Rest. Ibuprofen. Compression socks.

That is what the doctor prescribed.

Surprisingly, it seems to be working.

Cat supervised rest

If all goes well, I’ll have a practice walk next week and plan to be back on trail by September 3 or 4.

I’m doing the practice/test so I don’t find myself caught up short by not being as recovered as I think I am.

The treatment change was continuing use of ibuprofen am/pm rather than prn and the compression socks. I’m now pain free and the site of the shin splints is no longer tender even outside the pain relief window of the ibuprofen.

I’m taking it carefully but am optimistic instead of grieving being off trail and being uncertain about how recovery was really going.

August 21, Sunday. Getting treatment for shin splints.

The shin splints did not resolve this morning but were worse.

Kris Lesperance, a true hero, picked us up and we will rent a car tomorrow and pick up some packages—including our shoe replacements.

I had hoped that a day of rest would make a difference, especially combined with a compression bandage and ibuprofen would make for great recovery—which it has for some.

I started having real pain on the walk to the trail and instead of getting better as it warmed up it got worse.

Will make more decisions after I find a doctor in my Medicare advantage plan.

August 20. Zero day in Snoqualmie Pass. Thunderstorms tonight.

We will leave early tomorrow morning.

Hiker box find

So. I found a replacement handle for the one the deer nibbled. I also found a compression bandage for my shin splints. I’ve never had shin splints before and had no idea they were a dull pain.

Did shoe repairs that should get me to my new shoes at Stevens Pass. The repairs took on one shoe last time and I expect them to take this time on the other. Also the duct tape looks kind of neat.

Got the chicken fried steak breakfast I tried to get yesterday. 😄😄.

Had pizza—a first (or maybe a second?) on the PCT. Two meals were more than enough for today.

Have breakfast in the fridge since the room doesn’t come with breakfast. Also let’s me leave faster in the morning.

We have about three days to Stevens Pass. Then we pick up our resupply box there as well as new shoes.

We are at mile 2394.1. The northern terminus is mile 2653. 259 miles left in Washington. About 14 days. That puts us finishing right around Labor Day.

Then we head south to the Sierras to finish them and head into the desert. I’m excited.

My PCT photo album

Great day.

August 19. Doing laundry. About to buy Win dinner.

She continues to lose weight. Looks like I’ve flattened out on weight loss.

I’m hoping to lose about five more pounds on the trail and then keep it even until I get home.

We took the alternative route and the Sons of Norway took us to town.

We opted out of the hostel and to the hotel because of the sickness that has shown up on the trail.

My left leg has a minor injury. I’m going to rest tomorrow and it should heal. Kind of a sore spot at the bottom of my shin.

My shoes are falling apart a little faster than expected. I may pick up a new pair to get me to my new pair.

Not much else to blog about today. Colder. Some drizzle. Rain jacket worked well.

August 18, trail magic twice, 25.35 miles and the weather is cooling. 5:33 am start.

We camped at the piped springs at 2335.1 and are at 2360.4 tonight. Four miles to the next water but it was a great stop for us.

Bagels and cream cheese and fruit candy for dinner.

We had a beautiful sunrise, clouds most of the day (hurrah for shade) and trail magic twice.

I need to write about it but I am tired.

Rested and writing again.

We hiked about fourteen miles to a cabin. While we were eating “second breakfast” (lunch, but by mileage not time) three people came up to scope it out to do trail magic later. I gave the guy I was talking to some licorice since he had no magic for us.

He took off and came back with fresh cherries. They were great.

Later, as we were hiking, we came across an older guy who had hiked the PCT and his buddy at a road crossing. They had fruit, and Gatorade, and donuts, and beer, and candy they were handing out.

I had some Gatorade and some carbonated watermelon juice, some fruit and a donut. And one mini-Reese’s peanut butter cup.

