Hiking While Sick is No Fun

ECT Day 221&222

IAT Day 52&53

Day 221: 27 miles

This morning I woke up around 6am and was still feeling awful. I was a bit less congested but still felt terrible. Sparkle was having a really rough time as well. We wound up taking a super long time to get packed up and head out. But still had to keep on walking.

Waking up feeling super sick in my tent.

By 8am we were heading out. There were only 3 miles before we would pass by a gas station. I was hoping to stop off there and get something warm to eat and drink. My congestion had me feeling pretty disoriented all morning and I also had a really rough cough. When we got to the gas station all of us dropped our packs and headed inside. They didn’t have much but I was able to get a hot drink and a muffin. And we found out from the lady inside that the restaurant down the street would be open for breakfast. So that became our next destination.

We got caught up talking to some locals outside the gas station for a while. Then continued on to walk the 3 or so miles to the restaurant and store. The time went by fairly quickly. It was a crummy day to be out walking though. There was some pretty cold wind and it was raining lightly. It was a relief to get to the restaurant and head inside to warm up. These are not the ideal conditions for a sick person.

Once inside we ordered drinks and food. I got a hot chocolate, French onion soup, and a steak sandwich. Everything was delicious and just what I needed. My appetite has definitely been impacted a bit by being sick. It was good to pound down a bunch of calories and get some fluids in as well.

A philly cheese steak smothered in gravy.

After we ate we got back to walking. We still planned to go an additional 21 miles to a roadside motel and restaurant for the night. I did my best to get into the zone and let the time fly on by. And I was pleasantly surprised that the first 2 hours really did. Then we just kept on moving until around 3pm. It actually started to warm up around this time so I had to take some layers off. That was a great feeling after being fairly cold lately. Earlier today for the first time in Newfoundland the wind was at our backs! That was fantastic as opposed to fighting against the wind all day.

We took a short break around that time to all pull some snacks out. I did my stretching. Then we pushed on to get to the motel. We wanted to be sure to get in before the connected restaurant closed for the night. There were still about 9 miles remaining in the day so it wasn’t exactly going to fly by. But I put my music on and zoned into the walking. I was definitely feeling some aches and pains on the road. They come and go just as easily though. I try not to worry about anything that doesn’t persist.

Walking past the beautiful ocean.

The day came and went and before I knew it the sun was beginning to set. I knew that that meant we were getting close to our destination. The last few miles of the evening I had some pretty terrible abdominal cramps. I wasn’t sure if it was a result of all of the cold medicine that I’ve been taking. Or if it was something that I had eaten today. But those last miles was a bit miserable. My knees and felt fine but my stomach was killing me.

Bundled up trying not to get sun burnt on the road walk.

Just as the sun fully went down and it began to get dark we got to the parking lot for the motel. I never had to pull my headlamp out which was lovely. When I got inside and dropped my pack I felt a lot better. I think the stomach ache and cramps were just exasterbated by the hiking.

The sun setting along the road.

Once we checked in we dropped our packs at the room. Then we walked down to the restaurant and put an order in for dinner. The nice thing was that we could just have it delivered right to the room. That way we could eat it while we relax, shower, and what not. I wound up getting chicken Alfredo pasta for dinner. And while we waited for it to be made we walked across the street to the Irving gas station. We had to resupply for the next couple days.

Grabbing dinner at the Plum Point Motel.

Back at the room everyone showered and ate dinner. The pasta really hit the spot. My body was pretty sore so it felt great to be resting in bed for the night. I’ve been very spoiled on the IAT and it’s something that I’m incredibly grateful for. After I ate my dinner I stretched and put my electronics on to charge. Then I called it a night.     

Day 222: 32 miles

This morning I woke up around 6am. Trucker and Sparkle were already up and were discussing the plan for today and tomorrow. We’ll be passing by a restaurant at some point today but otherwise won’t be resupplying until tomorrow. We’ve really been sending miles lately which has been good. The weather is going to turn fast in Canada and we know that we have to get through as quickly as possible. Today will be our 4th 30 mile day in a row by the end of it.

After I got packed up in the room I walked back to the gas station to grab a few more snacks. I also really wanted a hot drink to carry as we started our day. It was a pretty cold morning as it has been lately. By 7:40am we were all back on the road walking.

Walking along the road.

