Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 22 - McDonalds (!?)

May 17, 2012
Day 22
Miles: 11
Total Miles: 347

Justin, 3-Bears, Matt, Ben and Christina enjoying lunch 
In the "normal" world I avoid McDonalds as much as possible.  I'm a health nut and prefer almost anything to eating at a fast food restaurant.  However, on trail, these notions change quickly.  The McDonalds at the I-15 crossing in Southern California is a beacon for all thru-hikers.  The thought of an Egg Mc-Muffin spurs many hikers to great mileages.  In my case, the big miles came yesterday (28 miles) and I was left with only a six mile hike to reach I-15 and McDonalds for breakfast!

First came the double Sausage McMuffin w/ Egg meal with a large coffee and hashbrowns.  Two hours later came lunch:  a grilled chicken salad and large strawberry milkshake.  Two hours later came the...indigestion, ill-feelings and general desire to lock myself in a dark, quiet room and sleep!  The food was not settling but I had already spent 5-6 hours here and needed to move on lest they decide to put me to work!

It turns out that ill-feeling was not just a case of greasy food shock to the system.  I had contracted food poisoning!  Two miles out from I-15 and it hit fast with the big "D".  I had no time to dig a cat-hole - I barely had to time to run off trail behind a bush.  I SHOULD have turned around and run back to the freeway and stayed at the Best Western down the road, but I convinced myself that it would pass quickly. Big Mistake!  I went another mile and had the urge to lay down and take a nap, where in the midst of this misery, a solitary humming bird floated above my face in mid-air and examined this new creature who had invaded it's territory.  I momentarily forgot my misery and delighted in the presence of this other sentient being observing me.

Humming Bird in the Desert

  After the nap I hiked on another 2-3 miles to a wonderful water cache by a dirt road - complete with lounge chairs and Calistoga water.  Here I made camp and after a few words with some other hikers, turned in early to try and sleep it out.  Little did I know that later this night would begin one of the most miserable 24 hours on the trail yet.

Unfortunate Graffiti on a trail sign looking down on Deep Creek


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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!