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Day 71: Back in the Game

Posted by on July 16, 2015

July 10, 2015
Hwy 40 – Grass Valley (1155.6) to Tentsite North of Meadow Lake Rd. (1177.2)
21.6 PCT miles today
1221.6 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 3,937 ft, – 3,033 ft

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What a day!! It is amazing how much fun hiking can be when you’re not in agonizing pain. I was a bit nervous getting on trail this morning that my feet would still hurt and that I’d have to be patient and wait for over a week to feel relief. The concerns turned out to be unfounded, because from mile 1 through 21 I felt fantastic. My feet still felt a bit tired around midday, but the shooting pain and constant ache was completely gone. It felt like a miracle! The lack of pain, combined with all the kind, fun people we met today on trail, made for a great day of hiking.

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It was overcast all day today and everyone we met was certain that it was going to storm again like it has all week. We told them the Sacramento news said it wouldn’t rain, but no one trusted us. As it turned out, the news team was right, and instead of getting ourselves and all our gear soaking wet, we just had nice cool temps and photo-worthy skies all day long.

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It is bittersweet to be hiking away from Tahoe. For Pickles especially, being in the Tahoe area actually made him more homesick and it was more than just a little tempting to just hop back off trail and stay in our favorite place with all our favorite people. However, as we hike away, we are reminded of all that is yet to come and we find ourselves getting more and more excited about seeing the rest of California, Oregon, and Washington. It is comforting to know that we get to spend the rest of our lives exploring the Sierra Nevada, and that this was really just our introduction. We aren’t quite sure what to expect from Northern California, but now that we’ve taken care of my foot pain and we’re moving into the 2nd half of this journey, we’re pretty excited to find out.

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For some reason, every single person we met today was awesome. This hasn’t really been our experience so far on the trail, so today felt especially unique and encouraging. We met about 10 or so non-PCT hikers with whom we had great conversations, and then 2 female PCT hikers named No Sauce and Fun Bags who we could have probably spent all night chatting with. The last few miles of the day flew by and before we knew it we had gone past our target mileage and it was already 7:30. I actually wanted to keep going but we decided it was probably best to stop so we could eat dinner, write, and get some sleep.

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I know my feet are working hard to heal right now and I want to give them every chance, so I’m “icing” them whenever possible, taking breaks throughout the day, elevating them at night, and trying hard not to overdo anything. If today is any indicator of whether the changes I made yesterday were effective, then I’d say that we have nothing left to worry about. In fact, Pickles even added some metatarsal arches to his insoles and also experienced huge relief from his constantly numb toes for first time in about a month. I’m actually excited to get hiking again tomorrow morning and for the first time in a while I am truly looking forward to walking all the way to Canada. Watch out PCT, because we’re back!

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