In 2007, I backpacked into Havasupai. This remote Indian tribe has one of the most beautiful places on earth to call home. The round trip trek is about 20 miles and mostly flat. The mostly flat is what tripped me up.
In making plans for the trip, I decided that lighter weight hiking shoes would do fine. My pack weight was coming down significantly, too. Between a lower pack weight and flatter ground, yeah, a mid-weight hiking shoe would do fine.
Was I ever so painfully wrong! After the first ten miles, my feet had blisters. One foot was particularly bad. We spent three nights on tribal grounds and it was impossible to stay off my feet. There was too much to explore. Overall, they were getting better and I wasn't being too rambunctious. It was a time to relax, be a bit lazy and playful, and enjoy friends.
The trek out was the real killer for my feet. Some of the Indians felt pity for me and offered to give me a ride back on a horse or at least take my pack. I refused both. I got myself into that mess and I was going to get myself out, pack and all. I had a lesson to learn and I learned it.
I reduced my pack weight even more and I will not backpack in anything but hiking boots.
The really bad blisters on that one foot popped about two or three miles from the trailhead, where the adventure began. The pain was excruciating but I walked out with all of my stuff. It took weeks for the skin to heal and I couldn't wear shoes for quite awhile. Some of my friends didn't understand why I refused help but I do.
I was raised in a family that helped one another but also believed that each tub has to sit on its own bottom. In other words, you have to take responsibility for your life and the situations or problems you get into. Some people don't understand that but I do.
It builds knowledge, character, and strength. It also strengthens your faith in God.
I have spent years in the bowels of manufacturing plants helping to bring numerous products to market that touch virtually every aspect of life.
|Pamela Quillin, P.E.