Over the past 100 miles, since I left the Mexican Border, I have had more blisters and foot pain than I had on the entire 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, actually I had no blisters and almost no leg pains on the CT even though my pack was more than two pounds heavier. These injuries made my trek through the first section of the desert more difficult than anything I experienced on the CT. Physically, the hardest day I had on the CT was a 32-miles day with 10,000 feet of elevation gain and lost, yet on the PCT I've only had one day above 20 miles, and that was the first day.
In preparation for the PCT, I purchased a popular shoe used by thru-hikers and put over a hundred miles (mostly running miles) on the shoes and I had no rubbing, blisters, or foot pain. Once I hit the trail things changed quickly. By the time I made it to camp on the first day I had two blisters even though I taped the hot spots within minutes of feeling friction. I also had unusual leg cramps that I have never experienced before. Around mile 50, I decided to order new shoes, and I ordered a very similar shoe to the discontinued shoe I used on the CT. As I hiked, anytime I felt pain in my legs I told myself that the new shoes would resolve the problem. My mind was set on reaching Warner Springs where I would receive my new kicks. I arrived at Warner Springs the day before my shoes were scheduled for delivery so now I sit and wait.
When I'm in pain on the trail I focus on getting to town, and now that I'm in town I just want to leave. I see fellow hikers come and go and I know I'm not going to get to Canada by hanging around town. I know this is just one more lesson about patience. As I wait for the arrival of my shoes I pray that these shoes will provide a little bit of relief.
A few miles before I got into town I also decided I should order specialty insoles that I had used on the CT. Miraculously, when I got to Warner Springs a fellow hiker opened his resupply box which had the exact insoles I used on the CT. The hiker was planning to return the insoles because they weren't the right ones, but I snatched them up. I hope this is a sign. I'm hoping my new shoes and insoles will help me regain the strength and confidence I had on the Colorado Trail.
I can't wait to get my shoes and get back on trail!