Day 3: me duele la pierna

April 27
Mileage 20
Mile 48 to mile 68

My leg fucking hurt today, y’all.

The trail has a way of crushing your ego, of reminding you how small you are. Of humbling you. When I started this trail all of three days ago I thought I was hot shit- I was all WOOHOO HIKE 28 MILES MY SECOND DAY! Even though I’d been exercising in the American fashion all winter, aka short bursts of physical activity followed by long periods of sitting, and my calf muscles were strong but my tendons were like rubbery spaghetti. So this morning I set out to do my second 28 mile day, after a sleepless night in which I froze my ass off b/c my sleeping pad is really pathetically thin and I had to do crunches in my sleeping bag periodically to keep from shivering- I set out and four miles in my knee froze up, there was some shooting pain, my hamstring hurt, my I.T. band, pretty much everything and I felt like the world was ending. I’d been shooting for scissors crossing but settled for a cistern with a spigot, took a bunch of ibuprofen and hobbled for sixteen miles. Limped, cried, ran out of water, the sun shined and the wind blew. By the time I reached the cistern the pain had gone away and I felt like I’d made the whole thing up but I’d learned my lesson so I unrolled my pad and settled for a 20 mile day which felt, in some strange universe, like failure.

Kerouac said: I have nothing to offer but my own confusion.

I’d like to admit here that I know nothing, not one single thing. That my heart is restless, that I drive myself crazy looking for answers. That I know less today, my third day on my second thru-hike of the PCT, than I ever have.

This cistern is warm from soaking up the sun all day. The light is dissapearing, the wind is picking up but I hope not too much. Tonight, at last, I sleep? I’ve been fantasizing about a neo-air, one of the short ones. A real sleeping pad. No more freezing nights.

Bring on the milky way!

15 thoughts on “Day 3: me duele la pierna

  1. Sitting here eating my carrot chocolate like a good armchair quarterback… Settle down girl your in it for the long haul! Terry

  2. Hey CQ, You’ve got what it takes. No excuses. Today I hiked on the PCT up here near Bellingham heading south. I told my hiking buddy about you as we enjoyed the sunny afternoon. “Just think, Carrot Quinn is just down the trail a bit.” Thank you for your honesty and insight. Your efforts are exponential. I have a neo air if you want it!

  3. Same here Carrot. if you need a pad, we will help. Just let us email us your next resupply location, and specially what you want. We will make it happen!!!!

  4. Carrot I’m in Australia and I’ve never followed a trail journal “live” before. I find myself waking up thinking “Carrot is already on the trail” and can’t wait till the evening to see what happened for you. I hope tomorrow is less painful for you and you have a great night’s sleep. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure!

  5. High temperatures on the way, peaking on Wed. Take it easy and stay hydrated. Glad we met at S&F’s and at the K.O. Take care.

  6. Thanks for doing this blog live again. My friend is starting the trail on Thursday, so it’s fun to get a look ahead in what might be in store for him.

  7. Carrot! Holy moly. You’ve got so many people on your team. Hoping you are feeling the love and it helps on the trail. I’m so glad you are blogging on this trip.

  8. Carrot, I saw you at KO, but you were preoccupied. So I didn’t come over and introduce myself. I have just got to Hiker Heaven and received your chocolates. Thank you so much – sharing them out this afternoon. Just read your latest blog and, apart from your injury, I am really sorry to hear that you are cold and uncomfortable at night. There is a short neo-air for you here – so don’t buy one. Let Donna know if you want it mailed to you further South. Good hiking. Shadowfax

  9. Actually, that’s the best place, not knowing. The trouble begins when we think we know something. Get me an REI product ID and a trail addy and I’ll ship you a neo-air. :-)

  10. I’m following Mark Hurd and Joan West as well and just thought the other day that a tool like Red Mt’s. would be sweet!

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