Day 36: A New Day Rising

Date: June 5th

Start: Walker Pass (652.1)

End: Spanish Needle Creek (668.7)

Total Miles: 16.6

Twenty-eight days ago I left the specialist’s office wearing a boot. My hike was over. With a help of my friend Bret, I was on a plane back home.

I recovered faster than expected, in part do to my pre-hike training regiment. Because I had exercised hard prior to starting, my ankle and leg were very strong and I did less damage. Years of playing baseball and softball also meant that my legs know they’re going to take a beating and to heal up quickly.

Our trail angels, Teresa and Beverly, dropped us off at Walker Pass at 8 in the morning. I was hiking again and it felt wonderful, but there were still questions in my mind.

Did i start too early? On the one hand, if my ankle hasn’t healed properly, I will injure it quickly, and be out once again. This time for good. On other hand, everyday I sit means my hiker legs become weaker.

I wanted to take it easy and ease into the trail, but nothing about the PCT is easy. I committed to get from Walker Pass to Kennedy Meadows in 3 days. That means 17 miles per day.

This first day is the longest extended climb since I hiked the crucible going into Wrightwood. The included a 17 mile water carry.

By mile 9, I could feel it in my legs. I muscled through it. We got to a good stopping point, but members of my party did not carry enough water. Exhausted, I did another 3 miles with headlamps on. Unfortunately, I used my second wind so I knew tomorrow was going to be a rough day.

After day one, I have no residual soreness in my ankle. I hiked nearly 17 miles, and didn’t delay anyone else. It was awesome.

Late in the day, we reached the 1/4 mark. We still have a long way to go.

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