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Dreamwalker - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2016

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Morgan "Dreamwalker/ No Trail Name" Clements
State: Missouri
Country: United States
Begins: Mar 21, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Oct 8th, 2016
Start: Missouri
End: Missouri
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 605
Journal Visits: 605
Guestbook Views: 5
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Pacific Crest Trail Map

PCT 2017 Countdown Begins

PCT 2017 Countdown Begins

This is my first Postholer.com journal entry. My tentative start date is 03/21/2017 NOBO from the southern terminus.

This follows my failed PCT Thru attempt in 2016, where I 'injured out' at mile 313 by walking off trail and hitching a ride to Hesperia, CA

In my 2016 attempt I learned some hard lessons. I carried too much water. I sent a great deal of gear home. I didn't listen to experienced thru-hikers who said not to send pre-planned boxes of food to every resupply town (what a flippin hassle that is), along with using a bounce box at every stop (double the hassle). Won't do those two things again - may send resupply to Kennedy Meadows and further north a spot or two. I suffered heat exhaustion on day 2 climbing out of Hauser Canyon, with pretty sever blistering on my neck and ears the next day. On day 3 my Leki trekking pole broke for no apparent reason, sending me tumbling to th ground and then off the side of the trail, perilously ending up 'turtled' on my back in a bush that saved me from quite a worse situation. That fall injured the medial side of my right knee and I would be in pretty serious pain the rest of my 30 days on trail, and as a result of favoring that knee (and a result of not always watching where I stepped) I fell an additional several times, ultimately injuring the medial side of my left knee. I was in significant pain every step of every day forward, but I learned something on the trail, once you are used to being in constant pain you may end up surprising yourself about how much pain you can take and still trudge on. In Mount Laguna I stopped by the local outfitter (I call him Super Dave), and they suggested my size 13 Hokas were too small and put me in size 15 Altra trail runners. I felt like my trail name should then be clown shoes! The trail runners were a significant difference from hiking boots, as they were of the zero-drop variety. I learned on trail that converting shoe style while on a long trek might not be the best idea, the zero drop shoes dramatically impacted and tore up my calf muscles. But not knowing this I left Mount Laguna and did my first 20+ mile day, in zero drop shoes for the first time. On that day it was cold, rainy, and yet beautiful and surreal because I would be hiking in and above clouds. Because I wasn't hot, I didn't drink much, or consume electrolytes. When I set up camp that evening I noted bright orange urine - like flourescent gatorade, which is a bit unnerving. I slept on it hoping whatever it was would clear up by morning, but in the morning it was worse. So, I made a tough decision to exit the trail and hike to a highway I could see in the distance. I managed to get a ride from some trail runners to Julian, CA but as it was a saturday there was no doctor in town. Other hikers and locals encouraged me to get to a nearby larger town with a hospital but I decided to wait. When I saw the doctor in Julian on Monday they ran EKG tests, blood and urine tests, and proclaimed that I was suffereing rhabdomyolosis - the doc explained that the new shoe style really tears up the muscles and that it was unwise to then hike 20+ miles immediately after buying them (he explained that the orange color in the urine was in fact musle proteins from all the damage that was being done). They advised that my blood tests showed the muscle proteins were clogging up my liver/kidneys and that my test results were very bad, nearly requiring them to send me by ambulance to the next town for an emergency room and dialysis. The doc said that since it had already been a couple days, they would test me again the next day and see if the test results were improving. The combination of the new shoes, the excessive miles, and not drinking water and electrolytes, was the perfect set of circumstances to cause very serious problems. But he said I had done well in getting off the trail, resting and hydrating well in town, and told me I could indeed hit the trail again so long as I wasn't stupid in the future. The nurse had told me the doctor was going to tell me to go home, being a trail town they see this all the time, so I was elated to hit the trail and headed straight out. I forgot to stop at the little store before hitting the trail and was low on food, but I was ok since I don't seem to eat that much on trail. Further down the trail, on only my 2nd time filtering water, the washer in my Sawyer Squeeze fell out somewhere (they are famous for doing this), and I started showing signs of Giardia even though I had begun using my Sawyer mini as a backup. On my last day on trail I was in very bad way, it was hot, I was sick to my stomach, I knew it was probably giardia or similar, so once again I hiked off the trail to a nearby town to recuperate. I knew it would take some time to get over the Giardia, even as I had special pills for this (at 100.00 a pop). There was some trouble at home so I decided to recuperate there instead and I flew back to Missouri. While recuperating in Missouri I went to see an orthopeadic surgeon to see about my knees. They did an MRI and xrays and the doctor told me my knee bones were very badly bruised, comparing the damage to car accidents but not hiking, and said I should stay off hiking trails for 3 to 4 months, ending my PCT 2016 plans if I was to follow his advice. Ultimately I tested my knee pain walking up and down stairs in my house, and out in the yard which is on a hill, and was still in serious pain for a couple months. As such I didn't make it back to the trail in 2016, the PCT and I have unfinished business, and I will be back to start from the beginning March 21, 2017 or thereabouts. Hope to see some great folks out there - I met many great hikers, trail angels, and town people - renewed my faith in humanity. While my 2016 attempt was a collection of calamities, and while I was in serious pain every step of every day, I wouldn't have missed it for the world, and I cannot wait to get back out there! I am acquiring new gear, taking lessons learned into account, and plan to do a great deal more training hikes this time than previously. Follow along if you like....

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Journal Photo

Morgans Misadventures

HYOY/ Live Your Own Life

Morgan Clements
morgansmisadventures@gmail.com
www.morgansmisadventures.com (under development)

 

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