I consulted Google last night to find out what I could about sciatic nerve problems, watched some videos of stretches, and stretched the hell out of my lower half…and it worked! At least for the first few miles. I could walk without limping, without much pain in my hip, although I did stop often to stretch during the first 5 miles on Tyrone Road out to Highway 90.
The morning was cool and quite pleasant. My mood was quite optimistic as the stretching seemed to do the trick, at least I knew it wasn’t something more serious…
I arrived at the highway and prepared myself for the long 12.5 mile road walk into Silver City…some kind soul had left some bottled water at the road junction, and I was grateful i wouldn’t have to drink the dank brown bug-infested water I had picked up from Deadman’s Canyon. (No dead men that I could see).
And things got worse. Soon my hip was shooting pain, and I started the limp that would take me into town. I distracted myself with an audio book, a Haruki Murakami novel, and tried to absorb the novel, not the pain radiating down my left glute.
Now normally I hike a 3 mile an hour pace, but I was slowed down to 2 miles an hour, and at the end it was more like 1. I DID NOT want to have to come back and hike these miles when I was feeling better, so forced myself to turn down a ride when a kind soul stopped to ask if I wanted the easy way into town. But I did encounter IBM (Itty Bitty Mexican, self named! I didn’t make that up) who gave me a burrito out of his lunch box…he was so concerned about my walk along the highway that he returned in his maroon pick-up an hour later with a cold bottle of water. I knew he couldn’t fathom why I had to hike the highway, and telling him I was walking to Canada didn’t help matters, but he was a kind soul whose encounter helped me to keep limping.
I felt like I was making progress, and when I saw the sign for the Visitors Center i knew I was getting close, but when I expected to see it was just 1-2 miles ahead, and getting closer saw it was 5 miles ahead, I lost it. Tears streaming down my face, I decided if someone else stopped to ask if I needed a ride that I would take it. No one did, and in the end I was glad. The last 5 miles I grimaced through the pain and knew that if I wasn’t doing myself permanent damage, that I would thank myself for walking this 17.5 miles into town.
I had almost forgotten the pain the last few miles, having moved beyond it, and I was close enough to see civilization, I couldn’t stop now.
Finally, after over 6 hours walking along the highway, I hobbled into town, went directly to the visitors center and gave myself a quick sponge bath in the restroom, and went in search of hikers.
I knew I would find people at the Little Toad Brewery, and sure enough Bearclaw was there ready to buy me a pint. RELIEF.
We were there for the next few hours, catching up with others that came in, Axel, True, Carol & Teresa…we started to fade just after dusk and wandered over to a near-by hotel to spend the night. My dear friend NEMO had arranged for me to stay with her good friend’s parents in Gila, and I planned to connect with them tomorrow…but first sweet, sweet sleep. Time to let my bum rest.