The last month has been rough. In mid-March, on an easy walk in the park, on my 4th outing with a new pair of shoes, severe pain developed in my right foot, and I limped home. Once home, I got in the car to drive to the closest REI to search for another pair of shoes, and my car’s rear brakes seized up. The next week, two of my friends generously offered to fix the brakes. As soon as they did, the car’s right front bearing went out. I can’t afford to get the bearing fixed, so my car remains undriveable.
Meanwhile, with my PCT start date rapidly approaching, I’ve rested my foot, taken it to see a physical therapist, an acupuncturist, and a podiatrist, and continued searching for a reasonably well-fitting pair of shoes. That’s right: with two weeks until my start date, I still don’t know what shoes I’m going to wear. Over the last six months I’ve tried dozens of shoes, and none feel great.
This weekend I’ve been able to hike 3 miles per day in my Lone Peak Altras, which is encouraging but also terrifying because I’m only hiking 3 miles per day, and I don’t have much time left to make a full recovery. I’ve found that hiking with my shoelaces loosened all the way eliminates the pain. This isn’t as sloppy as it seems; I haven’t developed hot spots or blisters yet, so this may be how I start the PCT. I plan to start slowly, hiking only ~12 miles per day for the first hundred or so miles to minimize the risk of aggravating my injury. Not how I envisioned my hike, but slow and steady is better than fast and injured!
Foot pain aside, I’m ready to begin. I’ve packed all of my resupply boxes for the first half of the trail. (I’ll purchase food for the second half as I get close to half way.) Today I sealed and addressed the boxes. Friends and family will bring many of them to me along the way.
An injured foot, car trouble, and unrelenting precipitation have made the last few months more stressful than I ever anticipated. Northern California, where I live, is currently experiencing its wettest year on record. Snow will linger this summer. I picked an interesting year to hike the trail.
My dad and I begin hiking on May 8. I’m looking forward to a fun, pain-free adventure.