TD 20 MP 502.6

Hiking today was lovely with oak shaded cool green mountains most of the way. There was however considerable elevation gain and I therefore did not make my goal of Horse Trail Camp at MP 508.

It always disappoints me when I do not reach a goal, a painful reminder of being human. I got some pictures of a California wild cucumber (not poisonous, but not tasty); a butterfly and the first columbine I have seen so far.

I also passed an abandoned gold mine.

As I got higher in the mountains I saw ominous clouds in the west. Later these would move in on top of my chosen camp.

THE 500 MILE MARK

There are three markers celebrating 500 miles. I hear hikers often camp here to emphasize its special meaning. I reached it in late evening.

Did you hear the trumpets sound? Could you see the rockets flair? Probably not, but although I had not been focused on it, the impact of these 500 miles slowly filled my heart.

One year ago I could not walk. The fragments of my femur were knitting together after months of required immobility. I was finally able to start physical therapy but my leg was so weak it could not support my weight. All the work to train and strengthen my muscles climbing and running over the years was erased and I was weaker than a baby. I was also in a great deal of pain, the hardware in my leg- so necessary to keep the bone fragments in place – were external to my bone and directly under my IT band. My IT band healing from the 8 inch incision, grated across it each time I moved my leg.

That was one year ago. Today I passed the 500 mile mark on the PCT. But this accomplishment is not mine alone. Perhaps no one woman has so much to be grateful for. Only through the love, prayers, patience and caring of my family, friends, church, and most importantly, David, is this possible. If you are reading this now please know how grateful I am. If there is a place in your life that feels hopeless, please know it is not.

At MP 502.6 I found the Guzzler. I will do a separate guzzler post because these are such a great concept in trail water!!

The cloud had settled on my mountaintop and the rainfly on my tent did its job.

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