Each downward step caused a sharp pain to shoot up my ankle. Ironically, going uphill didn’t seem to bother it nearly as much. When my foot extended downward and needed to absorb the blow from stepping down, it occasionally caused me to cry out. 

A couple of weeks ago, I’d accidentally kicked a rock into the same ankle. It had been tender for a couple days but hadn’t bothered me since. During a river crossing three days ago, I slipped and smacked it against a submerged rock. It hurt but just about everything does on the trail. I forgot about it till after I stopped for lunch. When I started to walk again, I quickly realized I had a bit of a problem. Ibuprofen it was to get me through the day. Some more that night. And still more to hammer the rest of the 30 miles into Brooks Lake Campground where Michelle and Maggie picked me up. 

Currently, I’m taking a couple of days off to see how it heals. There’s a pretty good bruise and blood pool right on the ankle. 

Mileage and my love

On the plus side the terrain in Wyoming is much more conducive to making miles. The rain and cold chased me into one 30 mile day and a 25 mile day followed.  

I’m still not finding a good groove with walking. The last 300 miles have been a sequence of pushes to get to wherever Michelle is going to be as fast as I can. I’m running towards her, and I know that streak is ending. She’s going to have to head back to Michigan after this stop in Dubois. That puts me in an emotionally fragile place. 

One thing I’ve learned on this journey of self-discovery is that I really don’t like being separated from her. It sucks. 

That and my ankle are making me seriously consider calling 1000 miles good and heading back to Michigan.  

Kindness matters

Truckin’ on?


This was called Parting of the Waters. The creek split in two with half headed to the Atlantic and the other to the Pacific. I spent the night here after gratefully finding a fairly flat spot after a long cold day in the rain. Six hours of drizzle at 40 degrees had soaked me to the point where I struggled to get my fingers to undo the buckles on my pack. 

Upper Brooks Lake. I know I’m just a couple miles from meeting up with Michelle and Maggie again!

13 thoughts on “Hurting in Dubois–Heart and feet 

  1. I know it sucks so hard to be seperated from your most favourite person in the whole world! But you can do this. Enjoy the days with your since they will be like trail mix for the next coming miles, a little bit at a time! Keep going, Tree, I believe in you and you can do this! Get well soon and wipe these tears off and do it! Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking this…your ankle is going to heal. It can heal while you spend some time in Dubois, drinking coffee at the local’s table at the Cowboy Cafe and hearing their stories. Then you can head out again. It can heal when you quit and go home, where you will wonder ‘what if’. Both decisions are right depending on where your head really is on this whole thing. Go back and read some of your thoughts from before you set out on this adventure. Obviously I am hoping for some more miles out of you. Be at peace with whatever you decide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My lists included a “what if I quit” section. I don’t like looking at that piece. I’m walking on. Going to rest for awhile. Maybe drive over to Teton National Park. Haven’t been in the Cowboy Cafe yet. It’s right next door to the motel, but I don’t want to walk right now.


  3. Ive thought about it quite a bit.

    The joy and love rushing through you upon the sight smile smell and touch of your bride…


    One does not scheme and research and test and retire and endure pain on such a fundamentally individual soul cleansing walk a bout, to find giggles and hugs.

    Pain. Loathing. Loss. That’s a big part of the reward. They promote growth, MORE love and appreciation, peace.

    I could not follow in your steps my brother. And love you and Michelle always.

    The familial visits may be creating TOO MUCH anxiety? At first glance, exciting. Comforting. But they are fucking with your head.

    I wish I was there.

    Love you my brother.


  4. You got this Mike. Heal up and push on. Thinking of you and in full admiration of what you have accomplished thus far and WILL accomplish on the rest of the journey.


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