day 41, June 3rd, 8 miles

Emergency Room Day

Maybe only 40 min. after we started hiking Carsten had thrown off his pack and walked like an old man. I had waited for him and as he didn’t show up after a while I bagan to walk back and look for him. And that was how I found him. I had to fetch his backpack and it was clear that we have to take a zero right here. We camp in the shade of a few Joshua Trees.

Carsten has taken two Ibuprofein (1200mg) which seem not to have any effect. Start Slow, Krispie and The Jennator stopped by. Krispie gave Carsten a couple of Advil so maybe tonight he can try these. They don’t uppset the stomach as Ibuprofein does which would be much better.

Twisted Sister and Restless Wind pass by and give Carsten two prescription tablets. One friend of Restless who had broken his leg walked 20 miles with one of these…

As time goes by we think of all the possibilities there are for us, I study the maps and find an even shorter way out.

Four hours after he took the Ibuprofein Carsten gives the other tablet a chance, I pack up the packs and we slowly go back. We found a shorter way to the I 178, we just have to go by the cow pond until we get to Kern Valley Road. As it is weekend and there are many motor bike tracks around (and bikes) chances are good we’ll get a ride. Carsten is pretty down as he fears that his condition might not allow him to continue hiking.

After hiking on Kern Valley Road for maybe 15 min. I stop a car, explain the situation and the couple simply turns around and … takes us all the way to the hospital!! They had seen Carsten walk…it’s quite explanatory.

At Kern Valley Hospital in Mountain Mesa at the shore of Lake Isabella Carsten is being interviewed by the very friendly nurse Chana (I first thought that she’s the doctor). And now comes the funny part. He has to undress and put on one of those oh so fancy hospital gowns. (All the time I think how dirty we are and how we must be stinking for everybody else).

So Carsten gets checked and a week form of Sciatic is confirmed (I feel sorry for those with the strong form!) and he is being ordered off the trail for two weeks.

And now guess what! The doc is a member of the PCTA. And while he writes the prescription he invites us to stay in his suite and then the nurse Chana invites us, too! So we are pretty stunned as you can imagine.

Although we tended to accept Chana’s invitation because she lives closer to the trail, we then got swept off our feet by the doc. He says next week his nephew comes to visit and they had planned on hiking a bit of the PCT so they bring us back to the trail, we can hike together for a while and they can carry Carsten’s pack! WOW! Isn’t this simply amazing?? So Carsten’s back better be ready in a week.

Right now we are at Rite Aid (pharmacy chain) in Lake Isabella where we picked up Carsten’s medicine. I’ve already had some fruit, yoghurt and a delicious gourmet nut sticky bun, Carsten his pill cocktail and some chicken. For the lazier days at the doc’s house in Tehachapi (!) he bought three outdoor magazines.

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