Doctored in Dubois and Back on the Trail
I ended up taking a total of three zeroes in Dubois before hitching out Saturday afternoon. Each morning I rose from the motel bed and took my first few steps as carefully as possible. Before reaching the bathroom, however, I would feel the pain in my ankle and cringe, collapsing back down upon the bed out of discomfort and frustration. On the morning of the third zero, I decided it was time to see a doctor, even if just to confirm my suspicions. At the clinic, I got some X-rays done, which showed no fracture and no loose bone fragments floating around. Good news.
Doc claimed it likely to be ligament damage, calling it a chronic ankle sprain. He got me an ankle brace, recommending a week off and for me to cut my mileage in half. I was willing to take one more zero at the Wind River Motel but reasoned to walk out the next day just so I could keep moving and not spend any more money in town. Also, there was a meteor shower peaking the next two nights and I had to be out in the wilderness for that show.
What the doctor failed to diagnose was a case of border fever; when a long-distance hiker is within reach of the next state and increases his or her mileage to get out of the current state. I was doing great mileage through Wyoming and was less than a week out of Idaho when this injury slowed me down.
Luckily, the trail was well tracked up to and through Yellowstone. The tread was soft and terrain fairly flat, allowing my ankles a break from the uneven ground that you often find on the CDT. Doing ten miles a day was extremely enjoyable, although unsettling at times. I walked slower, took more breaks in the shade, stretched, soaked my feet in cold streams, read, wrote, and slept in till the sun hit my tent.
From Dubois to here, I went nearly two weeks without Wi-Fi, which I did not mind at all. Today I got into Island Park, ID, and will be spending the night here at a campground before resupplying for the next stretch, getting back out on trail tomorrow. Having typed up a longer blog than usual, I’ll be posting one tomorrow as well. Stay tuned! Peace and Love
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