As the weather changes, old injuries come out to haunt. A couple of dislocated knees commiserate with a pair of shoulders who shared their fate. Tingles and pops remind of awesome, decade-old stories, but the fame shines on a point just at the ball of my right foot, where cold weather becomes searing pain and taunts me with the notion that I may have crippled myself away from the very freedom I once swore by.
Yes, five years after the infamous rock in the dark that ended my cross county hike, I still enjoy frequent pains from that damned foot.
An update for those of you just tuning in, Stocked for a 72 mile trek up the rails aside the Eel river, I turned 220 lbs of pack and body weight onto a upturned rock in the middle of the night, and destroyed the inside half of the right foot behind the big toe. Live long lesson learned: Yes, "hiking boots" use less calories to lift than mountaineering boots, but even civilian roads can occasionally call for heavy soles and steel shanks.
I want that rock.
It's probably about two inches long, an inch or so at the bottom and half an inch on the business end, and if you look carefully, you might see shards of shattered dreams left across the narrow end. I collect odd mementos. I am willing to trade my deer molar for this one. Consider it a bounty and a mission.