The sickness took a while to set in, and before it did I was graced by my Sister and Brother-in-law’s presence. We went out for some drinks, played a few games of pool and shortly thereafter I said my good-bye’s. The rest of the evening was filled with food, a few more drinks, and a rather late bedtime for a hiker. 9 pm is considered “hiker midnight”, so staying up past ten is quite the rarity. Waking up the next day I started to feel a bit off, but thought that maybe it was just the beers the night prior that was making me feel this way. All throughout the day I couldn’t shake the feeling, and at around ten pm I knew that it was not a hangover, that it was a real sickness. I knew then that I hadn’t escaped the norovirus from Papa Smurfs, and I was going to be sick for some time. The next few days were filled with Gatorade, trying to keep down food, and becoming completely restless about missing days on the trail.
In the afternoon on Day 23 I decided that even though I was nowhere near 100%, that I would set back out and sweat out the remaining nausea. I listened to Frank Sinatra that afternoon as I hiked through the Big Bear area, and after nineteen miles I called it a day nearby some horse stables in a ravine. My IT band was killing me more than ever on this day, and my spirits were pretty low. I camped by myself and as I lay in my tent I wondered how my knee would hold up, how I would be able to make it to Canada. The burning desire to finish becomes more and more prevalent in my thoughts, I know that this must be accomplished and that I would do whatever it takes to make it the remaining 2300 miles.