Today, pain has begun for real. I walked the last 6 miles of our 18.6 mile hike to the Mt Shasta trail head in my Teevas (sandlas). Blisters have formed under callouses ive had since the beginning of the PCT, and if you haven’t experienced these monsters they really do give you a hell of a lot of grief. The pressure builds up under the hardened skin to a point where last night had me unable to place the areas of my heels where the blisters had formed on my foot. My shoes have also begun to hurt my feet, I have Salomon’s and I think that after being in wider, softer trail runners they are too narrow across the balls of my feet. So I limped and moaned for the majority of the morning. I had many vitamin I, and some paracetamol. I remember going up and then down, it was beautiful but the pain I was experiencing seemed to dull everything.
At the top of a pass we stopped breifly to rest my aching feet. Ollie said his were sore too and together we limped toward lunch. I could bear the pain about a mile out from our lunch spot, I had tried running, using my poles differently and eventually I threw down my pack and switched my boots out for my teevas. Instantly the pain subsided and when we reached the stream crossing our path and the minimal shade given by an over ha hung rock I took 5 minutes to gather myself before plunging my red and swollen tootsies into the cold water.
We ate lunch with a fellow hiker who told me he walked for 250 miles in Teevas and so I decided to complete the last miles to town in mine. On the way we rang tony, a highway patrol cop that for the last few years has been giving rides to hikers. He pulled up just as we arrived at the trail head. Today he is retiring and these were the last few hours of his shift. As we sped down the highway I asked if he could put the siren and lights in as a little birthday present. He said yes! Off we zoomed.
We arrived in Shasta in the late afternoon, the KOA were rude and over priced so I booked us a hotel room. White sheets, a good shower and breakfast in the morning. Ollie took me out for a delicious Italian dinner and we ate huge amounts.