The Verdict

No –  I am not talking about the election.

Here is the verdict after getting an MRI on my hip.

The MRI indicated I indeed had a fairly significant labral hip tear. Unfortunately, the only way to actually fix/heal this, is to get arthroscopy surgery.

In case you’re wondering what a labral tear looks like:

My actual MRI on the Right. Pointing to the tear (the white cleft is fluid that shouldn’t be there)

I am on the other hand, happy to announce I got a job working for the State in the Department of Human Services as a Counselor with Juvenile Justice Services (working in Secure Care, i.e. Long Term Juvie). Thankfully, it also comes with state benefits/good health insurance. However, it also puts me on probation for a year. This said surgery also requires a minimum of 6 weeks recovery before I could potentially return to work (would need to be approved to restrain if necessary). Returning to sports could be up closer to 3-6 months. Any who, being on probation and short staffed at work, surgery (aka. time off) is not an option at this time. Just as soon as I finally decide on the major decision to go through with the surgery, I find out I can’t. Isn’t it just awesome how life works. On the plus side, I can hopefully accrue at least some sick time to use.

It is a big bummer I have to put this surgery off, as I both wanted to get it out of the way ASAP and to get it done right before winter so I could be better in time for spring hiking and to return to the PCT for some section hiking. I guess that is not going to happen now, and I will have to again postpone my PCT dreams.

In the mean time, I have gotten a cortisone injection in the hip joint, which hopefully will help with some of the pain and allow me to at least be somewhat active (my definition apparently including climbing Angel’s Landing and to continue to Kickbox) with out SEVERE pain. So far, it has has helped some. I was unable to walk by dog around the neighborhood with out pain before the shot. Now I am back to going to the gym, training, and short hikes. It still hurts, but I am at least able to go a bit further – and it is a good excuse for how out of shape I am now 😛

The diagnoses really sucks, but it also has a silver lining as I now know that my decision to get off the PCT was indeed necessary and I was not over exaggerating my physical pain.

It is unknown when or how this injury occurred. It could have been just from the PCT, but it could also be from an injury 6 years ago I endured while running up a hill in Peru. It could have slowly developed over the past 6 years too. We’ll never know. But hey, that is kind of a feat in itself: Completing 1000 miles of the PCT with a labral tear!

The question is not IF I will be back to the trail, but WHEN.

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Last Chance

Sales on shirts end tonight (11/5/16)!!! Currently we do not have enough sales to print, so if you want one now is the time to buy and convince your friends and family to support shelter animals and rescues!wp-image-1790813436jpg.jpg

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Hi all!

I’ve got some blog catching up to do, with updates on my recent Best Friends Filed Trip and Injury/Surgery news. But I have been very busy with work and said field trip – I hope to accomplish these soon – though I still need internet at home.

Anywho, the backpacking season is closing out as is the year 2016! I have opened up sales one last time for my BF PCT Fundraising shirts. Remember proceeds go towards helping SAVE THEM ALL!

In order for the sales to go through and for those that do want to receive a shirt, we must sell a minimum of 3 shirts! So get at it by Nov 3:) Just click on the shirts below to go to the sales page.

 

RTHT Shirt

Success and Failure

So here I am, still trying to settle back into life in Utah. I am still searching for the perfect job and a place to live.

This is the prime time for folks reaching the Northern Terminus. It has been so hard/depressing, yet fulfilling to see all the finishing photos of both people I never met and those I was privileged to meet. I still kick myself for not being able to finish the traditional thru-hike (both the mental and physical aspects)- though I hope to still finish the whole trail in sections. The transition has been tough, and I really wish I was still out there. It makes it all the harder, that I can’t get out and enjoy the fall colors and mountain trails here in Utah like I was hoping. My hip is still just in too rough of shape. Now it is even painful after just a mile of walking on flat terrain.

Even though I did not reach one of my main objectives, I do still feel accomplished. I did “only hike about a 10000 miles”, but that is a 1000 more than most people can say. I am also very disappointed that I did not get to complete my fundraising campaign to it’s fullest potential. BUT, I did not exactly fail that goal. When I was originally planing this whole endeavored, I was hoping to raise a dollar or two per mile. Victoria over at Best Friends said no… push myself and set a higher goal, like 8-10k! I laughed to myself but changed my goal to $4 per mile. That would make for a lofty $10,640 mark. I obviously did not reach that. BUT, I HAVE RAISED OVER $4 PER MILE HIKED SO FAR, AND THE MISSION IN STILL IN PROGRESS. As I write this post, I have raised $4077 for Best Friends, and we still have another couple initiates before this chapter closes.

And like I mentioned, I am not done. I will just have more opportunities to meet more amazing people, deserving dogs, generous organizations, and passionate shelters as I continue to hike the PCT, explore trails, and advocate for rescued animals.

