4/4/2018 – Day 26

Jerry Cabin Shelter to Hogback Ridge Shelter – 15.5 miles

Didn’t mention it yesterday, but I reached the 300-mile point! Started off with cold rain this morning. I had service as I started climbing so I tried calling Laura about my tendon. No answer. Ended up sending her a text later and at the shelter that night I had great service, so I got her response: Don’t hike so fast, put more weight on poles, use bio-freeze, and ice whenever possible. Rain stopped after 10am, so overall, not a bad day.

I was up and moving before the others were awake in the shelter. I did not do much exploring through the campsite the night before because of my injury so when I walked through it on the trail, I noticed a lot more people camped out than I thought. All either still asleep in their tents avoiding the rain or just starting to pack up their things.

Once I started getting to higher ground, I tried calling Laura but got not answer, so I sent her a text and hoped she would get the message. I continued to use bio-freeze a few times throughout the day and would stretch out my leg to help alleviate some of the pain. At the shelter I thankfully got a response from Laura and based on my description to her, she said I had patellar tendonitis. The biggest thing I had to worry about was to not adjust all of my weight on my opposite leg because that could cause an injury there if I did that for too long. I slowed down my pace, put more weight on my poles, and took more frequent breaks and made it alright to the shelter.

During one of my breaks, I met another hiker named Grant. He got off the AT the year before at Hot Springs because of an injury so this year, he got back on where he left off. I would see him on the trail for a couple of days, but eventually I pulled ahead of him and I never heard about him after that. A very common thing to happen on the trail.

I don’t remember much about this day besides dealing with my patellar tendonitis and that it just really hurt. I was still worried that I might have to take a few days off of the trail to let it heal and that was the last thing I wanted to do. Getting the response from Laura helped me a lot and I was able to make it to the shelter without making the injury any worse.

There were a lot of these little guys hanging around the trail.

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