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!