I would like to thank all of my sponsors, shelters, organizations, and donors who have contributed. I would have never dreamed of making it as far as I did with out all of you!

A special shoutout to Ruffwear, ARF, Living Free, Souza Family Vineyard, Rescue Ranch, Outdoors Geek, Bludot Ink, Bobo’s, Darn Tough, and many many more!

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Puppy and Panoramas

So it’s been a little over a month since I have been off trial. I told my self I would get back on as soon as I either a) got responses from Shelter’s in OR or WA or b) my hip felt better or c) I landed a perfect job back in UT.

After daily walks/hikes,  sessions at the MMA gym, helping my dad around the house, and just trying to keep my self entertained in little ol’ Nevada City – it was time I got back on trail. I never heard back from any shelters in Oregon after emailing numerous organizations numerous times 😦 I did hear back from one shelter in WA along with a Best Friends staff, but I unfortunately don’t think I will make it up there this summer…BUT I DID GET IN TOUCH WITH A SHELTER IN NORCAL. You may have seen the post about Gina, and here I will tell you about our adventure!
Deciding where to go was the hardest part, but everything soon fell in to place. My cousin was able to get time off to join, and also met we could shuttle cars. At first I didn’t think dogs would be allowed through Castle Crags State Park, but after calling, they said as long as we stayed on the PCT it was okay. Woohoo! This meant we would get  a perfect 25 miles from Gumboot Campground back to I5 near Castella with picturesque views of Shasta and a mostly downhill descent.
I hoped to leave my dad’s around 10:30, but the US Women’s Olympic Soccer game set me back. The game should have ended by 10:30, but after going into overtime they were still tied and I had to stick around for the shoot out. USA lost 😦 Now I could finally get on the road and drive the 4 hours to Yreka. Along the way, I picked up some hitch hikers, one of which was from Duluth, MN (where I went to school). Small World. I dropped them off in Redding and continued on my way.
I finally got to the Rescue Ranch to meet and pickup Gina. She was fairly shy at first – which apparently isn’t her usual self. She must have thought I was there to take her to the vet. I decided to join her and her siblings in their habitat/kennel to try and get her to warmup. Her slightly over-weight brother was all over me. I decided to try and walk Gina outside with  out her foster dad around to see if she would connect and to see how she would do on a leash. She warmed up slightly and I had faith we would bond and she would enjoy her weekend of adventure with me. Her brother would be a bit tiring to carry. We loaded up her stuff in the car and headed back down south to Castella to meet my cousin, Dana.
Perfect timing! He arrived from the Coast just moments after I pulled in. From there, we got back in my car to drive the hour to Gumboot Campground where we would camp for the night and set off from in the morning. I was happily surprised to see how accessible the CG was, with a nice paved road the entire way. Unfortunately, Gina got a little car sick on the way, but was a trooper. Gina “helped” me set up camp, and by help, I mean get in the way – but at least she was adorable about it. There was one rock right near our camp that she just had to stand on and keep post. She still had tons of energy and wanted to go on a never ending walk that evening, so we went out exploring up to the trail and around the lake, and eventually settled into bed.
Gina slept well the first night – and so did I, except for an unhappy visitor at midnight. I woke to bright lights shining in my face and the sound of a horn. I turn over to see a truck blaring their lights at our site complaining about how my car was in the way for people driving through. First off, there was no one else camping past us, and I was clearly pulled way off the side of the road…Geesh, some one isn’t a happy camper.
Saturday, August 13: Gumboot Trailhead (mi 1523.27) to mi 1508.67 +.5 spur trail, 15.1 miles. (up/down: +835/-3872ft)
We hit trail around 7:30, and Gina was more than ready. With Ruffwear Leash wrapped around my waste, Gins helped pull me up the first trail to meet the PCT. Of course we also had to stop periodically to smell all the new smells! Gina did great in the first morning stretch and didn’t even want to stop for our first break. Any chance she got, she bolted down the trail. The morning lead to stunning views of Shasta as well as some rocky terrain. I didn’t want Gina to cut up her feet so I carried her over a sketchy section. She immediately caught on, and the remainder of the trek tried to make me pity her.
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After not eating much the night before or this morning, my cousin discovered that Gina would gladly eat (and drink) if we put her food in water! After a good break, we continued on the trail and I got my period arm workout when I would carry Gina. Poor pup’s black fur just absorbed the sun. And it was HOT! Once in a while she got a lift under the umbrella with my cousin. It was quite humorous – whenever we would get to a shaded spot, Gina would try to lay down. However, whenever we took a designated break in the shade she would refuse to relax. The last couple miles were hard for us all: Steep downhill and in very little shade. Gina and I took turns – I’d carry her for a quarter mile and she would walk a quarter mile. We made it just about 15 miles instead of the 12 we originally planned!
Gina and I have definetly bonded today. It worked best when my cause walked her behind me, because she would try to stay close behind. When I was walking her, she lagged and got distracted by various things and would look back at me every few minutes with a huge grin. During breaks she would snuggle in my lap, and whenever I would leave for a moment, such as to pee..upon my return she would be ecstatic. She was very exhausted tonight – and had little desire to walk unlike the night before. Though we did go on a short venture before crawling into bed. She tried to stay watch in the tent, but kept dozing off – how cute 🙂
 Sunday, August 14: mi 1508.67 to I5 (mi 1498.7), 9.97 miles (up/down: +2889/-1577ft)
Today we started a bit earlier and made great time. There was a couple small hills to start which really took a toll on my hips, but after that the trail was nice and flat and shaded. Our first stop at Burstarse Creek was an incredibly buggy one, as well as the subsequent creek stop. The bugs were the worst I’ve seen them yet; waking or resting.
At one point we startled a couple going northbound. We were the first people they ran into some encountering a mountain lion a couple miles back on trail. I was somewhat hoping we’d get to see her too, but that didn’t happen. Gina was pretty shy and nervous whenever we’d pass people – which didn’t surprise me when these people are wearing huge strange things on them (packs, hats, poles, umbrellas…). Nonetheless, she put a smile on everyone’s gave that we saw.:)
We made great time and completed the 10 miles by noon! We took nice drive back to Gumboot for a dip in the lake and some relaxation before heading our separate ways. Gina napped in the back seat the whole way back to RR.
The rescue was surprised to see us back so soon, and frankly so was I. But Gina and us Humans did great on trail. I helped feed all the pups their dinner before spending a little but more quality time with Gina and her siblings in their kennel. Wow, I sure will miss her. If my dog wasn’t so picky about dog friends, I’d take her home in a heartbeat…which is surprising considering I’m not a big fan of small dogs. Gina isn’t your typical yappy, lazy, in your face small dog, but just the perfect companion to adventure with or to cuddle on the couch. She’ll make someone a great furry friend!
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Click here to see more about Rescue Ranch and their adoptable dogs, including Gina!

