Mile 879 to 901, (via Silver Pass), 22 miles
Cost: Camped, free
I woke up in the middle of the night, looked out the fly and saw a million stars. I decided to take some photos but first I had to get out and go to the toilet. I had my bed socks on but neglected to put my shoes on and in the dark I stepped on something incredibly prickly. When I got back to my tent I took my sock off (the same foot with the bad ankle) and could feel at least 3 prickles in the ball of my foot. The ball of my foot is also like leather now so try as I might to get them out with my tweezers, they wouldn’t move.
In the morning at breakfast I tried again to remove the prickles (using Shepherd’s pointier tweezers) but still no luck. I was going to have to walk on them and my strategy was to walk through every stream, trying to soften up my feet and then try again over lunch.
I went up and over Silver Pass, got up close with a ground squirrel and marmot and still had prickles in my foot 😦
At lunch Shepherd noticed my grimaces as I tried again to remove the prickles and offered to help. He managed to pull the most painful one out and we were both surprised how big it was. The next few were smaller but still incredibly painful. I told the others I would stay and continue pulling out all of the prickles from my foot and I would meet them at the campsite if not before.
Soon after I started walking again, I heard the sound of distant thunder. I thought if anyone was going to get struck by lightning, it would be me, considering my luck of late. I walked faster and felt like I was always just a few steps ahead of the thunder and rain, all afternoon.
It was another lovely evening with terrific company.