Friday, October 16, 2009

Section Hike AT - James River North

At the start - James River, elev 735

Rocky Row area overlooking James River, elevation 2992

October 11, 2009
James River to Rice Mtn
13.1 miles

Okay, so I thought I could get away with another section hike on my pair of trail runners that I knew were close to biting the dust. Hoped to do James River to Rockfish Gap. Trip started okay Sunday, though being out of shape with hiking is quite evident when trying to hike miles and do elevation change. Plus a loaded pack with supplies for five days (ugh) and water since you don't know spring conditions with the dry fall we've had. The spirit in strong but the body weak. Thank goodness for Advil. Still made it to Rice Mtn for an overnight stay after seeing good views of the James River.

Cold Mountain, elevation 4022

October 12
Rice Mtn to Hog Camp Gap
15 miles

The next day dawned cloudy but still good views as I hiked around the reservoir and enjoyed autumn color. Had some hot spots so put on the customary duct tape. But noticed too on dowhills my toes jamming and some nail pain (didn't think really to tighten the laces more). Thought it would go away (that invincible streak). Climbed the nice long hike up from Rt 60 and was met with foggy and very windy conditions on Bald Knob. And continued aches and pains. Duct tape falling off my feet, not good. And just general feet pain. Did clear enough though for views off Cold Mtn, but again, the pain muted it. Arrived at Hog Camp Gap to inspect the feet and found one quarter size open and draining blister on the big toe - have no idea where it came from except it must have happened from loosened duct tape. Fixed my feet and set up camp. The rain held off though and had a quiet but windy and cool evening as I cooked by the tent. Later that night dew fell with condensation in and out on tent, and wind caused a stake to come out, so up at 4 AM to fix it.

October 13
Hog Camp Gap to Crabtree Falls Rd
13.7 miles

Tired today from the escapades of last night but awoke to a bright and beautiful morning with the autumn colors vivid in the sunlight.

Thought today would be a good day. Felt okay. Managed to bandage the big toe fine but to my dismay, found another blister forming, this time on the sole and the junction of one middle toe. As teh day went on, the blister proved impossible to bandage correctly as whenever I put tape on, it would fall off. And come to find out, a ridge that had developed in my runners because of useage had formed the blister. So day three I was met with constantly stopping and doing first aid. My big toenails were not good either. My gait was changing becase of these issues and then I was facing ankle pain from an old ankle injury. Stopped at Seeley shelter to dy out tent and do first aid. Spent over an hour there. But the hiking didn't go well after that with the ongoing foot problems. At Spy Rock Rd, I told my hubby what was going on and he urged me to get off. Now getting off is not what I wanted to do. I hemmed and hawed. But every step really hurt and I was not enjoying this time at all. Nor the prospect of climbing down the Priest with bruised toenails and then walking on the blister over the Three Ridges and beyond. I feared also the gait change could cause more ankle problems (and I was recently recovering from an ankle spain in Sept. after a tumble off the steps).So I got off at Crabtee Falls Rd and got picked up.
Lessons learned - don't use worn shoes and insoles, take better blister stuff to work with. Tighten your shoes and wear good socks.

1 comment:

MATHEW said...

We spent the night right above the Ampitheater and the weather was awesome.I fear also the gait change could cause more ankle problems and was recently recovering from an ankle sprain. I have learned lessons learned that we don't use worn shoes and insoles, take better blister stuff to work with.

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