20 March 2022
AZT Mile 92.8 to 104.9
Oh boy. I did it again.
The day started out with some beautiful scenery. But I knew I was in trouble when an easy climb out of our wash was giving my right knee fits.
Normally after about an hour in the morning, the pain in my knee has been subsiding. But not today!
After 6 miles at the lake where we got our first water for the day, I downed 3 more ibuprofen and stretched extensively.
But to no avail. It was actually worse after all that.
Butterfingers gradually got further ahead of me and I had time to think about the hike while I hobbled.
I don’t think I want to use my limited physical capacity to walk between beautiful places. The motto of my site is “put yourself in the way of beauty” and I don’t mind working hard and even suffering a little to experience awe.
But this is too much suffering and too little awe.
Don’t get me wrong. Cattle ranches can be beautiful, and I like the feeling of resilience I get when I survive inconveniences like drinking water from a poop-filled pond.
But compare that with an effortful climb up to a snowy mountain pass in the High Sierra, and the pluses and minuses just don’t add up for me.
I called Half Cookie and we talked for a while. And then I decided to come home.
It was another painful 6 miles to walk out. But the flowers were out down here and I took advantage of these final steps to rest my knee and enjoy them.
And fortunately I was able to catch Butterfingers where he stopped for lunch. We rested for a while and then he walked with me the last mile to the trailhead. We said “see you down the trail” and he walked on as I sat and waited for my Uber.
Now I am in my hotel icing my knee.
Tomorrow I’ll be home, planning my next (non-thru-hike) adventure.
Not a Thru-Hiker
I didn’t finish
My imaginary line
Guess I never will