Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 24 - The Big "D"! - Part 2

May 19, 2012
Day 24
Miles: 2
Total Miles: 365

Soon after the sun came up I realized that regardless of these episodes of explosive diarrhea, there was a more insidious and sly process occurring.  Slowly and as I hiked, the brown excretion was dripping out even as I did everything in my power to regulate an impenetrable barrier.  Before I realized it my base layer was soiled and stinking and a slick slimy fluid had soaked in and I had no choice but to remove it and stuff it into my Sea-To-Summit dry bag alongside the ziplock containing my underwear from camp that morning.  I continued hiking with nothing between my zip-off hiking shorts and my dirty ass.  Things went downhill fast after this:  my precious TP was quickly depleted, the water I had been careful to conserve now had to be used to rinse my backside after every nasty episode, was running low.  This was doubly disheartening as I was quickly becoming dangerously dehydrated now that the blazing sun was mercilessly beaming down on me in the late morning heat of the high desert.  The hotter it got, the more I realized that I smelled...really bad.  There was no way to stay completely clean without water and TP, and my sleeping bag was not contained in a dry bag but merely rolled up and stuff into my backpack.  The air about me was rank as I approached a couple of hikers a few miles from the Acorn Trail that lead down into Wrightwood.  I maintained a safe distance from the two German girls, Repunzel and XXX as I described my condition, down-playing how serious things were, and then quickly passed them.  I must have had a ghostly look on my face because a mile later they found me passed out beneath a big tree, unable to continue for the time being, and offered to carry my pack down to Wrightwood, "or anything in your pack.  We can carry your tent and your sleeping bag to lighten your load?"  "Nah, you don't want to do that, I'll be fine." I told them and then encouraged them to move on.   I had hiked almost 17 miles that morning and had skipped breakfast and dinner the night before.  I knew the down-hill side trail would be no problem - I was almost home.

I managed the last couple miles to the Acorn trail and made my way down two and half more miles, descending 2,500 feet, to the town of Wrightwood.  A last humiliation almost befell me in Wrightwood as I searched desperately for a hotel with an available room.  Checking on the Pines Motel, one of the few motels in this small town, I found they were booked!  I was panicking as it was a Friday and hotels book up on weekends.  Across the street I found the small - 4 room - Canyon Creek Inn and praying desperately to the trail gods I called the number posted on the door to the office and spoke to a genial woman who advised me that YES, there is a room available, the price is $79 per night (almost twice the rate of the hiker friendly Pines Motel), and YES it has a private bathroom with shower and tub!  "I'll take it!" trying to disguise the simultaneous desperation and relief in my voice.  "Use this code to access the key inside the lockbox and go ahead and check yourself in" she told me as I impatiently relayed her the details of my Visa Credit Card.

I took the most glorious, long shower that day in the Canyon Creek Inn motel room.  I washed everything that could be washed and slept on a comfortable mattress until dinner time.  I managed to meet other hikers at a mexican restaurant that night but could only stomach a couple bites of my carne asada dinner.    I was happy to shower again before bed and pass out watching tv content to have a toilet a few feet away.

The next day, May 19th, I took some Immodium A.D. and it worked like a charm to kill worst of the diarrhea.  I hung out as long as possible at the hotel and then crossed the street to the Pine Hotel's common picnic area and lounged for most of the afternoon with other hikers.  The PO was right down the street so I spent a couple hours updating blogs and emails.  At breakfast that morning I was able to stomach a full meal for the first time in several days at the Evergreen Cafe.  At 4 I prepared for the long hike back up the Acorn Trail and made camp just a couple miles past the trailhead at the Guffy Campground - needing a slow start back on the trail.


Post a Comment

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!