I’m at Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kickoff, aka ADZPCTKO, aka kickoff! I’m at a big campground and there are lots of limping, sunburned hikers and they gave us free burritos and now they’re showing hiker movies on a giant tyvek screen. All day I’ve been stumbling around in the sun, asking people for advice about my tendonitis and hanging out with Thyra, Angela and Ben. Tomorrow morning I get on the trail again. I’m going to hike just fifteen miles in two days and then I will have caught up with Angela, Thyra and Ben, so when they get back on the trail (they’ve been nursing injuries too) we can all hike together! Other humans, hallelujah!!
Speaking of injuries, I’ve gone, in the past few days, from knowing nothing at all about archilles tendonitis to being a total know it all about archilles tendonitis. There’s a special way I can tape it, special stretches I can do, and I can scrape it with a spoon to break up calcium deposits. I can change my walking gait, I can take ibuprofen before bed, I can “ice” my heel with a wet bandana. I’ve even done minor surgery on my left shoe, cutting out the part of the back that hits my sore archilles. I’ve changed to different socks. And I’ll probably never try to carry seven liters of water and twelve pounds of food for twenty miles in one day again.
I’m glad I got this injury thing out of the way right off the bat. Life is suffering, right? Pain management, check.
I’m exhausted. I got up at four a.m. today to ride with Bob and Linda to kickoff- they were part of a crew of trail angels that were shuttling hikers here and there during kickoff. It was hard to say goodbye to Bob and Linda, who will hereby be known as the Most Generous and Kindly People Ever. I can’t believe that they welcomed me into their home the way they did, drove me around San Diego for this or that, and even picked me up off the side of the road in the first place. It’s hard to know sometimes how to express gratitude, but if it hadn’t been for them I definitely wouldn’t have been able to heal my injury the way I had. I’m in awe of their generousity, and I hope someday to be able to help out other hikers (or anyone, for that matter) the way that they helped out me.
And friends! I get to hike with real live friends now!
I’m so antsy to get back on the trail. I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait!!