I set off for the trail this morning. My knee still feels iffy but it was much better than previous days. I kept telling myself to just take it easy and head north. So I did. I hiked solo today because I didn't want to feel like I was trying to keep up with anyone else.
After a few miles the aches came back but they didn't feel too bad. I kept going. Met Spencer on the trail and walked with him for a bit. When I got to mile 5, my intended destination for the day, it was only 1pm. Of course my impatience couldn't allow me to just stay put and rest, I felt like I could keep going.
Around that time I saw Allen "Whistler" on the trail. He's a retired fireman from San Diego. Super chill. He's only going to Kennedy Meadows and stopping. He got off trail earlier in the month to go to his sons graduation from the LA Fire Academy. This was his first day back on. I complained about my knee to him and all he did was smile and offer to hike with me to keep me company. We both hike to mile 10 - Pioneer Mail Camp. At about mile 8 my knee went full blown painful. I don't understand what is happening to my body. This has never been an issue for me my entire life! I can't help but feel extremely disappointed in myself. 50+ miles into the trail and I can't hang. I keep thinking about all those folks back home that helped me get here, and what a disappointment it will be for me to give up now. I can't give up. But something is seriously wrong with me.
The feeling of eminent failure overwhelms me now. But I have to make a logical decision. I'm never going to be on my original schedule, I have to give that up. It's time to rethink this all. I have to get off trail and find out what is really going on with my knee. From there I will either be told that I need to rest for a week and get back on, or that I tore something and I'm done. Either way, I can't keep hiking like this. There is a huge down hill switch back for the next 20 miles to Julian and it will absolutely wreck my knee. Plus, I only have 9 days left on my health insurance. It's time to go to a hospital and get an MRI.
I've decided that tomorrow I will hitch to town and try to get to a hospital. Not sure where the closest one is, but I have no cell service so the first step is to hitch into town. Maybe I'll get lucky.