I wanted to tell a little story about yesterday:
The FL Trail, starting at Juniper Springs and going to FR-10. The naked people were still at Hidden Pond, but clothed this time. I think they live there.
21.45 miles of SUCK. I was a heat casualty for the first time in my f*cking life, an actual heat casualty...as in, seizure and maybe death was very close. This sh!t happened at around mile 15 or so, in a 45 minute time span.
Both calves locked in the foot pointed down position and continued to tighten beyond the point that my feet could no longer tilt downward. I fall over, and it hurts severely. My pulse gets faster and faster, and I start to fade out. I'm out of the 1.5 gallons of water and electrolyte mix and food I brought and still have 6 miles to get back to my vehicle. I roll over on my back and try to control my breathing to relax my pulse for about 30 minutes; it doesn't work. My arms start tingling bad and start to curl up; I can't move my hands more than about 6". I jerk my body as hard as I can and knock my pack over, and shimmy up to it and miracle my cell out and holy jesus I have signal. I'm almost totally incoherent, and can barely speak at this point. I call my Mom and ask her to call Juniper Springs and tell them that I'm not going to make the 5:00 closing deadline. At least, that's what I was trying to say. She calls 911. I call her back to tell here my coordinates, and they come out all f*ucked up. I am now lying on my back again and throw up everything I've eaten all damn day all over myself, in my hat...everywhere. I continue to dry heave for about 3 more hours. It's the only thing that kept me conscious, even though I couldn't form sentences or move.
911 calls me and has me call them back so they can get a fix on my cell, and I stay on the phone with 911 for 4 more hours or so. During this time, after 2 hours, my legs and arms start to work again. I move on down the trail, cross the creek, walk some more and collapse. I move down the trail some more, and this is where I remain until the Sheriff's helicopter finds me, which took a long time. It took even longer for the Medics to walk to me, once they realized they couldn't land the helicopter or drive anything to me. By this time, I've had a little water and am feeling mobile, and we all walk out, at night, blazing our own trail through the woods like bulls in a china shop. The blazing the trail part I thought was stupid; I told the deputy I would stick to the trail because I know it, if it were me.
21.45 miles from Juniper Springs to FR-10 to the Sinkhole back to FR-10 and Juniper Springs. I had originally intended to just og to Hidden Pond and back, ~12 miles; but no, I pushed on, and on, and finally made it to FR-10 when I saw a sign for a sinkhole. I just had to go see the Sinkhole, which added about 1.5 hours of hiking, which made me late. I was moving at 5-6mph pace for over an hour without any water when my body said, "I'm done."
My new motto: You're not pushing it until you need to be medivaced out of the woods and walk out instead.
All joking aside, the Sheriff's Office, the Fire Rescue, and the park personnel went above and beyond to take care of me. I feel like a total asshole for being a heat casualty pussy and wasting a crap load of county money; but I respect the guys that came to my aide even more than I did before.
The good news out of this, is I'm improving for Bataan in March, and haven't died yet.
Some things I've learned about my body/mind: There's nothing I can do when my body just totally stops working; other than that, I have full control and have no issue pushing through pain and weakness. The bad news is, I have to experience something before I can fully understand it; an unfortunately being a heat casualty was one of those things that's never happened before, so...