We had a long water carry. To do it all meant a thirty mile day. We stopped at a campsite at 2360.4 and will do the four miles to water in the morning. We have two liters left each. One for breakfast and one to drink on the way.

It is all downhill from here. We are off the ridge and in a sheltered area since a storm is possible though not likely.

The overall weather predicted is dry (which is Washington this time of year) and highs of around 72. Good hiking weather.

Win spotted an alternative route we may take tomorrow that is shorter with less elevation change.

At the moment we are trying to make hostel reservations for Saturday using her InReach.

Tonight is Thursday. We will hike 20-24 miles on Friday and less than ten to get to the pass on Saturday.

Then we will need three days of food and that will get us to our new shoes.

August 17 and 39.20 miles from the pass. Mile 2335.1 camping at a piped spring.

Gave Bear Banger some food to carry him to the parking lot in ten miles. He is sick and out of food and headed to hitch to town.

Long distances between water. Saw Abear and he decided to go on to try to catch up with Monarch and Resilient. Carrot and Bugs had my belt from the campsite and gave it to me here.

Win was a little sick but finally recovered. She was such a trooper.

Now we are tented and packed in.

Already starting to be evening at 5:50 pm.

Gadget from You Got This is at the campsite. So we saw him the day before yesterday and today.

Mashed potatoes, butter, beef jerky for dinner. Finished off my fruit snacks and had a little licorice. Drank water until I did not feel dehydrated.

A lot of “classic” PCT trail — exposed on the side of a ridge with great views. Escaped getting sunburned.

Had internet briefly. Read about Mimosa cakes. Web novel about a baker. Heard from Rachel. Mimosa cake baking

Funny how visits with family (like my brother & nephew) and the teleconferences with children and grandchildren are such a high point.

17.7 miles from the Cracker Barrel.

We finished up our town stay and hitched a ride back to trail in a Subaru Forester driven by a Forest Service guy and his life guard wife. They were getting ready for a day hike and we talked back and forth about grandchildren.

Our ride in yesterday was with another retired guy from Boeing. This one is supporting his son and resupplying his son as the kid hikes SOBO. Kid told him to pick us up after dad dropped him off.

So we strung two Neros together for our day off. Hitched into town. Had town food and met other hikers for dinner, helped a guy get his laundry done, and after the hotel breakfast hitched back out and started hiking.

It took a long time to hitch in but getting out was faster.

Had a bagel and gummies for dinner to avoid the mosquitoes and because I had enough calories and did not feel like more.

Great day all in all. Tomorrow will probably be 22+ miles to the only green spot in a burn zone.

81.3 miles to the pass and our next resupply. I’m regretting going so heavy on licorice this resupply. Number one ingredient is flour so I figured it was a bread substitute. I’ll go with tortillas next time. 😄😄

Abear showed up around 8:00. He had waited an extra day for his resupply package that had been misrouted. It did not show up again. Monarch and Resilient are up ahead. The cute kids (the British/Canadian couple) showed up here as well.

They have a giant tent (a 3 person Copper Spur). A great choice, especially since they also camp a lot in Canada on tent platforms.

Uphill from us is Hockey who is a Calgary Flames fan from Canada.

We passed mile 2300. For a lot of hikers that means they have only 350 miles left. For us it is 350 until we flip.

Our finishing the Sierras and the desert should get bud out with mild weather. Locally the forecast is dry for the next ten days. Luckily we are in dry season for Washington.

Real change from the Appalachian Trail where rain was a constant companion. In total hours so far I’ve worn my rain jacket as much as a windbreaker as a raincoat.

I find I wear my shorts (the ones from the hiker box) a lot. Just use DEET for bugs. I also use my convertible pants some.

But without poison oak and without sunburn as an issue the shorts are getting wear.

They are a size small and lighter than the mediums I bought us the trail and left with my brother Mark. Left my 34-30 pants with him too.

I think I’m eating enough that I’ve quit shrinking. Will see.

Tomorrow will be a warmer day and a good day for an early start.