Deer Park Shelter

5-23-12 AT miles hiked today: 16.6 Total AT miles hiked: 270.7

That is the first sign I've seen since Springer Mtn that says the miles of the whole AT. We spent the night on Max Patch and only got fog. No stars, sunrise, sunset, lightning or any more bears. It was worth it anyway.

We got an early start in the fog and about ten minutes in I rolled my left ankle on a rock, and felt a pop. It was stupid. I was just trying to avoid a wet branch in my face and I hurt myself. I kept walking to see how bad it was, and I could walk. Phew. But it was in the first mile of a long day. I realized that I need to walk myself to Hot Springs or I might need to stop and camp to recover, but I don't have enough food to wait. So I walked. It hurt sometimes, but I had other hurts that were worse. I felt the weakness in it and I babied it so I went slower and my other knee and foot took the extra work so they hurt, too. I hiked the last five miles in my new blue super feet insoles which I think I like. Third try is the charm. Then it rained heavily on me for the last hour before I got to the shelter. If it had not rained I had considered just hiking the last 3.2 miles into town because I was afraid my ankle might really swell up after I stopped hiking and took off my shoes. But I was done for the day with the rain pounding me.

It did swell up after I took off my shoes, but I've elevated it, wrapped it, and taken ibuprofin (after I got to camp). In town I can get a bunk and do my laundry, which smells of mildew/mold. I can evaluate my foot on how it feels tomorrow and how it responds to the hike into town. I may need a zero or some lighter days. I'll see.

I'm telling on Houdini that he fell for the first time today, right in front of me and Joe. He wasn't even hiking, which makes it funnier. He had stepped to the side of the trail top let Joe pass, and he just windmilled his arms and fell on his butt.