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Begins: Apr 30, 2012
Date: Wed, Apr 11th, 2012
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Continental Divide Trail Map
On December 24th, 2011 I was playing ice hockey on my neighbor's pond when my feet went out from under me and I fell hard on my right hip. I writhed around on the ice in pain and wished (too late) that I had worn some kind of padding. After a rest, I was able to get back into the action and even scored a goal. But the next day it was clear that the joint was damaged and my mobility was limited.
A week later I got out of my car and slipped on a patch of ice in the driveway. I experienced a white hot flash of pain in the same hip joint and went down in a heap. Imagine rolling around in agony in sub-zero wind chill on your own driveway, no one else around to hear your moaning.
Fast forward to doctor's visits, X-rays (negative), physical therapy, and months of hoping that this injury would heal by itself, or rather heal with time while a determined hiker continued to walk increasing distances in the snow to keep the dream of hiking New Mexico alive. One day, I put the pack on and did eight miles on snowmobile trails and felt strong and confident and hopeful that it was finally getting better. Alas, the next day the joint was painfully sore and I could only hobble around with a pronounced limp.
So here I am, three and a half months after the injury and it's clear that it's not really getting better. Modern medicine has not helped in determining exactly what the problem is. Slowly ramping up walking mileage has not led to the desired result. Physical therapy has not produced any noticeable results yet.
It's very frustrating, but the writing is on the wall for this year. I can't fly out to New Mexico and hope to do 20-30 mile days as I had planned. I'm not even sure I could do ten miles day after day after day. It's time to pull the plug on this year's plan.
The new plan is to attempt the hike next year (2013). I expect to retire at the end of May 2013, and I'll plan to hike southbound from Cumbres Pass to the Mexican border in the Fall. If all goes well, I'll follow that with a thru hike of the PCT in 2014, which will wrap up the triple crown for this hiker. Wish me luck, I'll need it!
The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org