Day 23: How to Get High When You are Low

5/4/17 17.4 miles PCT Mile 369.4

We woke up to blue skies and the sun shining on us as we slept under the stars in a burn area last night. It was a warm night and we were perched high above on a ridge with the lights from San Bernadino and Victorville glowing in the distance. We only had 17 miles to get to Wrightwood where we had 3 packages waiting for us. Today would be more climbing on mostly exposed ridges reaching an elevation over 8,000ft. Not all miles are created equal and today was one of those days.

The first high

I set off before Matt this morning as he was still packing up his makeshift bed. I’m usually a bit slower in the morning and I hate waiting so off I went. Miraculously for the first time in over 3 weeks my foot did hurt. I was on cloud nine, bounding down the trail pain free! My new pain free life must be a product of getting new shoes that were sent to us in Cajon. I got a half size bigger than my current shoes which were already a half size bigger than my previous shoes. With this new found freedom my toes were able to spread out. I was even able to make my Thursday morning scheduled call to my sister.

Mt. Baldy

The first low
After 4 miles I had burned through my breakfast of poptarts and needed more fuel. As we continued to climb I was determined to find a shady spot as the sun was getting hot. In typical fashion I couldn’t find a suitable shady spot so we trudged on. I could tell I was getting weak but I was too stubborn to stop until I found shade. After going an extra 2 miles we found some shade on a slanted slope. I inhaled a snickers bar and a tortilla with cheese, salami, and pringles. 


The second low

Matt seemed fine as he waltzed up the hills patiently waiting for me at every turn. I was not rebounding from my calorie deficit and could not be bothered to play Matt’s game where I try to guess the artist that is singing. Matt likes this game because I rarely know the artist and I’m usually off by a decade or so. I thought maybe I was over heating so I got my umbrella out hoping it would rejuvenate me. No such luck! I felt very sluggish, maybe it was the snickers bar and all it’s sugar putting me in this zombie mode. After several more miles I spotted a great spot where I could lie down and prop my feet up on a log and lay my head against my pack. I had an apple that I was sure was gonna counteract all the processed foods I ate earlier. 

Rounding the bend

The second high
The apple and rest worked, I continued the climb up feeling slightly better. It was also getting cooler as we were gaining elevation and some clouds rolled in. While climbing I came up with a brilliant plan where I send Matt to get water while I slowly walk on. Matt was out of water and I was still hoarding half a liter so I knew I would be fine. Once we got to the trail to the spring I just sat down and remained there for 30mins while Matt walked down a very steep hill to get water from a spring that was trickling. A localish man named Mike appeared and we talked for a bit while I consumed more calories. I looked at the time and knew we needed to get going so we could get our packages before the store closed. We only had 5 miles to go. 

The third high

I started to feel normal again and started to blast through these last 5 miles.

The third low

Then I started to get the same stabbing pain I got a little less than a week ago in my stomach. I immediately took 2 pepto pills and proceeded to slowly walk down the trail. 

The fourth high

We came across some trail magic with fresh fruit and cold drinks. I dropped to my knees and began consuming fresh strawberries, while Matt drank a beer. 

The terrain was moderate from here and wound down through a ski resort to hwy 2. As we rounded the last bend I saw a man standing looking at the view next to his Jeep. He asked if we wanted a ride, “I said we would love a ride.” I was so happy that we didn’t have to wait and hope for a hitch considering I wasn’t feeling well. The mans name was Rubin and it turns out Mike told him we needed a ride to town and we would be there around 4:30, we were there at 4:33. Rubin dropped us off at the hardware store with 10mins to spare. 

Ski walking

We took our goodies and unwrapped them in front of the grocery store. Thanks sis and Lareen for taking the time to send us supplies. In one of the boxes a pair of pants was waiting for Matt, unfortunately there was a small hole in th butt. Oh well, we fixed it and hopefully it will hold up. 

I called a couple of hostels but got no answer so we stayed at a small motel in town. We checked in and then went to pizza for dinner. We ordered a large and Matt and I almost consumed the entire pizza. At dinner we decided we better go grocery shopping and leave town in the morning as the weather, according to the local news was suppose to get “interesting” this weekend. We wanted to get up and over Mt. Baden Powell in the morning to try and out walk the pending snow storm. 

2 thoughts on “Day 23: How to Get High When You are Low

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