The hope for 2018 was to culminate the backpacking season–doing the entire 106 mile HIGHLINE TRAIL — not the 76 to 80 mile trail all the guide books are wrong about.
I was to warm up and see if I was ready by doing:
1. A 3-4 day backpack up Main Fork, finishing explorations of the tie hackers, and getting to HELL’S HOLE BASIN.
Then, if that went well, do:
2. A 4 day backpack to NATURALIST BASIN…..
But, complete recovery from my 2017 back surgery…was causing trouble especially going downhill with a backpack….the JOLT causing acute pain.
But, then 3 months of chronic bronchitis fouled up
the plan. It was worse than my 10 surgeries, 2 radiation treatments, and fight defeating peripheral nueropathy and matatarsilitis, as I couldn’t keep up my exercise program–and lost almost everything.
When the Uintas thawed out I made an experimental trip to see how the elements of bronchitis, that were still hanging on, affected my problem with High Altitude Sickness, and found it was hurting me.
But I was at least trying and learning in my 83rd year, and wasn’t ready yet to have another FOREST GUMP MOMENT.
Then, ahead of schedule, I had a chance to go to the GRANDADDIES with Ted Packard and son Mike.
But, I had to let them go up the trail, leaving me to do it my way….as best I could, and told them to “not worry if you don’t every see me again!”
That sounded a little shocking, so quickly had to qualify it, meaning….
…..”don’t ever see me again until you come back down the trail on the last day of the backpack!”
My pulmonary capacity was awful and I had to rest too often, but had to push myself at least a few miles to where I could find water. I experimented with a new bivy bag I think I mentioned I would use to save 1 lb. of weight, and with the rain that night found IT WAS AWFUL, but I survived the night. NOTE: The first thing I did on returning to civilization was to give it to Deseret Industries! I then used my poncho as a lean-to–the mosquitoes at night being no problem as the coolness of the night had them going inactive.
It was a struggle for me, and the JOLTS coming down painful for my back, yet came out of it feeling…
I CAN STILL DO THIS–JUST HAVE TO FOCUS ON CAREFULLY
STRENGTHENING MY BACK, & DAILY HIKING AROUND TOWN WITH BACKPACK thru ANOTHER WINTER & SPRING.
WITH 2 A DAY WORKOUTS, POSITIVE SIGNS FOR ANOTHER COMEBACK ARE ENCOURAGING FOR MY 84th YEAR.