Miles: 0 + 28.4

Camp: My CDT mile 1459.7

Yesterday, I reluctantly took a zero. I’ve certainly had enough rest lately, but with this foot problem I know better than to push it. It wasn’t until evening that I found out I wouldn’t receive my shoes today, so it was too late to move on anyway. Probably for the best, as neuromas respond to rest…and that’s what I did. I walked around town a little bit, spending time in all of the stores nearby (nothing interesting…just a bunch of chain stores with AC), I watched a couple of movies on cable, took a bath in Epsom salts and dreamed of actually gaining some ground on trail again.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and went straight to breakfast. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to tackle the day, but wanted to make it to the spring where I’m now camped. I didn’t know how my foot was going to feel, so I was ready to do less miles if necessary. I ended up not hiking out until 8am, and by then I was nearly exploding with the need to get moving…which was surely contributed by the 5 cups of coffee I had at the hotel.

The morning miles felt pretty normal. My neuroma was definitely present, but not as extremely as before. I worked very hard at changing my gait and not stepping on my forefoot so hard. I always bust through my insoles at the ball of my foot and that is incidentally where all of my foot pain and blisters are located. Trying to step with more balanced weight took concentration and effort, but it seemed to help. That and the few rounds of Aleve I’ve been taking. I am taking it to try and combat the inflammation before it gets out of hand. So far so good!

The trail was hot and dry today, but easy enough. There is no real elevation change in the basin, just minor ups and downs over gently rolling, sage covered hills. I saw lots of antelope, though they are hard to grab a photo of because they are fast and they blend in pretty well from a distance. I also saw a herd of wild horses! There were 8 of them just a ways off from the trail, beautiful creatures.

There were also stark reminders that this is indeed the desert; 3 dead cows and a dead coyote in one day. There is little living here as far as plants as well, mostly just sage and some prickly pear cactus…but somehow it is incredibly beautiful. The scenery is vast, wide open and simple. Looking around at the different angles, wind blowing the yellow grasses and my hair, I feel like I’m in a special place. The basin is pretty cool.

I made it to the spring at sunset and it is nearing 10pm already. Time flies some days…especially in camp. I need to brush my teeth and try to get an early start tomorrow to beat the heat…so that’s all today. Cowgirl camping again, stars already sparkling in the sky and coyotes reminding me I’m never alone. It’s a beautiful night.

Dinner: mac and cheese with salsa and bacon bits.