Laughter is the best medicine

I have just had the best ab workout after Goku, a Japanese hiker who speaks limited English, has tried to convince me to stay in Seiad Valley until at least 10am tomorrow. I’m not even sure why he’s so adamant about me staying for breakfast as I only met him a couple of hours ago, but in a series of charade type motions he was able to communicate that if I try to leave at 5am as planned, he will hold onto my ankle so I can’t move. I was honestly in stitches because this went on for over half an hour following another explanation of what Muk Muk means in Japanese (from his arm movements I understood it’s something to do with smoke rising, or it could be a snowman; I’m honestly going to have to look it up). Both Goku, Messenger and I were all hysterically giggling by the end of the demonstration.

This was one of many belly laugh occasions today. This morning Mud and Dingo arrived while I was having breakfast at the cafe and after 4 hours and about 10 cups of coffee the conversations were becoming more and more ludicrous. I also met another Aussie from Perth today and a hiker called Lightning Rod, and we all sat around in the shade at the RV park mostly making fun of me and the fact that for some reason everyone seems to have heard of Muk Muk somewhere along the trail. Whether it’s because I’ve been out here for soooo long already and have gone from the front, to the middle, to maybe further back in the pack, or maybe it’s just the mountain lion incident. The south bounder I met yesterday told me about a girl who was recently stalked by one, and I laughed and replied ‘I guess that would be me’.

The RV park has some interesting rules about exactly where and when you can have your tent set up in the front yard. It was so dark last night and the ground was so hard I pitched in between a tree, picnic bench and a sprinkler. When I was told off in the morning after having my tent standing after 9am, I also discovered I’d been sleeping next to a dead bird. Welcome to Seiad Valley! But in all seriousness this was the perfect place for a zero. Between the cafe, post office, store and RV park which are all within a stones throw apart, there’s really nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. I did see my fellow Aussie attempt the 5 pound pancake challenge, but he only got through 1.5. I got to pocket one of the leftovers and chewed on it for most of the day with enough for a small breakfast tomorrow!

Because I don’t get any AT&T signal here, my brother in law had to phone the cafe to be able to tell me that I’m now an aunt for the second time to their brand new baby girl! The two women at the cafe were as excited as I was at the news and wanted to see pictures immediately once I was off the phone. I basically ate three rounds of food in 4 hours; pancakes with eggs and bacon, hash brown with gravy, then I polished off Dingo’s leftover waffle with berries. Surprisingly I still had room to nibble on the leftover pound pancake after that.

I froze water in ziplock bags to use as ice packs for my shin and hip and spent most of the day sitting or lying down. I did yet another pack shakedown and managed to cut 1 pound and 3 ounces off my base weight. Plus I got rid of a stack of extra food I was carrying so my pack will be lighter up the monster climb tomorrow morning. It’s after 10pm and I’m expecting Fuller to show up anytime now after some time at home back in Oregon. He’s kindly picked me up a new pair of shoes after I realised the new pair of Cascadias I’ve been wearing were too small because my previous pair were in fact a men’s 9.5, not a women’s 9.5 like my current pair. Honestly, will I ever get this right?

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16 thoughts on “Laughter is the best medicine

  1. So nice to see you resting MukMuk! And I definitely love the short version of the rain trousers. Excellent! Big hug 🙂

  2. Hey Muk Muk! Thanks so much for the great blogging. I had to get off the trail for 2 weeks in Big Bear for what sounds like the same problem with my leg. We think it was a pinched nerve in my back. The clue was the sudden onset and the (relative) speed with which it went away – definitely not muscular. The treatment was to lie on my back and extend my right foot as far as possible, as if I was reaching for something with it. Then I would alternate with the left, reaching as far as possible, with the object being to loosen the lower back. Do about 20 reps but not more than comfortable. Then I did another exercise to work on another plane, still lying on my back. This is harder to explain, but I’ll try – on your back, bend your legs so your lower back is flat on the ground. Pretend there’s a circle drawn on the ground with the edge running through the end of your tailbone, the tips of your hips and the upper edge of your lower back. Now try to rotate your hips as if you’re touching the left hip, tailbone, right hip, etc, to the circle on the ground. Gently roll your hips around the circle one way and then the other, loosening your lower back. You will probably feel tightness in one of the quadrants of the circle – just be gentle and keep going for 20 reps or so one way and then the other. As you do it you’ll feel greater control. If you can find a physical therapist around there, they may be able to refine what I’ve suggested. I wish you all the best for the rest of the hike! 3Cats

