I came off the PCT on April 4th, 2014. Tomorrow I will see a doctor in Sacramento, where I live, and will likely be referred to a podiatrist for peroneal tendonitis.
I developed this tendonitis in early February when I walked in some shoes with poor arch support. I was on crutches for two weeks while it healed up. I have experienced a similar pain in the past while running cross country, while hiking in Alaska, and while climbing Mount Shasta, so it’s possible that the tendonitis has been lurking since then.
This time I did not let the pain get as bad as the first time because I am fearful that if I don’t stop and get it treated, I could make the tendonitis chronic or permanent.
I’ve received a number of emails in the past couple days from people sympathizing with me and wishing me well, and I greatly appreciate the kind words and advice. More people are following this trip than I ever expected.
I will post again when I talk to a medical professional about how long I will have to wait before returning to the trail.
Things to know about my trip:
1. It is not over, and I’ll be back.
2. I will finish the trail at some point, and I will write about it as I hike. If that means I only get a section done this year (because of the ridiculously early beginning to my first semester of college in August) and I have to hike for numerous years in the future, then all I have to say is “Oh darn, I guess I have to go backpacking on the PCT AGAIN next summer.”
3. I was only hiking for a couple weeks, but I miss the trail.
4. Living on the trail is challenging, but it’s been joyful to hang out in the sun and rain with other people who haven’t washed their hands in days and who share an interest in eating trash and sleeping on the ground in order to walk all day.
Things I’m not sure about yet:
1. How long it will be until I’m healthy enough to return to the trail.
2. Whether any of the people who found my blog after Carrot Quinn so kindly recommended it will stay tuned until I resume my trip. (Carrot’s was my favorite PCT journal of 2013. I got the chance to interview her for the PCTA before I left for the trail this year, and she’s leading a fascinating life. You should check out her writing.)
3.Whether my body will handle the shock of returning temporarily to a semi-nocturnal lifestyle before returning to the sun-up, sun-down rhythm of the trail.
Things I will be doing at least for the next week:
1. Riding my bike for many, many miles because it doesn’t make my foot hurt and it keeps me in relatively decent shape. It’s also fun to go fast under your own power.
2. Eating hot food and fresh produce
3. Listening to music
Things I will not be doing at least for the next week:
1. Hiking with a pack on the PCT 😦
2. Posting about my days in Sacramento, because I’m feeling mopey and I know my home life is less-than-captivating.
3. Taking candy bar breaks at 9am
Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my trip so far. I hope to be able to post good news after I talk to the doctor!