After dropping Gina off and taking my sweet time leaving the shelter, I continued on to Ashland for the night.
And thanks again to Ruffwear for helping make these trips possible by supplying us with top of the line gear for the shelter pups!ruffwear_logo-275x300

Paddling for Paws with LTHS

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July 9-11:

I made it back from Lassen just in time to make it to South Lake Tahoe for the Humane’s Society Paddle for Paws Event!

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After spending 2 hours driving around Emerald Bay trying to find parking, getting 3 spots jacked from me and considering just driving back to Grass Valley – I finally found a spot! It was a windy weekend and too hairy to kayak or boat over. I hiked in the mile and half or so to the Boat Camp from Vikingsholm and set up camp with the rest of the small (but no lack of fun) crew. We were joined with 3 members of MTV’s The Challenge Crew – Cara, Jamie and Brandon. Honestly, I had never really even heard of the show before, but I guess it is kind of a big deal! The rest of the day I hung out on the beach, played with pups at the campsite, and took a hike back over to Vikingsholm and Eagle Falls with the MTV crew. Unfortunately, it was still too windy to be out on the water at all today. Though Brandon and Jamie helped rescue a “crayfish catcher” in the chilly water.

Day two, Cara, Jamie, two locals and I, took the 6+ miles hike over to Bliss Beach along the Rubicon Trail – definitely a strain on my hip but a beautiful hike. I had planned on leaving this evening, but after resting for a bit after the hike we decided to try and kayak to Vikingsholm. It was still advised that people don’t go out on the water, but what the heck! Jamie, Brandon (first timer), Cara, and I got in our kayaks and made the treacherous paddle over to the tea house. The waves were crashing over my small little kayak, and I got quite wet, but after fighting the wind , we made it to the island and hiked up to the top! The way back was suppose to be easier with the wind at our backs…but no… of course the wind nearly stopped on our return. Nonetheless, there was still some wind and waves. Jamie caught a wave sideways and capsized. Thankfully, I was still behind him and was able to help him climb back in and another boat came to give him a ride back as his vessel was now filled with water.

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A fun weekend indeed, and I am sure glad I stayed for the whole thing and had some fun for a good cause!

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Meet Gina

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Gina, a young Terrier/Chihuahua mix, was rescued with 50 other housemates from a hoarding situation that got a bit out of control. That is what happens when you don’t spay and neuter…

Gina, with her funny 1/2 tail (she came like that) is beginning to settle in at Rescue Ranch. She was one of the shy ones to begin with, and was reluctant to share her food with her kennel-mates — but under the loving guidance of RR staff and volunteers, and with plenty of quality food and water available, is overcoming both challenges. Gina has quite a bit of energy and loves to run.

Meet Gina and I on trail. We will be hiking through Castle Crags State Park via the PCT!

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Thank you Ruffwear for supplying Gina and I with some fantastic trail gear!