Flexibility is key for any long-distance hiker. With lessons learned from our first hike of the Appalachian Trail and now 700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, there's simply no more necessary tool in the hiker's backpack than being able to go with the flow.
Okay ... so, I'll stop being mysterious! The hike is going well, despite a hiccup which I'll detail in a minute, and we're currently sitting in Lone Pine, CA at mile 742 of 2,650.
First off, thank you all for the donations and kind words.
Secondly, onto the hiccup, well ... Twinkletoes (Maury) has contracted some sort of stomach parasite (doctor wasn't sure which without running some tests), but we've got medicine for it and she's feeling much better. The way any hiker contracts this sort of thing is through polluted water sources, and in the desert, we drank from some sinister-looking creeks. The symptoms of these lil' buggers are cramping, stomach pain, diarhhea.
Needless to say, Twinkletoes' last two days of hiking before we were able to get into town were tough. Not only was she fighting off a crazy bug, but we were starting our ascent into the Sierras - the highest altitude that we'll ever reach on this trip. The climbs are tougher, and hikers typically drop their daily progress five miles/day to get through them.
On the last day, during one of her many bathroom stops, I took every bit of extra food, clothing and gear that I could from out of her pack and strapped it precariously onto and into mine just so she could make it up the final climbs. The situation was never dire, but it was certainly a testament to her conviction in this hike and this cause that she climbed over 10,000 ft. in three days' time so that we could make it into town.
I was, and am, proud of her. And I know that this conviction will only carry us all the way to Canada. It's one of the reasons I asked her to marry me. She's stubborn, and well, as a hiker ... you gotta love stubborn.
Also, recently, in the news - Jack Osbourne (son of rocker Ozzy) was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He's received a load of interviews and press on it, and I hope that through this publicity, the disease will receive more attention, more understanding, and better funding for a cure.
At the end of each day, we know our personal "adventure" or hike is simply inconsequential in the face of the "why."
One of our major focuses is to raise awareness for MS. The other is to raise money for an organization which is simply doing the best work around in finding a cure for people like Jack Osbourne, Mom and two million others. The more people we reach, the more people we can help.
As far as the PCT goes, these last 40 miles have been stunningly gorgeous ... a great entry into the section that everyone says is - hands down - one of the most beautiful places in the United States. We're grateful to be here, looking forward to good health and a beautiful day to climb up the Western side of Mt. Whitney in less than a week.
From there, we'll just keep chugging and posting pictures (and hopefully videos should we ever find a computer that wasn't created during the Stone Age), taking this trip step-by-step and being flexible when life inevitably throws you the proverbial curve ball.