Grand plans of more grand hikes and adventures came to a screeching halt nearly 2 weeks upon our return from walking The Camino followed by sparse travel through the cities of Porto and Lisbon, Portugal. It appears that the pain in my left foot followed me home. Wanting to shed the delicious pound(s) we acquired as “souvenirs” from our time in Portugal, after having “broken even” walking across Spain (the food, Tapas, bread and wine were just too delectable), we began our 6-10 mile strolls in the back-country near our home. Increasingly each day’s walk would end in excruciating pain. Not good! A trip to the doctor and an X-ray revealed no visible injury as in an actual fracture, but a visit to the podiatrist revealed something more sinister…inflammation of three metatarsals that if not allowed to heal could develop into a lifelong chronic problem. It appears I clearly have an “overuse” injury of which the remedy included a lovely “walking” boot, and instructions to stay off my feet for a much as I can for 4 weeks. Ummm, define “as much as I can”. No more than “2 miles worth of walking”, whilst wearing the boot from sunrise to sunset, was the response…real funny…2 miles. 4 weeks later, another 4 weeks was added with the pain subsideding to only one specific metatarsal that would send me to the roof upon palpation. The latest visit to the podiatrist, who literally “feels my pain”, as he is recouping from a chronic knee injury and relegated to the exercise bike as I have been, is hoping that custom orthotics will allow for further healing and negate the sensation of a “rock” in my shoe under that pesky metatarsal. I am now walking up to 5+ miles most days, (on mostly flat surfaces) with a strip of KT tape around the base of my forefoot. It seems to lessen the pain and discomfort, for which the Doc says physiologically it doesn’t make any sense, but then if it helps, “more power to ya”.
The result of this ill-timed injury has been a cessation of our 2016 Appalachian Trail (AT) planning. So my dear followers/readers, small adventures will have to suffice. For kicks and giggles, in the next few weeks, I will post our final pre-PCT “training” hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) we did in the summer of 2013. I just re-read what I had written back then (in a composition note book that I carried). It is on this trip that our collective trail name, “2MoreMiles” and blog site namesake was coined. Ah yes, good times.
As far as upcoming adventures, and to test out my foot, we will re-visit the Trans Catalina Trail (TCT) which was the first “back-packing” trip we took as a means to see if the PCT would be something worth aspiring to. Many a lesson was learned, amoung them being: (1)We were way too fat and out of shape (how the hell did that happen?); (2)Water is fricken heavy, but thirst is heavier; (3)We had way too much shit, and heavy shit at that; (4)Being on top of a ridge line, above the low hanging clouds with no one else around is REALLY COOL! And with that, serious effort went into preparing ourselves to do the PCT. We are curious, if knowing what we know now, if the TCT experience will be any different this next time. We expect to do this mid March or so. Providing this goes well and my foot is not bothered, Mt. Whitney is on the short list via a long (4-7 days) route starting at Horseshoe Meadows heading up the Cottonwood Pass. When we go of course will be dependent on snow levels. This will be followed by (or preceded by…again depending on snow levels) a few weeks of tromping around/through Yosemite and a few fly-fishing adventures. The Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) is being researched but is frankly considered a long shot, and will be added to the “Bucket List”. And…with any luck, I will finally put the finishing touches on my compilation video of our 2014 PCT adventure, and another one for The Camino, and post to You-Tube and the blog.
As with everything,
You can Wonder all you want, or you can Wander and find out.
…which we plan on doing as best we can this year.