Total Miles: 179.4
My best friend, my hiking buddy, my partner in all things. The extrovert to my introvert, the emotional to my rational, Emily is truly my better half. We have countless things in common, but it’s our differences that constantly have us learning from and leaning on each other.
I never thought twice about hiking the PCT alone until after we hiked the John Muir Trail together last year and I saw not only how much she enjoyed it, but how complementary and caring we were to each other on the trail. Although our time on the trail together has come to an end, I’m incredibly grateful for her unending support of my PCT dream and for her companionship over these first 180 miles. There’s no one I’d rather have beside me to begin such an adventure and I’m so thrilled that she had the chance to meet some truly great fellow hikers that I hope to know for a long time to come. Saying goodbye to her today was as awful as I feared it would be, and so I will look to the trail tomorrow to help heal that open wound.
As for physical wounds, I decided to drop into the health clinic in town myself today, mostly out of an abundance of caution since I had the opportunity. It turns out that one of my blisters that is almost fully calloused over is infected. Although it has none of the usual signs of infection, it had begun to weep ever so slightly and worse, had started to cause some pretty significant pain deep in the tissue of my heel. Queue the antibiotics.
The bigger surprise was that the pain in my shin is not actually a shin splint. The doctor seems to think that it’s merely swelling due to overuse (shocker) and that the pain is due to the inflammation. The muscle fibers also make this god awful vibration whenever I flex or extend my foot, which made her twist her face in dismay. I suppose it’s good news that it’s not a shin splint, and she pointed me to a local masseuse who was incredibly kind and helpful in trying to stimulate the lymphatic system in that leg to properly drain the fluid that has built up on my shin. Fingers crossed that after all this and one last night in a bed tonight that I’m able to make the miles tomorrow without too much pain once we head back out to the trail in the morning.