Cascade locks to Bend

By the numbers
Total Miles hiked: 1354.5
Completion percentage: 51.11%
Hiking days: 75
Zero days: 27
Total Ascent: 246370 ft.
Total descent: 246836 ft.
Notable injury count: 1
Toenails count: 9.5

The stint from Cascade locks to Bend was largely uneventful, which is actually is a good thing. It did include a significant milestone though; I am officially over halfway done with the trail. It is energizing to know that each step I take is closer to the finish than to the start. Things are going according to plan and I am humming along at a pace that feels good. Optimism about completing the trail is still high.

Mentally I am in a great place, but on the physical side of things I have started to degrade a bit. For the last few hundred miles or so I have been developing neuropathy in both of my feet. It’s an issue that has been building over time, but it feels like it has leveled off. Neuropathy seems to be pretty common on the trail which is reassuring because I know you can hike through it, but it is still quite painful and frustrating to deal with. It manifests in a slightly different way each day, but for the most part it follows a general pattern: In the morning when I take my first steps out of my tent I am in extreme pain and every “step” is a hobble at best. After a few minutes of walking around doing chores most of the pain subsides and I feel ready to hike. The first mile or so comes with a lot of discomfort in the form of shooting pain that runs from the balls of my feet to the heels. After I am sufficiently warm and loose the pain will go away completely and I am able to hike pain free for about 20 miles. Towards the end of the day the pain will return and hiking becomes challenging. I can manage the pain at the end of the day with nsaids, but it does not deal with the pain completely.

On top of this, the nerves in the balls of my feet and toes are not registering touch properly. Instead of the normal sensations I should feel when they are touched I experience intense tingling, much like when your leg will fall asleep. Luckily this only happens when my feet are bare, and it doesn’t happen when I am hiking. I have been keeping the neuropathy at bay with multiple foot massages each day as well as keeping my feet elevated when I sleep. It seems to be helping and am hoping that it will stifle the progression of it and, if I am lucky, reduce the symptoms. All things considered, it’s not too bad and is something I know I can deal with; If this is the worst thing I have to deal with on the trail than I consider myself quite lucky.

my very professional halfway marker.

2 thoughts on “Cascade locks to Bend

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