Friday, July 15, 2011

Days 47-57 (7/3-7/13) Forced Rest

The clinic would be closed until Tuesday, and I was anxious to get an op pinion on my ankle. I made the decision to get an xray done at the hospital instead so I would get that info two days sooner. I was pretty convinced it was a stress fracture, but someone also gave me the idea it may be a bad bone bruise. Since the bus doesn't run on weekends, I first rode down the 14 miles to Independence with Tom, then hitched the next 15 miles to Lone Pine. That was a tough hitch, and it took over an hour despite relatively heavy traffic. The problem was likely that I didn't have my pack with me as I left it with Tom. I finally got a ride from a girl who does trail maintenance around Yosemite, and I was very thankful for her help.

At the hospital I barely caught the xray tech before he went home, and I was seen within 15 minutes. The doctor confirmed that I did in fact have a stress fracture in my fibula, two inches above the ankle, though it was already showing signs of healing. He said I need to take 14 days off, then looking straight at me said absolutely 7 days minimum. They day me up with an air cast and ace bandage, then sent me on my way. I laughed to myself as I had to limp back 5 blocks to the main road to try to hitch back. There I ran into Number One, Good Karma,  and Boyscout on their way to lunch so I joined them. Plus Chris, Mufasa and Space Cowboy were already trying to hitch, so it would take forever anyway. After lunch we ran into Fair Lady, Moses and Wolfpack, who had just come into Lone Pine. Wolfpack had some serious altitude related headaches for the last few days, so I pointed them to the hospital where they found he had minor brain swelling, and had to get some meds to take care of that. Kinda scary considering he hasn't even done Whitney yet...

Hitching back worked like a charm, as I got lucky enough to get a etude from someone already driving another hiker from further south. It was Sticks, who I hadn't swen since the Big Bear Hostel. Its crazy how the trail community works like that. Hikers converge upon Independence from all over for the 4th, so its a great chance to see everyone again. Half the people are camping at the sitel at the bottom of the hill, and the other half of us are up at Onion Valley with Tom.

For the 4th Independence has a big parade, and Tom arranged for the hikers to participate. We had two American flags and hung a small tent between them. We also loaded up packs with water balloons, as it was about 100 degrees. Throughout the parade we tossed balloons at kids on the sides, and three families had coolers full of balloons for retaliation. On the return trip Tom and some others ambushed us from the sidelines, and a full out water balloon fight ensued in the middle of the parade. The rest of the day was spent in the park drinking beer while waiting for the open pit barbecue at 4:00. That was pretty amazing and I had two servings of everything. The while day is a fundraiser for local scholarships, so it was beast to support that.

In the evening we went back up to the campsite, and then for the fireworks we came halfway down the hill to see the fireworks. It was cool to see then from above instead of from below. We went back to the top, where most people got ready to head back up the pass, and a few of us prepared for other plans.

For Now, Canadoug, and No Pain were going north to Mammoth Lakes, a number of people were returning to Lone Pine, and Fool, Let It Be, Driftwood Dog and I went back to Kennedy Meadows with Steve Climber. He's spending the aimer working at the cook shack in Kennedy, so he's met almost all the hikers this year. Back at Tom's I got a set of crutches and kicked back for awhile. I read through for books in the first four days, and spent some good time chilling out with the other hikers. Over a dozen puerile came through during my tone there, so it was cool chatting with all of them. Hopefully I'll run into some of those people back at Independence when I get back on trail.

On Tuesday Tom went back up to Onion Valley for a few days of vacation, so I went up with him. I figured starting again Friday would be 12 days off, so that's probably enough. Wednesday was the first day I started walking again, and I ran into some old friends - Number One, Good Karma, Boyscout, plus Jeanie who I hadn't met yet. They had cine out of Lone Pine aster the 4th, and took a few days off once they got here. I'm going to be a few days behind then, but I may see then all at VVR if they stop there for a few days. Also after they left that evening Dan and Heather came down, and our turns out that they started at Whitney on the 3rd, which us probably the hardest place to start hiking. They didn't have maps either, so they struggled in that first 50 miles. I do feel sorry for them, and hopefully it gets easier for them going forward.

I plan to do a test how tomorrow and if all is well I'll be back on trail for real on Friday. Wish me luck!

Miles Today: None :-(
Trip Mileage: 789

1 comment:

  1. Brian,

    Good luck on your return to the trail! Hope your leg heals up OK and you get to enjoy the walk again.

    Noah's popped out of the other side of the high sierra at Sonora and then plunged ahead through the snow, which seems to be endless.