July 20 – 25 “Rewards aren’t achieved without struggles”

PCT Miles 1153 – 1284

 
Sorry, no pictures. The WiFi here is terrible!  Also, it’s been mostly forest and doesn’t compare to the Sierras. It’s all just miles and miles of trees. Lassen should be better. Story below…

South Tahoe – Donner – Sierra City – Belden 

Donner…

The trail was not too difficult leaving Tahoe. The thought of big miles sticking in my head, pushes me forward. Over time, however, the terrain turns very rocky. My feet are pounding on rocks and scree hour after hour. I start to notice, after 1,100 miles on my surgically repaired foot, that it’s starting to hurt more and more after each long day. At first, I didn’t think much about it. After all, hiking on adrenaline in snow is very different than constant rocky trail. I merely thought that my body was adjusting to new demands. Hmmmm, something seems amiss. 

Sierra City…

After all that I’ve experienced in the past months both mentally and physically, I see a sign as I walk into Sierra City. Mexico, 1201 miles, Canada 1454 miles. Now that’s not encouraging! I’m not even halfway. 

What an arduous task is ahead. The good news is that every 4-5 days we are hitting a town in the evening. That means a good dinner and breakfast in the morning before getting on trail. That’s huge! Just taking a shower and having a hot meal is heaven. This will keep me going…if only my foot would stop hurting!!!! I keep saying to myself, “This has to be my life for 2 more months. Make it fun!” 

 
There’s something magical about living outdoors. It’s so peaceful. The reality of hiking 12 hours a days sometimes changes that perspective. I just want to sit on top of a mountain and soak in the view. Take a long afternoon swimming in a lake. That can’t happen for very long before I need to get up and start hiking again. Always interrupted by that nagging voice telling me to “Move on!”

 
Journey to Belden…

 
Leaving Sierra City, my foot is feeling worse. We have a huge climb out and the goal was over 20 miles. I start out slow and notice that my foot is not warming up as usual. The trail is so rocky and I find myself tripping and slowing my pace due to the pain. Now I’m getting worried. I arrived into camp and mentioned it to my Trail Kids. There’s nothing they can do but I just threw it out there. 

 
Day 2 out of Sierra City was probably the worst for me so far. The pain in my foot has escalated to excruciating. On a scale of 1-10, it’s an 8! There are so many rocks on the trail that the bone on the bottom of my left foot has become badly bruised. 

 
At about 3:30pm, I reached the top of a ridge. I haven’t had a cell signal for days. On a whim, I checked. 2 bars!!!! I immediately called Jennifer. I was in so much pain and I just needed to hear her voice. She answered and I broke down instantly. Thanks Sweetie! I’m off the ledge. 

Calming myself, I made a key decision…but I had to get to camp that night to inform the kids. At 4:00pm, I found a note for me under a rock. They were camping 10 miles ahead! I quickly calculated 4.5 more hours at my current pace. This is crazy. In all, I had limped 28 miles. I started at 6:30am and didn’t get to camp until 8:30pm…completely wiped out and extremely disappointed. 

 
I told my Trail Kids that I had good news and sad news. The good news was that that I’m not quitting. The sad news was that I’m saying so long to the group. I don’t want them waiting around for me. I’m through the snow and can do this on my own. I hug each one of them and turn in. It’s dark and I’m too tired to eat. 

 
It’s somewhat of a relief after two days alone. I get up around 5:30 or 6:00, make coffee, pack up, and leave when I’m ready. I haven’t made morning coffee in weeks! My day ends when my foot tells me. 
I’m now in Belden resting my foot for a couple of days. It’s been 10 days since my last break. I’m hoping this will help. 

 
Kevbo down, but not out!

12 thoughts on “July 20 – 25 “Rewards aren’t achieved without struggles”

      1. Jeff Harrison

        We will be there there that week. Are you aware there is a total eclipse at 10am 8/21? It comes right through Sisters. ? They are expecting a million people to be coming to central Oregon for it. We are having an eclipse breakfast w mimosas , music, tin foil hats and whatever craziness ensues.

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  1. Pat B

    Nature has a way of preparing us to send the kids out of the nest, but it’s still difficult! Hooking up with them was fantastic, look at what you all accomplished. Rest that foot, take an afternoon swim or two, hike when ready, enjoy the ride!!!

    Pat in Sebastopol

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  2. Agreed with all above. Like you said you made it through the Sierras. Rest the foot. Maybe check in with a doctor to get an opinion. May God be with you. Blessings.

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  3. Jane

    From another of your followers, you are doing great! I agree with all the comments above. What a hike you are having. Best wishes to you. Jane

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  4. Hi Kevin,
    What a tremendous accomplishment. Rose and I talk about your journey each night and we’re glad you are safe. Your strength and spirit are an inspiration. I hope your foot holds up for you. Don’t forget ,we are skiing the Alps next year.

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  5. Gary

    Kevbo: sorry I have been out of communication . I have been reading your experiences and I am totally impressed with your efforts! Keep going I hope your foot feels better and you get more miles in. I hope the Rave did not create song implantation the hike might get treacherous!
    Rock on!

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