Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 4: Let the meltdown begin

Oh my god. That was a rough nights sleep. As soon as Josh's head hit the pillow he was snoring. I had to dig through the tent -that was packed- for ear plugs and I could sill hear him! After I put the ear plugs in, I realized I was to hot and had to take off some clothes. I could not get comfortable and let out a few whiny, 'I want to go home' pouts but they resolved after I watched a couple meteors bounce across the Milky Way and little blinking satellites flying toward the east. At some point I fell asleep for a while and Josh told me my snoring kept him up! Were tit for tat I guess.

We woke up to the most amazing sunrise casting orange reflections over the salton sea and ate pop tarts and coffee. We were out of camp by 6:44am, a new record!

It was slow going for me and I had to stop and tape some new blisters. The trail was easy hiking, mellow grade and there were wild flowers everywhere casting a bright contrast to the burned out areas of the Chariot Fire. We heard an animal that sounded like a cross between a cat and a donkey and we giggled at what that animal would look like. The trail turned to hug the mountain edge and thermals rushed up at us from the desert below, giving a preview of the hot day we had In store.

At mile 4 we came to the junction for the Big Laguna Trail and stopped to get water. I had cell service so I tried to send my blog posts but the pictures wouldn't load and that was super irritating! I'll have to figure out a new method of blogging. While we fussed with our phones a hiker in a chrome dome umbrella arrived. His name was Slow Bro and we chatted for a while. Josh and he had matching gaiters which I thought was cute. We both have gaiter twins on the trail. While I sat there I tried to comb out my hair and decided a comb would be a welcome luxury item.

After leaving penny pines and the big Laguna trail we hiked 3 exposed piles to Pioneer Mail Picnic Area where we were greeted by Ingrid and Chris and Theresa Irby from the Facebook page. After greetings and hugs I was feeling like a total zombie and took off my shoes and lay down to put my feet up. I really am worn out! I closed my eyes and napped a little and Josh made us some food which made me feel even better. We spent most of the day at Pioneer Mail and saw In Charge who's been renamed Happy Feet as well as Di and Carolyn who are the fellow San Diego hikers, Flo and Ludo from France and we met a few new friends - blondie and dawnie.

Many people planned to camp at Pioneer Mail until the ranger visited and told us no. Around 2pm everyone started to migrate north towards the Sunrise Trail head except Josh and I. We planned to night hike as far as we can and start a new routine to beat the heat in the desert.

While prepping our water Josh had some gross tasting water left in his bag that we was going to dump. I had him dump it on my head and it really boosted my moral to not have crunchy hair for a while.

We left the picnic area at 3:30 and it was still extremely hot out. We wondered how the group that left before us had faired. As we hiked my left foot was aching constantly and I could not stop thinking about it. Words like 'stress fracture' and 'Morton's neuroma' danced through my mind. We stopped in the shade to rest it and ate dinner before continuing on. My pace was slowed due to my foot which made me angry. We yielded to and exchanged pleasantries wit a couple of hikers one named Beowulf and the other Monsoon. They left us in the dust and I continued to limp behind. I tried everything to get my mind off my foot including listening to music but finally I was so angry at the prospect of not making 14 easy miles for the day, that I threw off my pack and took off my shoe to see exactly what was going with this stupid foot. I noticed my insoles had a lump in the area that I was getting the blister which I marked mentally as exhibit A. Off came my sock and I could see the area that hurt already had tape on it and the tape was bulged like there was a mega blister under it. I carefully took the tape off and confirmed the blister but also that the bones of my feet felt fine, contrary to what I thought whilst hiking. I made a little house for the blister to protect it so we could continue hiking to our destination but after only a few steps I had to stop and readdress it. I tried to take off the tape slowly and bam! I ripped the blister wide open. Commence epic meltdown. I started to bawl and josh hugged me and told me to sit down. He cut a hole in my insoles to accommodate the blister and set about cleaning and bandaging my foot while I cried about how I wanted to go home. We started hiking very slowly and found a wide spot in the trail and resided to set up our tent for the night. As I sat in the dirt feeling sorry for myself I see a man flying down the trail with an ear to ear grin. It was Brian Adams from the Facebook page. Brian completed the Arizona trail just three weeks before starting out on the PCT. I was still pouting when I acknowledged him and we started to chat. The longer we talked the more optimistic I felt about my ability to hike, even with bad feet and independent of meltdown moments. I hope we'll catch up to him, but I'm sure we won't, he's fast!!

Josh and I finally got cozy in the tent and did blister damage control. We decided since were going to bitch into Julian to zero my raw feet, we may as well eat our food! We had pop tarts and texted family.

It's 9:45 now and I took a Tylenol PM so I can hopefully get some sleep tonight. I'm hopeful that everything will be better tomorrow.

Until then. Good night.


  1. "we're going to bitch into Julian..." Great typo, or greatest typo ever?

    Hang in there, you can do it.

  2. Hang in there Mandie! And hopefully the new insoles do the trick! I also second the "bitch into Julian" epic typo! Don't fix it! :)

  3. Awesome! Keep them posts a comin'

  4. Bitch into Julian! Yes!

    Sad face on the blister front. It will get better! But unfortunately it will suck until it does (ah, such is the nature of the blistered foot). What has seemed to work for me if I get blisters is to pop the blister, drain it, and then put a blister pad on it with leukotape over the whole deal. I thought blister pads were kind of gimmicky at first (at least for blisters on the bottoms of feet), but then I discovered the blister pad/leukotape combination, and it's amazing! The blister pad is actually a hydrocolloid dressing which are super good for healing stuff really fast and providing some padding. They (along with the leukotape) can be left on for a few days at a time, too.

    I hope things get better for your feet. Everybody has meltdowns every once in a while.