Something is wrong…

When I got on at Fish Lake (in S. OR), I felt great!

Heading SOBO, towards NorCal. Yes, it was a repeat of some miles from last year, but good. I’d rather do more, than less, so the repeat was A-ok with me!

I felt fast.  I was fast. I wasn’t trying to be; I was simply walking a pace that felt right.

Yet, that pace happened to be faster than the two that started with me.

Ok, slow down, Janine. Ease in.

19 miles on day 1 was necessary for water, so that’s that’s we did.  But, again, I felt great! Even with the broken foot in April, I consistently trained the bike in the gym.  Gosh, I felt good, and it felt great being back out in trail!

We took the next three days more modestly. Towards Callahan’s/Ashland. I physically felt great.

A nero at Callahans; the chance to shake out my gear and make adjustments at REI; a healthy meal in Ashland. Camped in front of the resort, got a shower and did my laundry. So far, so good.

The climb out of Callahans, SOBO, is ridiculous, especially with weight of a resupply. It was slow-going, but on we went; this time two of the three of us left (it didn’t take long). Onward to Seiad Valley.

Fortunately, the McKinley fire hadn’t started,  but damn, it was hot!  A record-setting heatwave (lucky me).  The heat, coupled with the rocky terrain… let’s just say, I know the signs of heat exhaustion from my yoga training, and I WAS suffering the signs of classic heat exhaustion.  I couldn’t drink enough, but I had to ration my electrolyte consumption.

I tried to eat, but disorientation set in.

Yes, I could rest; I could control my pace. I did all of that, but when I was walking, I could tell I was getting  sloppy.  I rolled my ankle more than once, and like most thru-hikers, I bounced right back and kept on walking.  All good in the hood.

During that stretch, there was a section of trail that was sloped and overgrown, so you couldn’t see the path itself (surprise, surprise). Well there I was, walking along, alone at this point, and I step on a rock (I don’t see), just large enough to cause my foot to slant at a 45° angle and me to collapse.

The pain causes me to literally scream out loud.  No hiking partner in sight; no NOBOs coming opposite me.

S%^t.  I stay a few minutes and get my composure.  It wasn’t the first time I had fallen on trail in my 2k+ miles last year, but this fall was concerning since I had recently broken the exact same foot.

I’m able to move on, but from that point, my foot felt off.  I do my yoga and PT drills that night in camp; the following day, during trail magic, I elevate and ice it.

I make it to Seiad Valley. Another nero there.  The plan for a double zero in Etna is so motivating, I was ready to leave.

My foot was off, though.  I knew it.  I began to diagnose myself with muscular issues, lack-of-strength issues, even though the PT had given me a clean bill of health just one week prior.

I thought I knew better, so I pushed on.

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Comments 7

  • John : Aug 11th

    How stupid and uninteresting!

    • Jonathan : Aug 11th

      Thanks for your reply. It was super insightful.

    • Seagull : Aug 11th

      There was no reason for such a hurtful comment. It was a well written document of her journey and what happened to her. After all, that’s why we read them, because we’re curious about their experiences.

    • Agreed : Aug 11th

      No point in the story. Just a complete useless boring ramble. Read it to your hiking buddies instead.

  • David : Aug 11th

    Very cool Janine!
    I live right near Etna and I’ve hiked a lot of the trails around here. I snapped my ACL in my right knee two years ago and hiked on it for months before I finally had surgery. Now I’m trying to get back into “trail shape!”
    Hope that ankle is doing better!

  • Bill : Aug 12th

    Well written and interesting. I am a former hiker who is now kind of an involuntary shut in (caregiver) and it helps to read other’s adventures. Sorry for your injury. You have a very strong spirit. All the best. Happy Trails!

  • Larry Wright : Aug 13th

    I’m fascinated with the Hike. I’m 61 y/o, and still want to do it. I’m a Spiritualist too. I think Gaia just calls us. Good luck


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