I really, really, don’t like writing these kinds of updates. But full transparency, this is exactly what these types of journeys are like—changes, adaptations, adjustments, rescheduling, acceptance. All these and much more are ingredients in the adventure recipe.
For those following my satellite tracking, you may be wondering why no updates. I’m not on trail. In a nutshell, two issues arose, both of which I feel sure are weight/pressure related.
First, and I made a passing mention of this in “Staying Put,” I have a knee that barks under extra stress. This is the same knee in which I tore an ACL as a teen, and after a face-to-face meeting with a car while bicycle commuting, tore the medial meniscus (band of cartilage attached to the tibia). Neither injury necessitated surgery, but I’m reminded on occasion those injuries talk back.
Second, this year is a drought year in California. Where I saw bucketloads of free-flowing water on the same section of trail in 2019, the streams, springs, and creeks this year were bone dry. That meant while crossing the desert I carried an additional 4 liters (minimum) of water equaling an additional weight of nearly 9 pounds. Because of the extra weight (and this has never happened to me before), I developed blisters. Big ones. No matter how I treated them, they kept returning. Finally, the point came where I developed an infection. Alrighty then, time to make some changes.
At Scissors Crossing (trail mile 80) I made the decision to find a couple of shuttles to Warner Springs, then Temecula, and finally San Diego. That’s an interesting story by itself. It would be a whole lot cheaper and easier to fly home (we have literally thousands of Southwest points), recuperate and repair, so I could once again return to trail later. So, here I am. Feet healing, knee quieting down, and reorganizing.
It’s all good, and like I said, part of the journey. Just because the timelines or distances have changed doesn’t mean it’s over. I said from the very beginning this trip would be in sections anyway. As a close friend said, it’s my starter section.
More updates to come. I want to take advantage of this time to answer questions some folks have had concerning gear. That’ll be fun. And once again I can inventory, weigh, and go completely overboard because, well, hey, I can’t resist.