By: Dwayne Parton

Trail Shock

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I finished my little hike. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I actually did it. My feet, however, constantly remind me of the abuse I put them through. They decided that it would be to remove the feeling from my toes less than halfway through the hike and well they’ve decided it’s best that I don’t feel them ever again. I read on that it could last 6+months. Feet can be pretty stubborn.

swollen-feetThe first day after I finished my feet started swelling. I’m not really sure why because I did take a few zeros and never had this problem. Anyhow, after about 3-4 days the swelling diminished and my feet began to look and, apart from the lack of feeling, feel normal.

I still have traces of hiker hunger but I’m not burning the food fast enough. It’s hard describe. I’m not gaining weight. I’m just really hungry all the time even though I know I’m full. So, I keep eating. Problem solved.

Unlike many people, when I was hiking I was probably the most hydrated that I’ve ever been. Since I don’t have a water bottle by my side at all times now I don’t drink water very often. Instead, I have sweet tea and coffee. Yum. However, I’ve had a headache for 3-4 days now and my ears do this funny thing where it sounds as though I’m talking in a tunnel(probably unrelated). Anyhow, it turns out your body still needs water to function properly.

My knees feel the way I’d imagine arthritis feeling. They feel like they need to be oiled and walking creates a nice grinding sensation that makes it a little hard to walk or at least want to. It’s ok though, I can play the AT card for at least another week.

Did I say my feet were numb? Only my toes really. The balls of my feet feel as though there is some sort of liquid ball in them. Every night the liquid coagulates and each morning it has to be kneaded through the length of my foot before I can walk normal. I’m feeling a little old, anyone have a rascal?

I haven’t slept good since I got back. I guess that’s what happens when you get used to sleeping all bent up in a hammock. A nice bed just isn’t the same. So I’m learning how to sleep again.

Late nights are torturous. When the sun sets my body says it’s bed time. My social life says it’s time to hang out, listen to music, watch a movie, play a game, or have a beer. My body has no idea what social means so it rebels by waking up at the crack of dawn, while I fight vigorously to convince it to sleep until 9. It’s a Saturday after all and 11 PM is not late.

Oh the joys of trail shock. It probably wasn’t a great idea to go from hiking 20-30miles each day to sitting on my butt for 8-12hrs working at a desk. Now neither seem like good options. I’m really looking forward to going on some more hikes I kind of miss sleeping in the woods. I have a bit of work to do before I get that freedom though. It’d also be nice to have decent working feet and knees too.

On a lighter note. At one point I lost 30lbs on the trail. I weighed 195lbs when I left and now, as of about 45secs ago, I weigh 180lbs. That means I’m only down 15lbs. I didn’t gain that back in 2 weeks though. I’ve only gained 5lbs back since Katahdin.

Also, Texaco should be getting close to, if not already finished today. I’m looking forward to seeing an update from him. Probably quite a few updates since service is pretty bad in Maine. Check his blog out at

LucyAnd Lucy….She’s doing great! She’s having a good time shedding on my couch and getting into the trash. Not sure why she had to like that couch so much.