Tough Decisions

Kyle and I ended up in Lee Vining for two days. Not by choice but out of necessity. The morning after Cameron left we woke up early, planning on hitting the trail hard. Kyle headed to the bathroom to take a poop and not five minutes later mine hit me as well. I held it for as long as I could but finally I started banging on the door, telling him to hurry up. This was, as I discovered later, a big mistake. Eventually Kyle vacated the bathroom but now he was complaining of shoulder pain in a big way. He looked miserable, unable to lay down or sit up on his own. Near tears he announced he didn’t think he could hike today, holding his left arm which was apparently numb and tingly. I ran through the symptoms of a heart attack in my head as I rushed down to the front desk to see if they had a room available for the night. It was the Fourth of July weekend, after all. 

We ended up moving to a new room which, the front desk lady informed me, only had a queen sized bed in it (we had been in a king the night before). She failed to inform me the room was bigger than most Seattle apartments, with its own kitchenette, sofa, closet, and jacuzzi tub. I am still unclear on how it cost less than our first room but I wasn’t complaining. It became our home for the next two days. Poor Kyle was immobile and we weren’t sure what was causing his pain. Possibilities ranged from heart attack to pinched nerve to meningitis. We started a regimen of heat, long tub soaks, and massage. I had to teach Kyle how to draw a bath and then how to be comfortable in a bath tub, because he had never taken one before. On the second morning I watched Kyle struggle out of bed to go pee and knew we wouldn’t be going out that day either. FM played all the same superhero movies they had the day before and I worried incessantly. 

On the morning of day three Kyle announced he wanted to try hiking. His shoulder was still hurting but laying around didn’t seem to be helping it and we didn’t quite want to give into seeing a doctor yet. We managed to fit three and a half days worth of food into one bear canister and most of our gear and food into my pack so Kyle didn’t have to carry so much weight. Filled with trepidation, we headed out. 

We got a hitch easy enough from a man pulling a camper, which was great because he took the twists and turns up to Tuolumne nice and slow. Arriving at the trailhead around noon, we only hiked an easy 11.8 miles to camp that night, setting us up for a couple of twenty mile days to get us to Kennedy Meadows North. We hoped to be able to do around twenty five miles so that our last day in was only fifteen miles. Of course, what you hope and plan for does not always work out… 

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As Edward Abbey said, "An indoor life is the next best thing to a premature burial."

9 thoughts on “Tough Decisions

  1. Just stumbled across ur blog… looks great …following! Been through Lee Vining, June Lake, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Hoover… and more.

  2. I hope that Kyle is okay. The two of you have been through a lot an expended a lot of energy. Sometimes it is necessary to rest and recharge the batteries. If he has gotten a bug, take things to strengthen the immune system. Things like Vitamin A, Echinacea, and astrogalus. Ginseng as an adaptogen and for long term vitality. Good deep sleep. I hope that he recuperates soon.

  3. Brave man. Sounds like you’re in some pain and I admire your tenacity to continue onwards. Take care.

  4. Nothing like leaving me on the edge of my seat!! I feel your pain except haven’t had to straddle a pack for twenty some miles. Pms

  5. Very troubling, very convicting. I am reminded that I have been contented to live vacariously, recieving much joy with no effort on my part. I can’t do much, but I did not even go to prayer. That changes today. May the good Lord bless you!

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