Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 17 - Achilles Pain and Poodle Dog Bush

Day 17
May 11, 2012
Miles:  23
Total Miles:  252

Poodle Dog Bush - Best to Avoid
After leaving Ziggy & The Bears house I began climbing up toward San Gregorino - the tallest mountain in southern California.  I hiked with a new group of hikers yesterday and today:  Alasdair and Sarah from England, Gecko, Jasper and two girls from Germany (Juliana and ?).  I also met Ben today after the long hike up at a shady parking lot and picnic table camp site area.

The long slog up from the I-10 corridor was hot and windy.  I was able to pull out 18 miles yesterday and then made camp next to the stream on a rocky and grassy site place right off the trail.  This morning began the big uphill section and I attacked it with everything I had.  From mile 229 where I camped to mile 240, it was all uphill, hot and dry through a winding canyon as I followed the stream from a wide river bed to the trickling north fork stream near the top.  After a well deserved three-hour lunch break, I put in another 12 miles of much easier miles.

I felt pain in my right Achilles tendon today for the first time - not good.  My other foot pains are all normal muscle pains.  I was unable to find the right shoe insert in Idylwild so I've been hiking on some sore feet in the heels and balls of the feet.  The pain seems to move around during the day but it's nothing serious...just toughening up and breaking in the trail legs.  I am worried about my Achilles Tendon so I will probably take at least a couple nights off trail in Big Bear.

I saw Poodle Dog Bush for the first time today at mile 235.  This is a poisonous plant that has been described to me as "poison oak on crack"!  Apparently it can put you off trail for up to a couple of weeks if you are unlucky enough to run into this plant.  This is the first occurrence and now that I know what to look for, I'll be keeping my distance when it makes it's re-appearance in about 100 miles down the trail.


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PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!