Pittsburg to Stewartstown Day 2
Our phone alarms rang at 6 am. The plan was to get up, eat, pack, and be on the road by 7. After all we had 16.5 miles to go and based on yesterday’s performance we’d need every minute available to us to reach that goal.
Last night showed us that Ibuprofen (Motrin) was a miracle drug. If taken with food (if you choose not to take it with food, you choose the possibility of a gut bleed so always eat first) it takes most if not all muscle pain away. Having been off our feet for the night and having had our bellies filled with the finest frozen-then-heated meal on earth, we felt like we could carry on.
We could walk (sort of) once again.
But before we hit the road, we needed to take more Ibuprofen. The drug Ibuprofen is so valued on hiking trails that true hikers refer to it as Vitamin I. It can be that essential to a walk. We never called it anything other than Motrin but we did sing its praises. Time and time again.
Before the walk I had dumped all my Motrin and Mortin PM tablets into a small zip snack-sized bag. It was my candy bag, I joked, chock filled with red and blue pills. I did, however, feel a little bit like a dealer to my son as I counted out the tablets for each of us to take and prayed that we’d never run into a police officer who might be interested in inspecting our packs.
“Hmm, what kind of pills are these?”
“Oh they’re our candy. We need them to get through the day.”
Griffin and I discussed a walking plan. We’d rest every 2 miles for 15 minutes and then every 4 miles for half an hour. Lunch was going to be a two hour break where we’d get off our feet and give our bodies a break. We’d also be taking Motrin every 4 hours. It sounded reasonable. We were taking previous experience, using the knowledge gained and adapting. How very Maslow-ian of us.
We were also going to force each other to drink more water as it was clear yesterday that I hadn’t drunken as much as I should have (I had a full liter bottle left at the end of the day which probably contributed to that little nausea I had felt near the end of our walk.) At one point I had stopped drinking water because every time I did, I needed to pee. Not such a big deal as there were plenty of woods and privacy but it became a little ridiculous when I’d have to keep stopping our walk to use the woods *again*.
I had been peeing so often that first day I worried that I might have a urinary infection. Oh wouldn’t that be grand out here, I thought. How on earth would one get medical attention when there are no clinics? The fact that all my excessive peeing stopped in the evening made me think that it was just part of the walk and something I had to put up with just another benefit of being a mom of 6 kids. (mistake #15 – drink small amounts of water often not large amounts once in a while.)
After a breakfast of granola bars (we’d eat something more substantial at a diner along the way) and our Motrin, we hit the road for day 2.
Griffin stayed with his pack using what little internet connection he could get at Lopstick’s entrance, while I walked up the hill (mountain) to the main office in order to return the cabin key and give them our thanks for such a restful stay. We talked about Lyme disease. One worker’s Aunt had it and she knew several others who were sick with it.
“This is a wonderful thing you’re doing.” She told me.
Wonderful *if* we can finish I thought to myself -still not certain that that would be the final outcome.
As in all journey’s you can’t finish though unless you start, and so Griffin and I hit the road. As we walked around the perimeter of the Third Connecticut Lake (with me leaving a little bit of my heart on its shores), our spirits soared. It was a gorgeous day with a spectacular view. We were on the road. Our pain was under control and we hadn’t given up. We were going to do this.
Once we got going (and once the Motrin kicked in) walking was down-right doable. And besides, Griffin had been right. It looked like we were past the mountains of Pittsburg and would finally be on (relatively) flat land.
But here’s the thing about lakes. Water runs downhill. Lakes form in what was once a valley. Common sense (which we were apparently lacking) dictates that if you are in a valley, the only way to get out of it is by going up.
And up and up.
It wasn’t long after we passed the lake that we noticed the road had started to incline.
“I hate mountains,” grumbled Griffin.
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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