Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 58 (6/14) Testing, Testing

Today was the big day to check out how my stress fracture had healed. If everything went week I soups hike it tomorrow, and if not, I would probably go home... Needless to say I was a bit nervous for it all. First though, I wanted to get my new shoes. I ordered them from REI to be delivered to the post office, but I was concerned it may take too long to get there. I called in the morning, but the last said the box may not get there until maybe Saturday, which was terrible news. Despite that, when Tom drove Heather and Dan down to town, I went with to try my luck. I first grabbed a footlong at Subway and journaled a bit, then made my way to the PO. Despite the earlier warning of a potential late delivery, the box was there! Perfect, and just in time to test them out.

In the afternoon, after sorting through some food, it was finally time to head up the hill. I loaded up most of my gear, then headed back on to the trail for the first time since last Saturday. About a quarter mile up I ran into Java, who had apparently skipped back to Lone Pine  after the 4th and redid the section up to Independence with the Leisure Crew. He said there has been a shocking amount of snow melting and that he hardly recognized some sections. That was great news because I've been following the journals of people ahead of me like Noah and I was worried the snow was going to persist for quite some time. This will be better for my leg since the snow fields are what hurt to walk across on the traverses.

I made it out two and a half miles to Gilbert Lake where I planned to turn around. Coincidentally I also ran into the Leisure Crew there, so we all hiked back down together. My knees and feet ached, but my leg felt fine, so I feel really good about this. Assuming nothing hurts in the morning, I'll be heading out tomorrow. The plan is to do only a few miles tomorrow, a few the next day, then start cranking up again if all goes well.

It should be 8 or 9 days to Vermilion Valley Resort where I can pick up my next package. From there I'll hike to Tuolumne Meadows where I'll meet my Dad and probably knock out the last 20 miles of the John Muir Trail down to Yosemite Valley so I'll have hiked that trail in its entirety. At that point I have a decision to make. Either I continue hiking north and end at the California/Oregon border, or I'll drive north with my Dad far enough so that I finish at Canada before school starts.

I'm torn between these two options, but I'm leaning towards ending at Canada for a few reasons. First, it means I'll end in a predictable spot and can plan my trip home more easily. Second, I'll experience a more diverse variety of the PCT by skipping northern California and changing that for the Cascades. On the other hand, I like the idea of maintaining a continuous set of footsteps, but since I won't finish the while thing this year, that is less important to me. The other consideration is that I won't know anyone up in the section I skip to, so I'll be meeting all new people. Fortunately I don't have to make that decision until I fey to Tuolumne, so I have awhile to weigh those options. For now I'm just looking forward to hiking again tomorrow!

Miles Today: 5 (loop)
Trip Mileage: 789

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