Over the past 3 months I’ve been developing my own theory for successful hiking. Why is it that some days are great, and others we simply long to crawl into our tent at the end of it? My theory is based on three elements that must cooperate and work together like a team – your mind, your body, and the trail. The mind must stay focussed to instruct the body, the body must listen to and obey the mind, and the trail (although we have no control over it) must stimulate and motivate the mind and look after the body. At the start of each day I chant this little mantra to myself before setting off, ‘mind, body, trail; mind, body, trail’. If all three can work together it will be a good day.
Today the trail messed with the body, the body complained to the mind, and the mind got angry with the trail. It was not a healthy hiking combination, and finally the pain of the body became so great that the mind broke down. (Be warned below is another video of me crying, AGAIN).
I continued to hike on, not because I’m a tough, but because there really was no alternative. I went for another mile before I couldn’t go any further, then sat on the ground, pulled out my packet of Fritos corn chips, and stuffed my face while I massaged my hip. I don’t know if it was the distraction of the chips or the massage, but when I got up to hike again it felt a lot better. The burning, shooting pain had stopped and I could walk somewhat comfortably. At least I’ve found a short term solution that will hopefully get me to Ashland where I’ll need to have it looked at.
The last 6 miles to Paradise Lake where I planned to camp were some of the steepest since Yosemite. The trail and mind were at odds but luckily the body was cooperating again. I made my 26 miles to the lake by just after 8pm and was relieved to have enough light to set up camp and eat before darkness rolled in. I’m a lot more nervous at night since the mountain lion incident which is a real shame. My ears prick up at every sound and I generally avoid leaving my tent once it’s dark. I still cowboy camp, but not at established campsites. I think I ‘hear’ things now like I sometimes ‘see’ things on the trail, which end up being complete hallucinations or generally tree branches or rocks that look like people or foreign objects.
I couldn’t hear the spring I’m camped near before, but suddenly it sounds like it’s right outside my tent. I was sure someone was setting up camp right near me only to find nothing when I poked my head outside, and just now I thought I heard a woman’s voice. I may need to get the specialist to check my head when I get my hip looked at!