Sunday, June 29, 2014

Where are Josh and Mandie?!

We are at home...

I came down with what I thought was the flu the night before we were to head back out on the trail. Fast forward three days of epic sickness, barfing, shitting, fever, achey-painey, death and I decided to go to the ER to see if I had Giardia. After pooping in a bucket for the nurse, a day passed before they called and told me I cultured positive for Campylobacter which is a type of food poisoning. The doctor gave me some antibiotics to take and said it should clear in a few days.

I was prepared to get back on the trail southbound from Mammoth to Kearsarge that day but ended up in the bathroom all night. I decided I didn't want to be in and out of the tent at night trying to deal with cat holes by headlamp and I cannot afford to stay in a hotel while this clears up. We got a ride to LA with Josh's parents where we rented a car and drove back to San Diego. As of today I've had this bout of food poisoning FOR FIVE DAYS. Seriously?! I did a search for recent campylobacter incidents and one popped up in January in Oregon for bad oysters. I had oyster shooters in Cannon Beach and can only imagine that's where I got sick. I've never had legit food poisoning before and it has been one of the most bizarre experiences I've had with my body. It's like there's an alien inside me. Go figure I'd have to go off trail to get sick. You're safer in the woods!!

Today I am feeling much better and things seem to be getting back to normal. While I've loved seeing my family and my furry kids, it is really weird to be home and I am anxious to get back on trail. I made the mistake of opening my mail and found I owe the IRS over $1000 so I will definitely run out of money before I reach Canada. We have planned to go thru to Ashland and that will most likely be our hike this year. We bought our resupply here to save money and will mail the rest of the trail thru to Ashland and then see what's what.

In a way, I'm glad to have the thru hike pressure off. I may attempt a thru hike again another year, wiser. I had no idea what I was getting into when we started this, so much so that I didn't even know how much I didn't know. I've learned so much about myself - good and bad, and feel like I have a lot to work on. We will go back on trail on Tuesday at Kearsarge and I'm sorry if I've disappointed people with how my hike has gone.

Fear not though, the Josh and Mandie show continues...ONWARD! TO ASHLAND!


  1. No apology necessary. Following your hike has been an education and an inspiration. I sit here at my desk in the morning, drinking my tea, catching up with all my hikers every day. At the same time I'm looking for reasons to postpone my own training hikes. It's going to be too hot today...that blister isn't quite Platypus has sprung a leak...but in the end it's folks like you that make me throw on my pack and head out the door. Mexico to Ashland, Oregon girl! Look at a map and tell me that isn't something.

  2. I am so proud of you. Most if us live our lives as safely and securely as possible. Meanwhile we live our dreams within our heads, forever making the excuse that we carry the anchor of responsibility which hinders the realization of those dreams. You, on the other hand have the courage to step outside your head and accomplish your desires knowing that if you don't you will experience the anguish that most of us have, the voice that says . . . "If only." Success is not in the taking of the last step into Canada. Success is in the courage to try, the incredible trek you took and the circle of new friends you met along the way. I have always said that everything happens for a reason. There is no doubt that you had the will and stamina to finish. However, there was a force afoot that removed you from the trail. Don't argue with it. Just know that it is smarter than you. I am bursting with pride in you and so happy that I am your father. You teach me so much. I love you.

  3. I've loved reading your blog. And I look forward to the rest of your trip. I think we've become too Thru Hiker oriented on the PCT anyway. Now you can just enjoy the trip (and maybe even zero on the trail rather than in town). All the best!