Miles: 0 +17

Camp: My CDT mile 2253

On day 140, we rested. We rested like there would never be rest again and we rested some more. We made trips to the grocery store and McDonalds for all of our food needs, we watched a Back To The Future marathon and then went bowling. It was a satisfying zero, one that offered us some recuperation from the drama of the day before…We all felt a little beat up. I somehow even have a bruise on my stomach that I don’t remember getting and it hurts! I’m one of those people who never bruises either, so I don’t know what happened. There was a spill in the snow that hurt my knee pretty good, but I don’t remember taking a blow to my belly. Strange days.

The following day was when Titan, Uberdude and I had to get a ride back to the lake for the miles we missed. Righton and Judd had already walked it, so they would wait in town for us as we walked. The ride was long and warm, cold air greeting us as we sleepily piled out of the truck for our 22 mile road walk. We had left our gear at the hotel though, so we were only walking with water and food, making it a pretty low demand day.

We walked together chatting about life, religion and food, making the miles pass pretty fast. My knee was sore from my fall, but it seemed to be mild. It felt like maybe I had bruised the bone…no swelling and no discoloration made me confident it wasn’t more serious. It was sore enough to be noticeable, but it didn’t feel to be too serious…until we had been about 17 miles. Suddenly it hurt tremendously, almost as if my kneecap was in the wrong place. I couldn’t move it properly and the pain was intense when I tried. Seeing as we were on a paved road, 6 miles from town, I decided to accept temporary defeat and hitchhike back to town.

The pain had brought tears to my eyes, though part of that was the frustration of knowing that I may have damaged my knee more than I had previously thought. But if it were serious, why did it take 2 days and 17 miles of walking to act up? It still wasn’t swollen or anything externally obvious, but the pain was very real. A nice local man brouht me back to the hotel where Judd got me a bag of ice and a cold beer to nurse my wounds; Limey went and got me a sandwich at Subway since I couldn’t even hobble across the street. We watched Batman and I decided that I would have to give my knee more rest. I will skip this section and head to Helena to wait for the guys in hopes that rest is the solution to my knee pain. The biggest hopes. I’m not anywhere near ready to accept this as the end of my hike. No way! I can go to Helena for a couple of days and then return to finish those 80 miles after finishing the CDT with my friends. It is the only acceptable solution right now, though I’m smart enough to know that there is a chance that my hike is over. The very thought brings a surge of tears, pitiful tears of the biggest heartbreak I may ever know…but I won’t know it, because I am going to be okay. I have to be okay. Really, really have to.

For now, we all will be together until morning and I really want to soak up this time with my friends. I am feeling a bit weepy and sentimental, but extremely grateful for these wonderful men I get to call friends. They have been so amazing today, so supportive and kind. No matter what, I’m a lucky gal. Possibly the luckiest.

Dinner: Subway

Titan loves Mountain Dew and can towers
Judd showing us his impeccable form
Titan the Goat Whisperer