Need Gap —-> Low Gap Shelter
Total AT miles: 43.2
Thump…thump…thump goes the blood in my head in rhythm to my heart. Thump…thump…thump. I stop at midday and cook some food. Someone stops and tries to talk to me. “Please, just go away.” I think. It hurts to much to listen.
I pack my bag and hike on down the trail. Camp is not far. Another few miles. I trudge on in a daze ignoring the pain. I cave and take an Ibuprofen. Vitamin “I” someone called it. The only vitamin worth carrying out here.
I took my first last night. Exhaustion overtook me and, with the pain relief, I actually slept. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a good nights sleep. Between excitement and anxiety before the trip, to cramping in the first 3 days, and now to pain.
I have arthritis in my neck you see. When I was 12, I fell out of a tree stand. It slipped as I was coming down. I fell and landed on my neck summersaulting down the hill in my backyard.
No-one was home when it happened. But there, suddenly standing on the concrete patio, was my Uncle Joe to take me to the hospital. Hours of x-rays and waiting revealed no breaks. Whew! I still had to wear a neck brace for a while and was in and out of physical therapy for years.
The only lingering effects are from the arthritis. It’s not a problem as long as I stretch. If I don’t, it feels like a jackhammer’s pounding away on my skull. I doubt it will last much longer though. My body just needs to adjust to the strain. Another few days, maybe a week, and I’ll be a pack mule.
This early in to the hike, most everyone is in pain. Knees are the most common complaint, but really, everything hurts. Shoulders, backs, necks, and feet. You name it and we’re feeling it.