I didn’t think I’d be back here so soon….
TMI alert: some medical misfortune being described ahead!
Morning thoughts: Not the most restful nights sleep – the bee sting was super itchy and inflamed, making for quite a bit of discomfort and fidgeting. Therefore I’m reasonably sure it rained only very briefly last night, and the second time could’ve simply been wind blowing drops off surrounding trees. The wind has died down to nothing, and the sky was clear and full of stars when I got up to water the leaves at 4:30am. Hopefully the weather holds the rest of today. It’s 5:44am right now and I’m tired, but ready to get 9 miles down the trail to Olallie Lake and beyond.
Evening/next day thoughts: yea. Soooooo….I got to Olallie Lake, but no further. As I changed into my hiking clothes in my tent this morning, I noticed the red area around the bee sting site had significantly spread and was inflamed. Uh-oh.
As I walked, Hemlock kept asking me “how’s it doing? How are you feeling?” And my answers went from “I don’t know” to “It feels weird” to “My knee hurts”. The pressure on my knee cap from the inflammation kept getting worse and worse, and I tried so hard to walk normally….but eventually I was hobbling a bit. The last few miles were pretty uncomfortable. But it was a lovely day! Hemlock also did a great job at distracting me when I needed it most.
I knew I was going no further at Olallie Lake – now, the question was how to bail and get to a town with a doctor. From a place so remote that there was no phone or cell signal. Once again, my Delorme inReach paid for itself! Dad to the rescue to do the calling for me.
Hemlock and I made Plan B – she would hike on, I would get to town and see the doc, and then, fingers crossed, I would join her on Sunday or Monday for the last stretch of trail between Santiam and McKenzie pass, where I had hiked to northbound before going to Portland.
Olallie Lake is gorgeous, and the folks who run it are friendly and had no problem with my loitering and taking over a sunny bench for the rest of the afternoon. The stellar view of Mt Jefferson came and went – a storm she was a comin!
Xcab, a great Bend based small business which specializes in shuttles to remote trailheads for hikers and bikers, came to pick me up, and I was on my way to civilization by 6pm. A 3 hour ride later (including a one lane gravel road for the first hour) saw me in Bend, inspecting the growing blister on the sting site.
Happily, my driver advised me to stay in a hotel just 0.2 miles from an Urgent Care, so plans were made to go as soon as they opened at 8am. Showered and laundry done, I took some more Benadryl, coated on the antihistamine cream, then fell into bed.
Hikers encountered: none!
Gear minutiae: I’m glad I’m in a hotel room tonight to dry out!
Health update: uhhhh….see above.