GDT Day 37, 38, 39, 40 – Injury… So what’s next?

Mileage: ~10 km

Day 37

Today I woke up and my ankle was swollen and bruised and I could not move my foot.

I also couldn’t sleep for hours last night. Every time I put my foot down, or moved it a little bit, the pain was unbearable. I slept terrible.

My ankle injury seems to have gotten way worse. I don’t know if we are going to finish the GDT.

Natasha and I discussed our options and we decided to see if Dan and Tara would be able to let us stay with them a few days while we let my ankle heal, or while we figure out of we need to quit. We are at a road and access to bail, or get a ride is reasonable.

We messaged them on our InReach this morning and got a reply pretty quickly (despite them being out of town for the day) that they’d send a friend out to pick us up. We need to hike about 6km by 11am to get past a washout but we can make that happen. It’s still better than hiking another 3 days on my foot.

We packed up quick and started walking. Natasha took my pack with all the food and Toothless and I took Natasha’s pack. This is the importance of using the front carrier and using packs that can be worn by either of us in a pinch.

We made good time. We arrived before 10:30 am. By my trail math we hiked about 4km/hr. So now to wait.

After waiting we got a message a little after 11am that the road was washed out earlier and the car couldn’t make it so they need to go back and get a 4×4.

More waiting.

We got another message saying the bridge was out. We’d have to walk. Like 30kms.

Okay. Let’s go!

This would take us until 7 or 8pm if we walk slow so we walked fast. I calculated about 6 km/hr based on the kilometer markers on the FSR.

We passed some cars but nobody was in them. Shucks.

Just when we gave up on getting a ride we saw a camper van that we passed earlier driving up the road. After waving them down and giving a quick explanation they agreed to drive us out.

The road was mostly fine and we got a ride into Golden with a lovely couple and their two dogs. Since we didn’t have Dan and Tara’s address yet the couple brought us into their home and made us some coffee. They then drove us to get dinner and groceries and picked us up at the store after and drove us to Dan and Tara’s (who were still out but found a way to let us in).

After all this we learned that the road wasn’t washed out, but the GDT Guthook app has the old decommissioned FSR listed as the access route and not the current one. So the friend tried driving up a decomissioned road. Oops.

Oh well, we got to their house okay with only about 10km of walking needed. My ankle still hurts but I can go to the hospital tomorrow. For now I have a bed, full stomach, we have done laundry and I’m off my feet.

Day 37, 38, 39, 40

What a sleep! I wish we could get more.

We woke up early due to Toothless’ schedule as usual and tried to keep Toothless quiet while Dan and T slept.

Once awake we got to chat and explain what happened and sort out what we need to do.

We took their car into town and I went to the hospital to get my ankle looked at by a doctor.

After a pretty brief wait I was seen by the doctor and told that it’s an injury from over use and that there is no damage, just pain from the tendons swelling, and to try to rest it aggressively (with ice, elevation and Advil) for as long as I can. I was also told I could hike with the injury; it won’t damage anything but it will hurt a LOT as it has been.

Good to know.

We have 4 days until we should be starting Section E (and need to hold that to hold our permits and reservations) so we will see how it works out. If the swelling and pain goes away (for at least a full day) we could start Section E. If the pain comes back we could stop at Jasper instead of Mt Robson (which is not possible anyways since the Berg Lake trail is closed so Jasper is one of our options for finishing this year anyways)

This also coincides with a trail building trip so Dan can give us a ride to Sask Crossing for us to pick-up our resupply and start hiking.

For the part of Section D that we missed we hope to go back and yoyo the part between the end of Section D and Cairnes Creek Rec Site after we finish the rest of the trail.

So ..time to rest up!

Natasha has been doing all the chores and I am useless on the couch. Dan and Tara are awesome, understanding and accommodating. Toothless is wiggling around their home and loving the space, garbage can and kitchen drawers.

After icing my ankle for a couple days the swelling was pretty much gone. The stiffness and warmth has gone down.

On Friday its pretty much better but I’m staying off my foot to let it continue to rest. I have walked a couple times to stretch out other parts of my leg.

We leave for the trailhead Saturday. So I’m hopeful this will work out. In fact we are so optimistic that we are planning on finishing at Blueberry Trailhead as our terminus instead of Mt Robson due to the closures. Blueberry Lake is further than Mt Robson by another 2 days or so.

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