to hear Chilly Bin play the guitar and she melted hearts with her beautiful singing. It was truly moving. Later she would also cook some Mac n’ cheese that she was kind enough to share with me.
Chilly Bin Music
We spent the hot part of the afternoon lounging in the hiker house. Somewhere in the sea of legs and feet, Pacemaker escaped and found some nail polish in the hiker box. He decided to paint a few of his toenails; so of course our entire trail family joined in and got just the big toe on our left foot painted, just because. This is just one more way we are bonded.
Hiker Feet
The day was about friends, laughs, the occasional chore, and relaxing. Chilly Bin continued her generosity and even sewed yet another button onto my shirt. We even ran into Shank & Pocket Knife as we were packing up to leave. We’re hoping they catch up with us at Casa de Luna.
Trail View
My wrist in my right arm really started hurting in the morning for an unknown reason. There’s a lump right near my bone. The pain worsened throughout the day. By the time we hit the trail again at 3 pm, I couldn’t really even hold a water bottle or use a trekking pole without significant pain. To add to my problems, my Achilles tendinitis in my left ankle started hurting badly. With an occasional step it would shoot intense pain into my leg and foot.

Most of the group powered past me, and I was left to my pain alone. Anytime my body starts hurting a lot, I fear it may be the end of my hike. The idea that I’d have to leave this greatest adventure of my life and all these people I’ve grown to love just broke my heart. I sat right next to the trail and cried. Chilly Bin was slightly ahead of me and she knew I was struggling today. She waited around a couple bends in the trail for me which was really heart warming to see when I hobbled up with tears still in my eyes.
Trail Grass
I eventually rolled into the spring where we refilled water for the next 15 miles and just announced to the group that if they needed to hike on, then that was fine, but my body was screaming for a zero day. I’ve only taken two zeros in 27 days now. To my surprise the entire group unanimously agreed that they also wanted a zero day and that they wanted me to heal up and get better. Pacemaker even offered to carry my water, which I refused, but his offer still touched me. I’ve never felt closer and more connected to a group of friends. I filtered water fighting back tears of acceptance & love.
Evening Sun
We hiked until just after sunset. We arrived at a camp spot that was already partially occupied by a few other hikers, so I hiked on with Ziploc. We camped 1/3 of a mile past the rest of our family that squeezed in to the first spot.
Today I experienced a complete emotions all the way from love to despair. This day was one for the memories, the tough parts which were made easier by a hug or a smile from a friend at the right moment. I just hope I can reciprocate these great acts of kindness and love. I am so lucky to have these people by my side on this hike.

1 comment:

  1. Left ankle, right wrist pain can be caused by too many trekking pole tricks or maybe by hiking over 400 miles with a painted left big toe. Try painting the other toes and see if it helps.

    Seriously, I hope the pain is only temporary.