US 2 Gorham, NH(1890.9) to Hogan Rd(1891.6) .7 Miles
My shortest day of hiking yet! I gave it the old college try, but in the end it was an epic fail. We all woke up early this morning. Everyone was excited to finish up New Hampshire and start into our last state, Maine. Elizabeth, the matron of the Twelve Tribes community, cooked us breakfast, we packed up, and Jeramiah shuttled us back to the trailhead.
Group photo of hikers heading out in the morning. Bottom row L-R: Forever, Outro, Fiddler. Middle row L-R: ?, Hands to Mouth, Adios, Zen, South Paw, Neemor. Top Row: Miami Vice, Mido, Evil Twins, Huckleberry a Thug, Rusty, Me, Paperclip
While I was fiddling with my pack everyone else began walking down the trail, which was a one mile road walk. I started off right behind them. After a quarter mile I had doubts about my ankle. After a half mile I knew that it wouldn't work. I kept on walking, trying to catch up to the group, but by then they were too far ahead of me.
Just before the trail turned back into the woods, I gave up. I sat down on my pack and had a nice little cry, dusted myself off, and began the one mile walk back to the trailhead. Luckily, Fiddler was still behind me. I told him that I couldn't go on and to tell the group goodbye for me. In a way it was better this way, no drawn out goodbyes and nobody trying to talk me into continuing. This was a very difficult decision for me. I'm not very good at taking it easy and I tend to push through the pain. With this type of injury, I don't think there is an option to push through the pain.
As I began the one mile road walk back to the trailhead I didn't have much of a plan in how I would get back to the Twelve Tribes community. I hoped that Jeramiah would still be there, but I didn't think that was very likely. I was doing my best to hurry along when an SUV pulled up next to me. The driver, Marathon Man, offered me a ride to wherever I needed to go. He had thru-hiked the trail back in 1991 and was keen to relive his glory days by talking shop with me. He had me back to the trailhead in a matter of minutes. I immediately saw Jeramiah's van. The force was with me, he hadn't left yet. He had been caught up picking blueberries, which was good news for me.
We made the twenty plus mile drive back to Lancaster, chatting most of the way. Forty-five minutes later we were back at the house and I was resting in bed. Members of the community would periodically come by to check on me. At one point they made up an ice bath for me to soak my foot and ankle in. It was shockingly, painfully cold. I kept my ankle in as long as I could stand it, which was only ten minutes. As soon as my foot thawed out, I plunged it back in.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon laying in bed, bored out of my mind. I only got up to use the bathroom or to get food. I'm hoping to get back on the trail in a few more days.
"You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." -Jon Kabat-Zinn