Day 165: Trail Sickness

September 26, 2017: Hiked Miles 998.8 to 976.6 (22.2 total)

It was another cold night, but not as cold as the night before and I definitely slept better.  Colton shook me awake at 6:50 and I couldn’t believe I had slept so long. The tent was frosted over and it was bone-chilling cold outside so we ate inside the tent. I still didn’t feel great so I shoved a couple poptarts in and we started hiking.

The trail was a mix of frozen mud and frozen puddles of water. 

But the cold, windy, clear morning made our views that much prettier. 

Sometimes we came across a little snow, but mostly we just watched the wind sweep it off the mountain tops.

We passed by the most gorgeous mountain lakes and creeks. 

And walked through open grassy meadows. 

This is definitely one of the prettiest sections of the trail. 

We had a couple good climbs that totally kicked my butt. I felt so weak and with every step my stomach would experience sharp shooting pains and my kidneys and shoulders ached like no other. It seemed like the climbs would never end, but then they did and the downhill hurt just as bad. 
I think that whatever is making me so sick is the same thing I had months ago in the desert. And if it is, that means it’s only going to get worse. 

By the time we stopped for lunch I could barely even stand up. I choked down a couple tortillas, some salami, and luckily had a Gatorade packet to drink. I layed down for as long as possible. But finally we had to get up and keep moving. We only had seven miles after lunch, but they were comprised of some steep hills and they kicked my butt even more. 

We walked down to wide creek which we had to take our shoes off to ford. The water was icy cold, but felt so refreshing to my sick body. It’s crazy that just a couple months ago the only way across this creek was to swim it, and now it was only up to our shins. 

After crossing it, we climbed up and up and up. 

The climbing is brutal with non-stop rocks you have to climb over. When we reached the top I had to stop and take a break. My body was aching in the worst way. When we started to make our way down we came across a bear.

He didn’t see us so we watched him for awhile until it was obvious he wasn’t getting off of the trail any tme soon so Colton yelled “Hey bear” at him and he took off down the hill in seconds.

We made our way down to another canyon. 

And then crossed over Kerrick Creek. This is the creek where one PCT hiker died earlier in the year and another almost got swept away. 

Once again, you can tell what a big difference a couple months of summer makes. 

We had a steady climb up the valley after that.

I accidentally stepped on a loose rock at a creek crossing and soaked my feet towards the end of the day. I knew they wouldn’t dry out by tomorrow and was pretty pissed at myself for making my already hard days hiking from being sick even harder.

By the time we got to camp it was almost dark and already freezing. We set up as fast as possible and put all our warm clothes on. I tried to stretch out my tight muscles and then forced myself to eat Top Ramen. It was the hardest food I’ve ever had to choke down. I really don’t know how I can ever eat it again.

I’m so tired now. I really hope we can get a good night’s rest and maybe tomorrow wake up feeling better. 

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