Hiker Hobble and a Double Zero
On Tuesday, I hobbled the last 16 miles to the highway 26 road crossing. Full of relief and joy, I stuck my thumb out and was passed only by two vehicles, the third one pulling over to give me a ride into town. The second day out of Pinedale, my left foot started to feel sore. Unsure of the extent of this pain and damage at this point, I kept moving forward. Coming down out of the Wind River Range, the terrain eased up a bit and I decided to push forward to Dubois.
On morning of the third day, I was 30 miles from the hitch to go back into Pinedale and 60 miles forward to the highway 26 crossing to get into Dubois. I considered backtracking for only a moment, figuring I could hop on one foot for 60 miles if truly needed. Unfortunately, this is basically what I did for three days.
The stretch into Dubois was the most difficult I have had thus far on trail. The landscape was a blur as I concentrated on my stride, looking down at my feet and their careful placement upon the ground. My trekking pole was out all day, a crutch to help take weight off my left side, a support to keep me upright. Each morning it took anywhere between five to ten miles to be able to even move my ankle in any way, with the following miles still to be terribly painful and extremely uncomfortable. Mornings were dreaded, as I was not looking forward to the pain and stiffness that came with each rising sun.
These last three days on trail consisted of regular day nightmares (opposite of daydreams) in which I played out undesirable scenarios in my head, asking questions I had no desire to answer or ponder. How bad is it? What did I do? Do I have a broken bone in my foot? Will this force me off trail? Three days in a row, I cried tears of worry and frustration, allowing myself to express these emotions to the wind before gathering myself and slowly hobbling forward.
Today is Thursday. I have spent my second night in the lovely little town of Dubois. Another zero and another night at the Wind River Motel is in store for today. A zero where I sit around all day with my foot in a trash can, full of ice water and Epsom salts. I wish to hike out tomorrow, but will make that decision when I have to. Over 1,600 miles in and my body is definitely struggling at the moment.
Thanks for reading! Peace and Love
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