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I sat up and every little movement was hurting. Uh ohh. Something feels messed up, bad. I was instantly in a light panic. I started breathing heavily and grabbed my knees while bending down toward them. "oh no" I said lightly. I lifted my knees upward with my hands to bend them. They were so tight it felt like I was in a metal brace or something. This is not good. The pain is bad. They were swelled up and nothing about today was feeling good right now.
I sat there just with a blank mindset. I stared at a bush in front of me and totally was lost in thought. Am I really here right now? Am I really hurting this bad and in the middle of the Mohave desert alone? My water supply was in danger of running out before I make it out of here. The heat is brutal and the conditions I'm dealing with are easily dangerous to the point of death. I sat there lost in almost an out of body experience. Like a mix of panic, disbelief, solitude, and complete loneliness. A surprising calmness came over me. Almost like an acceptance of the situation and knowing staying calm is my best bet. And all the while I hear a light whispering wind pass through the dry weeds around me. Almost like a background that was perfectly accurate to what was going on in my body and mind.
I bent my knees more and was now sitting up with my legs tucked close to me. I put my arms around my knees and locked my hands together and rested my chin on my knees. I couldn't even think a minute ahead or plan anything. I was just completely zoned out of life. Almost a fascinating feeling even though I had a deep worry of danger ahead.
I looked around slowly. Looking left along the highway, then looking right. Nothing. No cars, no buildings. Nothing.
I finally came back to my Senses a little and laid back. I started stretching my legs out in hopes of feeling better. It felt very awkward and uncomfortable. Any way that I moved my knees were hurting. But I stretched anyways.
After laying there for about 20 minutes I knew I needed to get up and try to walk. I just wanted to sit there, but I can't just sit in the scorching sun all day. I needed to try and cover ground. At least test my knees.
I stood up and my knees were shaking lightly. They felt so weak and my entire body was so drained. I knew at that point I may have pushed too far yesterday. Every shift of my legs or footing hurt bad. I packed up slowly and kept a cautious mindset on how I moved around.
I was all packed up and then wrapped my knees with ace bandages. The tightness around my knee felt a little better, but not much.
I started walking out toward the road and I was grimacing every step. When I reached the road I stopped and leaned on my cart. I was not feeling a good vibe.
I figured I would at least try a few miles and see how I feel. I walked down the road very slowly and was focused on keeping close attention to my knees. I walked for about a mile very slowly and it felt like the pain was slowly getting worse and worse each step.
When I got about a mile in my right knee buckled.. I shuffled my feet and sort of did a half fall before planting and catching myself. My knee was shaking rapidly and I needed to stop. This is not good.
Just ahead about 200ft there was a railroad bridge where It looked like I might be able to catch a shade spot. There was no other shade around and it was already really hot. I leaned heavily on my cart and walked with less weight on my legs to get over there. Each step was very slow and I really babied my way there. I walked to the bottom of the small bridge. Just under it was a small area of shade. I slowly pulled my cart under there and plopped down on the sand. I was pretty worried but almost feeling like I was hallucinating a little and my emotions were blocked or something. The heat was getting to me. And frankly, food was the last thing on my mind. I was starving but didn't care to eat. I sat there just staring blank into the concrete support of the bridge. I really couldn't even think straight. I knew I could calculate my water and distance until 29 palms to gauge exactly how much danger I was really in. But as I sat there spaced out, I didn't care to. I almost didn't care about anything at this point.
I sat there lightly drinking my water, which was hot from the heat, and half way closed my eyes as I sat with my back against the concrete wall of the bottom of the railroad bridge. I eventually dozed off there and had the weirdest kind of half sleep feeling ever. The wind still lightly whispered through the air and I almost felt the little noise of that was competing with the ringing of my ears. It was a back and forth battle to what was louder depending on if the wind died down for a few moments here and there. This really seemed fake and like a dream. The desert, in this point and time, was completely dominating me.
I woke up later and was super blurry. I was drenched in sweat with beads rolling down my face. I was dirty and stinky, and about as uncomfortable as I have ever been. I drank my hot water little by little just knowing each sip was that much closer to running out. And I was moving at all right now. I was still a long ways from anything and wasn't sure when I could move again. All I knew was it wasn't today. I was stuck. But for some reason so out of it I lost the nervousness. Such a weird feeling that I had never experienced before. I'm so far from life outside of me and have absolutely no outside communication.
I grabbed my jacket and laid down on it. I fell asleep and slept for a good while. When I woke up I didn't know what to do with myself. I rubbed my knees and they were still feeling horrible. I didn't want to think about reality or about the situation still. So I laid back down and fell asleep again.
I woke up later when the sun was starting to drop down in the west. Suddenly I came to my senses. Ok, I need to try and walk again. At least a little. If I can make another mile and then get a long night of rest for my knees, maybe tomorrow and can get back on track. I need to conserve water just enough where I'm not dehydrated, and I need to eat something. I have some trail mix I can snack on. I suddenly switched to being in focus. I started moving and doing things, I ate some trail mix and drank just enough water. I re wrapped my knees and stretched out. I got up and walked out back onto the highway. A car passed by right when I was out there and it gave me hope. If things get too bad I will wave a car down and jump in front of it. Ok, I'm good now.
I walked about a mile and felt better mentally. My knees still hurt a lot and was an obvious issue, but rest has to help. Right?
I made it far enough and was ready to stop and rest the knees for the night. I walked off the road and found a good sized bush to hide behind. It cooled down now and I was feeling better. The day wore me out and was definitely very bizarre. But I can bounce back, no problem.
I made my bed in the blank sand on the ground and laid down. I watched as the sun set and said a prayer. I had trust that I was going to be ok. The thing I emphasized more in my prayer was to remember this moment. Remember this pain. Remember this day of lost hope and how much I thought there might not be a way out. Remember all the pain in my legs and just know that later if they feel better, you came from where they are now. Be thankful for the rest and recovery. I really think it will work out. But remember the tough time. Remember what to be thankful for later when things are all good. Remember the power of healing and grace. To whoever or wherever it comes from. But just remember.
The sun disappeared and I laid there feeling the weight of everything bearing down on me. I fell asleep on my back with my knees up on my backpack. I fell asleep early and really hoped the morning would be a better one.
at 5:38 PM