Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Moonlight Hike to Half Dome Version 3

In the deep recesses of my memory I lies my first ascent of Half Dome. A three day hike from the Valley to Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and back to the Valley. Day 1, hike 4 miles to Little Yosemite Valley. Day 2 hike to Half Dome summit and back, then on to the summit of Clouds Rest. Day 3, hike the 10 miles and 6000' vertical down to the Valley. Notice having 10 black and blue toes for several months following.

I don't remember it being anywhere near this painful, however. It's three weeks to the day since the hike to Half Dome, and I can just barely manage to walk in a way that looks normal. During the hike up, I was golden, in fact, as we approached the su I was tired, but still very strong. On the way down my toe began to get hammered in my boot, then I began to try to protect it. For at least four miles of the hike my foot was swollen, damaged from the pounding, and a bit heavy. The day after the hike I was pretty good. It was completely traumatized and all that ... but the following day I went to the climbing gym.

Two days after that I was getting x-rays. The day after that it seemed that the swelling was increasing. Apparently it isn't fractured. I read about a treatment that the Muay Thai fighters use called dit da jow. It's a liquid you apply to your feet and shins to reduce the damage from beating them to toughen them up.

I went out to get some of this -- which led me to the martial arts supply warehouse -- where I was directed to the Chinese apothecary. I was asked a lot of questions about my foot and directed to use the dit da jow and wei ling xian (Upright Virgin's Bower), a shrub used to dissolve fish bones if you happen to have swallowed them ... I was directed to boil in vinegar for 5 minutes and apply to my feet. I used the stuff. It seemed to help.

last Monday I went to an Osteopath ... which helped a bunch. He rearranged the bones in my foot a bit. And now I can pretty much walk. Last night I tried to swim ... not really well, and it was kinda painful. It looks like I may be ok by the next hike I have planned on August 9. Maybe.

Pass the Ibuprofen, please.


A Midnight Rider said...

When you say rearranging the bones on your foot, I can't help but visualizing something very painfull.

When were were in Yosemite a few years ago we spent most of the time in the Big Trees area and stayed at the Wiwona Inn. Only one day in the Valley before moving on to San Francisco.

The National Parks are so much better than amusement parks.

shawnkielty said...

It can be painful, yes. If you imagine a foot where the bones are in the wrong place ... and they are moved in the general direction of their "normal" location, you might imagine that it could ... at some point ... feel beter.

Today my foot is getting closer to normal ... It's been aboput a month since the injury, and it's going to be a while yet before I am 100%.

I really like Yosemite ...