Healing and Planning

Good morning, hiker trash. I pray that wherever you are today you’re having safe and happy trails.
It took a broken shoulder with shredded tendons and a torn muscle to get me off the trail last year. When I left New York to head back to Oklahoma to see exactly what the damage was from my falls, yeah, fell off the same mountain, Mt. Arden, just before the lemon squeezer, twice. I thought, OK, I know it’s dislocated and I had put it back in place myself, I don’t recommend that, quite painful, so how bad can it be? I thought, OK, this can be a good thing, I’ll go home for a few days and get checked out and be back on the trail in no time. Well, it just didn’t work out that way. After visiting my family doctor and getting set up for an MRI I started to think, OK, maybe this is a rotator cuff injury. Well, that’s not the end of the world. I can have an outpatient procedure and heal for a few weeks and still get back to the trail in time to finish this year. It just wasn’t meant to be. My orthopedic surgeon even gave me hope, saying, just a couple of small incisions and we’ll have you fixed up. Well, when I finally got home and got the bandages changed for the first time, I found that he had made five incisions and obviously done a lot more work on my shoulder that he had anticipated doing. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say, I had much more damage than anyone knew. At my first consult after surgery I just flat out asked the doctor when I’d be able to return to the AT. He said the recovery and physical therapy will be six months at the very least. Well, you can imagine what that did to my mind-set. It was not the news I had wanted to hear. So, now I’m recovered, and most of the pain is gone. I do have issues with weather changes affecting the shoulder but it’s something I can live with. When spring came this year I was eager to get back at it but God had different ideas for me. The band I’ve been in for nearly 20 years decided that we should get more active, get back to a practice schedule, and take more gigs. I found that my youngest daughter’s family wanted me to continue being here for them. She and her husband have three of the most amazing children. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit my oldest daughter and her family in Arizona a few times and it has been wonderful. But lately I find myself on YouTube watching videos of thru-hikers on the big three having amazing journeys and the wanderlust is returning. So, I’m slowly and methodically starting a plan to be part of the 2019 PCT thru hiking family. We will see if that becomes a reality. I certainly hope it does. So to all of you who are hiking now or aspiring to do a long hike, I say, follow your dreams. This is OneWay, pondering heading NOBO PCT 19.

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