March 22, Day 12
Today was a day of rest and recovery. I laid in bed with my left foot elevated and watched movies most of the day. I alternated foot elevation with 5 minute ice baths. I had forgotten how uncomfortable to down right painful ice baths can be.
In one of my few excursions from the room I walked down to the local gear outfitter named Nomads. I met the manager, Robert, and we chatted about the trail and different outdoor adventures.
He’s semi retired and led a life of adventure. As he put it, for many years he was paid to live outdoors. As I so often do, I quipped without thinking, “So you never worked for a living.” He got a chuckle out of that.
I told him the anticipated hiker numbers this year with over a thousand people starting the trail between April 8 and April 28. He was staggered. He’s likely to plan extra staff to help with the volume.
In our conversation he mentioned he had written a novel. It’s called “Dirt Bags” and is a fictional novel based on two friends right out of high school living a life of adventure. It was sold in the store, so I purchased a copy. He was nice enough to sign it.
In the opening it references an interesting quote that I’ll paraphrase.
“Time and money have an inverse relationship. We have to spend one to get the other. For anyone who has traveled on the cheap knows that time is more valuable.”
Life experiences don’t have to cost a lot and you rarely get the experiences you are looking for in the quest for money.
Brian and I have tried to move more toward the experience lifestyle and away from the possession lifestyle over the last 8 or so years. While we still enjoy having nice things, it’s not our be all end all anymore. I would trade any nice “thing” for a life long memory of a great experience any day. I suspect this is part of the reason I have undertaken the thru hike now.
I had a gentleman comment on my age the other day. Upon first meeting he sized me up and said, “you’re mid to late thirties aren’t ya?”
I respond, “Yeah, some where around there.”
He replied, “we don’t generally see many of your type thru hiking.”
I looked at him inquisitively but didn’t say anything.
He continued, “You know, people in their prime earning years.”
I can appreciate being in the minority. I am in a unique position in my ability to participate in a thru hike at this point in my life. Many individuals have significantly different lives in their mid 30s. Children, big mortgages, lots of bills, the list goes on. My employment situation worked out just about perfectly to allow my hike to happen. However, this is only one of many factors.
Many people claim to want to do certain things and have dreams. When it comes down to it, many people will not make the appropriate changes or plans to make their dreams a reality. This is one area Brian and I excel at. Rarely is a fulfillment of a goal an accident.
That’s as far as I’ve made it in dirt bag thus far, but I’m sure it will be a great read.
After Nomads, I went back to the room for another ice bath and to contemplate dinner. I decided on Mexican food again. It was quite delicious.
In walking back to my room I received an email from Magee! She invited me out for a beer. They weren’t supposed to be here until Tuesday. I knew a good story was brewing.
I met them at a beer and wine bar called “idly awhile”. Clever.
We caught up and they told the tale of the alternate trail. The first section of the trail was beautiful but after walking through a Girl Scout camp turned mercenary training center and discovering a 4 mile road walk, they decided to hitch into Idyllwild to skip the rest of the alternate.
They’re in good spirits and plan to spend a couple days in town then hit the trail either Tuesday or Wednesday.
My feet are recovering nicely. All of my previous blistered spots are nearly healed. And after a day and a half of diligent massage and ice baths, my tendonitis is lessening. Hooray for the miracle of the human body.
Keith, who put together the video for my departure, has his site up for anyone who would like to give it a watch. It really is quite the production. Cotton World Studios.
The plan is to hit the trail by midday tomorrow! I’m ready for more miles and more adventures.