2011 Rocky Mountain Avon Walk Day One – Part Two.

"Breast" Stop

The first stop after the half way point on Day One was in the lovely town of Frisco.  I would like to go back and visit some time when I can explore the shops. (Though I should get serious brownie points for staunchly walking past the quaint little bookstore. It helped that it was across the streed.) This is where I connected with a lovely group of young ladies who called themselves “The Rack Pack.”  They let me join their group and I didn’t have to walk alone any more.

After this stop, the path crossed a bridge and then forked. To the left was Breckenridge and to the right was Copper Mountain. Day One’s path took us up Copper Mountain.  That was the roughest part of the walk and what made the rest of the day such a bear.  One of the ladies I was walking with began to feel a little under the weather. She began to slow down and I slowed my pace to match hers – not that I was walking that fast at this point.  It was pretty much a steady incline all the way to the turn-around point.  It was hot – even though we did pass a bank of dirty snow.  We finally made it to the turn-around point. By this time,  I noticed what I thought was a nasty sunburn on my left leg.  I was rather surprised as I had been conscious to use sunscreen. We had caught up with the other ladies and started back down.  My companion was really not feeling well. Her heart rate was elevated and she was showing signs of altitude sickness.  Turns out she had only had surgery six weeks prior to the walk and I was totally amazed that she was even doing the walk at all.  We stopped at one of the mini-rest stops and spent some time trying to convince her to let the medics take her back down rather than trying to walk it.  I was actually feeling ok until we stopped.  I wasn’t sure if it was the power of suggestion – you know when someone else gets ill it has a chain reaction effect?  It could have been the heat or it could have been the apple jolly rancher I had popped in my mouth.  I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and I suspected that once we got moving I would feel better – though I had promised myself that if I didn’t I’d been turning right around and have a chat with the medics.

I was right. Once our fellow walker had agreed to let the medics take her back and the rest of us continued walking I began to feel much better.  By the time we made it back to the Margaritaville stop we were all moving a little slower.  Someone said that the last six miles of the walk on the first day were the worst. They were right.

Mile 20

We look pretty peppy in this picture, but I think that’s just because we were happy to have made it up and back down Copper Mountain.  Besides, there were only six miles to go. Yippee!

As the afternoon wore on, my leg got worse. We kept spraying it with sunscreen, but that really wasn’t helping. Along around mile 24 it was burning so much that I had to slow down and I lost my walking companions. I was bad and pulled out my iPhone and sent Tony a text. I was hoping he could hook me up with a wet cloth I could wrap around my leg for the remainder of the walk.

Before I got to Tony, I passed one of the other members of the Motorcycle Crew.  He very kindly took one of the bandannas off his bike, poured water all over it and gave it to me to tie around my leg. My leg still hurt, but at least it didn’t have the sun beating down on it anymore.

Mile 25

Just after mile 24 I passed an outdoor wedding. I’m sure they loved having a punch of bedraggled walkers traipsing by their ceremony.

Before mile 25 I met Patrick on the path. He told me Tony was at the next intersection. I said great, I was ready to sit down. Patrick told me that Dad said that wasn’t a good idea. I needed to keep moving until I got to the Wellness Center.  He probably saved his Dad a bit of grief. If I had not been forewarned and had tried to sit down at that stop only to have Tony tell me I couldn’t, I’d have probably hit him. As it was I did threaten to hit someone with my very heavy, every expensive camera when they  told me (jokingly) that since I had illegally texted while on the path, I had to go all the way back to the hospital rest stop (just a bit before mile 24) and retrace my steps.  He needs a little instructive training on just what is funny and what is not.

Mile 26

By the time I reached Mile 26 and the Wellness Village, not only was my leg burning (turns out it wasn’t a sunburn, but a nasty case of heat rash), I had three blisters on the same toe and my muscles had decided they hated me.

Tony met me at the entrance to the Wellness Village and walked me over to the Massage Tent. He got me on the list for a ten minute table massage (which is probably the only reason I was able to walk on Sunday), helped me get my shoes off and sent Patrick off in search of ice for my legs. The right leg has a slight case of heat rash, too.  Meanwhile, Jim made a trip to Walmart to find a pair of lightweight, big legged sweats for me to wear on Sunday. The pants I had planned to wear would have rubbed too much against the rash.  There were no sweats in my size, but he did find a pink pair of hospital scrubs which are the most comfortable pants I’ve worn in a long time.

Waiting for my massage.

While waiting for the massage I began to shake. I think it was a combination of my muscles screaming at me and the fact that now that the sun was going down and I was sitting in the shade, I was truly cold.

Once I got my massage (and the massage therapist said I needed to have a full massage soon – wonder if Tricare would  have paid for one if I had gotten her to write me a prescription?), Tony walked me over to the medical tent to have my blisters treated.  Blisters have to be popped so that of course meant NEEDLES.  But really, after the surgeries, blood tests and tattoo, I’m much better about needles than I used to be.  The medic spent most of the time she was treating my blisters telling me to drink more water and to be sure I ate dinner whether I wanted to or not. I really did not want to eat dinner, which is why it’s a good thing I had Tony, Jim and Laurel to look after me.  When the medic was done, Jim brought the car around – there was no way I was going to be able to get my legs to cooperate and let me get on the back of Tony’s Harley.  We got back to the hotel and  I crawled into the shower. It’s a good thing there were no hidden cameras. I was cold, but my legs were very sensitive to heat of any kind so taking a shower was an acrobatic experience.  When I finished I hobbled across the hotel room and crawled into bed – trying to figure out what to do with my legs so that nothing was touching the rash.  No hot tub for me.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang had run out and picked up dinner. Patrick, Jim and Laurel ate out by the hot tub, but I couldn’t bring myself to hobble out there. Tony stayed with me – to be sure I didn’t fall asleep without eating my dinner.  And that was how the first day ended.  I was exhausted beyond belief, but I was a little proud of myself too. That was the farthest I had ever walked. I’d survived the first day. I refused to think about Day Two.  As Scarlett would say, “I’d think about that tomorrow.”

Check back tomorrow for Day Two’s adventures.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lorraine DeClemente
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 04:13:06

    Beverly, I am so very happy that you walked the first day in spite of all that happened to your poor legs. I never realized that you had to climb the mountain. God Bless you. I can’t wait to read about day 2.
    Luv Ya,
    Lorraine De

    Reply

  2. bevarcher
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 11:52:03

    Lorraine – fortunately it was not the whole mountain – just up into a canyon – at least that’s how all the experienced walkers were referring to it. Two of the four ladies in the group that adopted me had done this walk several times, so they were able to offer some tips and warnings. I just hope I remember them all for next year.

    Reply

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