PCT Day 26: Owie My Feet Hurt

Day 26 6-13-2015   Sleep 2200 – 400
Miles 1155 – 1198

            39 miles to go to Sierra City.  They close at 1900.  I have 15 hours to go 41 miles.  Piece of cake I thought.  But shouldn’t I wake up first?  Sometimes, it feels like you don’t even sleep.  You blink and it is six hours later.  Those were my thoughts going to bed and therefore first thought in my mind upon waking.  I crossed the highways and was feeling good.  Big piece of cake I thought.  So the first decision I made was to get lost for probably about a mile and a half.  So you see; Donner Lake has a rim trail.  They use a crest pretty much identical to the PCT and very similar color scheme.  I was running and reached an intersection.  I saw the double crest on a sign that said to the right.  So of course I didn’t stop and just booked it right.  Well cruising along feeling awesome, I reached another intersection.  This time, I did stop.  I only saw the one crest.  It was the Donner Lake crest.  Hmm.  Which way is the PCT though?  I pulled out my map.  It looked like I was supposed to take a left at and intersection a ways back.  But that can’t be, I saw the crest.  Maybe someone messed with the sign?  Who would do that?  So I hustled back, trying not to be too bent out of shape about it.  When I got to the original intersection, I saw who messed with the sign…the people who put it up.  There were two crests.  Two Donner Lakes crests.   Then I saw the often difficult to make out wood engraved sign that said PCT to the left.  No crest.  Why did they make the Donner Lake crest so similar?  Why did they put up two crests?  Why do they make those wood engraved signs that you can’t even read?  Why don’t you just hike faster and stop whinning?  Fine. 33 miles to go and 11 hours to do it.  3 mph should be easy.  But you need time to actually shop at the store.  Then hike faster!
            So hiking on faster down the trail, I decided I would call the store and double check the hours.  A lady answered, told me they closed at six and I crapped my pants.  How could this day go any worse?  But I was booking along a smooth, rolling, soft trail.  Okay things are going to be Okay.  Well, let me tell you how they could get worse.  I reached the top of a descent.  My feet had really dried out these last two days since the rainy/soggy days before.  They had dried out so much so, that the bottom of my feet were cracking and bleeding.  Now, this descent was rocky.  Very rocky and cobble sized rocks.  The ones that roll your ankle left, right and every direction up, down and in between.  My skin was cracking and it was painful.  All I wanted to do was stop shoving my foot into rocks and feeling the pain of the skin being pulled apart.  “But I got to get to the store!”  So with tears in my eyes, a grimace upon my face, I trucked on.  When I hit the road, it felt good on my feet.  That is sad, but the smoothness of the asphalt eased the torque on the skin of my feet. 

I passed a man sitting on his porch. He said hi and I back.  Then he said I looked beat.  I said I was, but would be better once I get to the store.  He said, the store? Closes at 5 I reckon.  WHAT?  Okay thanks and I was sprinting again.  It was 1720, no way did I sprint that whole way to miss the store.  It really didn’t matter now if I hustled.  They either closed at 1700 and I missed it, or they close at 1800 and I have 40 minutes. Well I had thirty minutes to shop, as they closed at 1800.  Thirty minutes is not exactly a lot of time, especially if you want to pig out and buy more and so forth.  But that was a good thing, get me out of here as quick as possible.  I was fried, my legs shook if I stood still and I was an eye close away from falling asleep standing.  I got my OJ and all my groceries.  I packed up and started walking.  Good work.  But I had forgotten my feet hurt.  They were hurting so bad, I just had to stop.  On the side of the road, I took my shoes off and put my feet up on the hill.  I leaned against my pack.  I napped a little.  I was so exhausted and I was feeling pretty sick.  I had really pushed myself today and I knew tomorrow I would pay.  I finally got my energy up.  Walked the rest of the road and up the trail a bit.  Finding the first semi-level spot, I set up for the night.  It was so early, but I was so tired.  The extra rest will help me get over this cold I thought.  

No pictures again, I guess I was just rushing all day. 


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