Friday, January 07, 2011

Big Bend ~ December 28 ~ Sick

One of the worse things that can happen on vacation has happened. I got home last night feeling exhausted (to be expected) and chilled (not quite expected). I took my temperature and found I was running fever. I felt a little sick to my stomach, too. That resolved into hunger at one point, so I ate some bread and cheese. That turned out to be a mistake. I was fevered and nauseated all night and most of today. I’m mostly glad it didn’t hit me on the Ward Spring trail. I only met two people coming back ans I was headed out, and no one on my way back.

I didn’t even make it to the end, to the spring. I’d thought it was just my usual hard time with the thinner air, and the fact that I’m really not very in shape. I’d climbed down and back out of one wash and almost fallen asleep when I stopped to rest. When I saw the next downhill stretch, the tall cottonwood trees around the spring already in sight, I knew I just couldn’t do it. I’d already frightened myself by the nearly drowsing off.

It’s a real danger, hiking by myself. If I’d slept until sundown somehow, I’d have probably still found my way back to the car, since I had a flashlight and the Garmin. But I’m glad I didn’t have to find out, and I’m REALLY glad I didn’t start throwing up out in the Chisos foothills. The ravens perched nearby must have known something, but I disappointed them.

Tired as I was, I didn’t want to quit after Ward Spring. I drove up into the Basin and walked the Window View trail. That one is a sidewalk, pretty much, and I’d have to be pretty badly off to not be able to manage it. Then I stopped at Terlingua Ghost Town, but the inverse sunset on the Chisos wasn’t very dramatic and the porch of the store was pretty crowded. I saw a man in a number 8 Manning Saints jersey, and thought about striking up conversation, but I didn’t feel like it. I came here to be alone, after all. And when I got home, I found myself sick.

So today I’ve been all alone indeed, shut up in my room, away from the mountains and the desert I came here for. And even if I feel well tomorrow, I won’t be doing any more hiking. I should be able to drive and walk a little, which will be nice, but I’m sad to have missed so much of my time here.

I am, at least, feeling mostly better now. I walked around Lajitas some while the sun set. I’ll probably eat some bread and honey in a bit, if I keep feeling hungry. Here’s hoping that doesn’t ruin tonight!

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