  3. Never seen anything like that pancake stack – only a bear could eat that. Glad you finally got the family call to know you are an aunt to a gorgeous little baby girl. Now there’s an incentive to get this trail done. Do get the physical work done to go on in a fit state and enjoy what looks to be a nice, relaxing spot where you are now. Get through without drama to the next one. If you don’t eventually choose properly for your shoes next time around I will give up following and bty – easy goes with the blogging !!! Get some head rest as well. Hope you don’t mind all the well-meaning gratuitous advice 🙂

  4. I’m glad you’re getting some rest – you certainly deserve and need it. As far as Muk Muk in Japanese is concerned, the best I can figure is Goku may have been pantomiming “maku” which means to wind or coil. I’ll ask my mom the next time I see her though! Oh, and those pancakes are downright ridiculous! Was there a register of people who succeeded? Any hikers?

  5. You’ve spent so much time solo and yet you have a cult following both on and off trail. Star status for our Muk Muk!

    I’m thrilled you had some downtime and were able to share with Dingo and Mudd. I sure enjoyed chatting with Dingo on my trail magic day.

    Maybe the shoes have been the root of all your evil this stretch 😦 That Fuller gets his angel wings for coordinating shoe replacements stat!

    I’m guessing the serious trail ups and downs combined with months on the trail and ever increasing mileage must have an accumulated affect on bodies. I’ve heard of so many with shin splints and other serious pains causing problems between Castella and Crater Lake.

    I’m sending you positive Theresa energy to heal your body so can find that perfect mind, body, trail connection and lots of cloud walking.

    Take care my friend. Jan

  6. You are looking good and pleased to see you cheerful. It is impossible to walk to this extent without some aches and pains – for Jon it is his tooth (trail food perhaps not the best). Roz x

  7. Hi darling, great to have a big belly laugh, let those muscles loose. I can’t believe that big plate of pancakes, fit for a giant or may be de “Holle Bolle Gys”. Lovely to be an auntie to a nephew and now a little niece, fantastic. Great to see you resting with the domestic scenery of washing hanging to dry, love the artificial flower tree. I hope that you have sorted out your hip and shin issues, a lighter backpack will help but maybe you need to rest a few more times during hiking. Don’t let it come so far that the pain sets in, rest before and manage your timing. A few miles, a stretch and rest, a few miles and so on. I am sure that you will have it under control. Will there ever be the right pair of shoes for you!!! I have lost count of all the pairs you have gone through. Keep on hiking, your are doing great.
    Love Mutti xxoo

  8. I know two people who have had very good results from using a foam roller for hip pain. You can find advice on how to use one on the internet. Someone suggested a 2 liter soda bottle full of water could be used if a roller was not available. It might be worth trying. Good Luck.
    Nathan

  9. I hope your feeling better after the rest, looks like your almost to Oregon!!!!!
    Hopefully the trail will be kinder to you for the Oregon portion. Our Tramper
    group is setting off on another section of the PCT going from Sonora Pass to
    Return Creek near Virginia Lakes in 8 days 70 miles, you could do it in 2 or 3 with the speed you keep up!!! When I get tried and a bit sore, I’ll have to stop and think what your
    going through each day on the trail. There is a great song, I’d like to send to you
    called Two Little Feet, it would be great to hike to, but not sure how I can send it,
    to you, any ideas?? Good luck with the shoes. and keep on trucking.
    Tahoe Tramper
    Ann

    • Haha thanks so much Ann!! If the song is on YouTube maybe you can send me the link? Great that you guys are doing that 70 mile stretch, how beautiful! Will be thinking of you all! 🙂

  10. I really hope you can get over this pain. I can’t imagine hiking in that condition. You are WAY tougher than me!! I hope to see you in Oregon soon 🙂 …But don’t push yourself too hard :/

  11. Love the picture of my son Mark, so glad he didn’t eat the whole stack and you got to eat some too, hope your shin is better with the new shoes, happy trails, Gail Gray from Perth

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