This morning I felt so much better than I have the last couple of days. My head feels totally clear and I’m not congested at all. That’s such a relief. I’m so glad that the cold worked it’s way out of my system so quickly. Being sick on trail is miserable! When you’re at home and you’re sick all you want to do is rest. Lay in bed, relax, be warm, eat soup, and what not. I think it’s safe to say that it’s the typical persons worst nightmare to have to exercise for 12 hours in the cold, wind, and rain while they are sick. But that’s been my reality for the last couple days.

The level of comfort that I have gained over the last 7 months with being uncomfortable is truly crazy. It’s pretty wild how much your perspective can change with time. The things that I can tolerate while being unbothered are immense. Just these last 2-3 weeks in Canada I have been walking through an injury every single day. I’m not walking in constant pain by any means. But I’ve needed to compression wrap my knee every single day in order to hike comfortably. I clearly pulled something or tore something a couple of weeks ago. But it seems that it is sorting itself out and slowly but surely healing. I am able to hike all day without it getting worse. So I just continue on.

Sparkle and Trucker up ahead along the road.

Once we set out for the day we walked for a few hours continuously. It was definitely cold but not too bad or windy. We wound up getting to a small store and restaurant around 11am. The timing aligned perfectly to hang out for a bit and enjoy a nice break. I got some French fries and turkey soup for lunch. As well as a cold sparkling water which absolutely hit the spot.

We sat inside and took our time eating. Then we had to continue on because we still planned to push out another 20 miles today. We were only about 10 miles in so far and it was close to noon. While we walked along the road I sipped on a ginger ale that I packed out from the gas station. Nothing hits better than a road soda.

Crossing a small wooden bridge along the “trail”.

As I walked I listened to music and ate some snacks. I’ve even been managing to get some blog writing done lately along the road walks! When the shoulder is wide and the traffic level is low it’s very easy to do. You really don’t have to watch your footing on the road. It’s nice to feel like I can actually be a bit “productive” with my time on the road. Because it can definitely get a bit tedious and boring if we aren’t going past any major sights or fun stops.

The three of us walking until around 3pm. Then we decided to stop off for a quick stretch and to pull more snacks out. We all just chilled alongside the road. The road walking the last day or so has basically been going past the ocean all day long. As far as road walking goes it’s been really beautiful. But that’s also why the wind has been so bad.

Taking a break at a nice little pull off along the side of the road.

From there we continued walking for another hour and a half. Then we stopped off one last time for the day. When you find a place along the road where it’s a convenient to pee discreetly you can’t pass it up. That’s one of my biggest qualms with the road walking. Every now and then you wind up having to pee really publicly because there is no other option.

We set out from that last break of the day around 4:45pm. There were still probably about 9-10 miles remaining for the day. So I knew that we would be hiking after dark. But that’s ok! It’s the price you pay when you want to sleep in a bit at the motel room and also get big miles in. After it started to get dark I was pleasantly surprised how many kind souls pulled over to talk to us. A bunch of different people stopped to make sure that the three of us were ok. They were confused where we were headed because it was dark out and there was nothing around. But we planned to find a stealth site somewhere along the road, as we have successfully done lately.

Walking the road at sunset once again.

Around 8pm we turned off of the main road and started walking along a dirt road. We were able to find a nice flat spot alongside the dirt road for all of us to set up tents safely. Then we would just backtrack to the main road tomorrow to continue walking. It was the perfect place to camp for the night though. I got my tent set up and then laid inside to stretch. Not long after that I rolled over and called it a night.

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Comments 7

  • Joe : Oct 21st

    Hang in there peg leg been following and reading ur blog since april.hope u feel better.dont let ppl in ur head ur tongue out pics r funny and cute…happy hiking to all 3 of u.

  • thetentman : Oct 21st

    Inspiring. Thx.

  • Paul : Oct 21st

    You’re tough. Awesome posts. Be careful. Be safe.
    You’ll look back on this when you get old and appreciate it even more.

  • Richard : Oct 21st

    I’ve been enjoying your journal for a few months now. I admire you and your friends ❤️. You get bonus points and a big smile for inventing a new word. Most people just say exacerbated, but your version is more fun. Carry on!

  • Alan K : Oct 21st

    Been following along since day 1. You(yall) are amazing. I’m kinda jealous, maybe when my kids are grown I can hit the AT but not sure about the insane extra amount youdlve done(or that I could even do the at in ten yrs). Anyway keep on keeping on.

  • Roses : Oct 21st

    Is it me or don’t most people avoid doing anything, especially going out, when they are sick? I don’t get it.

  • Rem : Oct 22nd

    Still loving your trip. Say hi to Sparkles and Trucker.


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