Miles: 24
Camp: CDT mile 356

Today started out as strugglefest 2016, and it didn’t end much differently. There is a blister that has taken up residence between my big and second toes on my right foot. It feels like constant pressure with a bunch of sand mixed in. It has caused me to slow down my pace considerably. In hindsight, this could be beneficial.

Cerveza is also struggling with a similar toe blister, and she also has shin splints. Therefore, the two of us held up the caboose of the party for most of the morning. While we were commiserating on the long road walk, a big truck came barreling by and didn’t even attempt to slow down in passing, a big cloud of dust in it’s wake. As we continued on the shoulder there came a loud and distinct rattle from the grass on the roadside. We both jumped to the middle of the street and the largest snake I have ever seen sat in strike position, hissing and rattling at us. It gave me goosebumps as we moved quickly on.

Soon after first break (aka second breakfast), I had to stop and tape up my feet better. It helped slightly, but every step was a struggle today, barely bearable. I slowed down so much I thought I’d never see my friends again…but then they were there eating lunch by an old run down cabin. Handstand gave me a chocolate covered macadamia nut because he knew I was struggling, and it was a very sweet gesture. Everyone else was supportive and sympathetic, but I knew it wouldn’t fix my feet, and I hate complaining about it.

Things only went downhill after lunch…pity, party of 1 ensued. I got way way behind the group and slogged along at a snails pace. I decided to take an extra break under a tree where I lay down with my feet on my pack. I took 2 ibuprofen and proceeded to eat all of my cheez-its and a good portion of my Hershey Kisses. It helped the mood briefly, but I was still a-hobbling in my progress, the pain becoming unbearable enough to make me consider stopping for the day…but I needed water.

When I finally pulled in to the water source, Anvil (a warrior hiker) was there. He has been lighting his blisters on fire which until now, I considered crazy. Having seen how well his blisters have healed, I finally reached the point of desperation where I was ready to try. He was very calm and patient as he helped me drain the blister, which turned out to be a blister inside a blister. He put hand sanitizer into the blister and lit it on fire while Hiker Box let me squeeze her hand, and Handstand filmed (it is at 8:12 if you are interested: https://youtu.be/DB2bhzRdoDA). It was surprisingly not painful at all…especially since I had prepared myself for extreme pain.

After the deed was done, I was actually walking closer to normal. I’d say the pain wasn’t gone, but it became bearable. We hiked 4 more miles and then I let Anvil burn another blister that sprung up today, and I’m now a huge advocate for burning bliaters. Burn them all I say!

I guess the true test is tomorrow…but I feel world’s better already. Everything is going to be just fine.

Sorry for the lack of pictures today, I was not in the mood.

Dinner: beef burritos again

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Petroglyph
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Petroglyph too

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Sunset from my cowboy setup

No view from the loo because…well there wasn’t one today.

Dinner: beef burritos again

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