Oct 15 2007

A Squeaky Heel Gathers No Moss

Published by at 12:22 am under Health & Fitness,Maps,Travel

Despite the subtitle of the Wormlips Blog, I really don’t think it’s all about me. Well, at least not all the time.

One way it’s not all about me is that Cheryl has been suffering for the past two weeks from a particularly brutal South Asian disease of uncertain diagnosis. I get to see her when we video-chat on Skype. She looks pretty even when she’s sick, but she does look very sick at the moment. She’s also being characteristically stoical. I hate being too far away to help.

With her genuine problems as a backdrop, it seems even more absurd than usual to go on about my minor physical issues. And if they didn’t have a choke-hold on my plans for Nepal, I wouldn’t mention them.

Well, at last this foot part is over. In today’s final test, I hiked in a pretty, cool, damp part of Tilden Park.

I must’ve gone five-plus miles, and climbed around 1200 feet. Marked in green is where I thought I was going, and in red is where I went. Like the vanishing hitchhiker I kept overtaking the same groups of people.


The 360-degree view from the top of 1250-foot Wildcat Peak includes the East Bay’s greatest hits: the SF and San Pablo Bays and their bridges and islands; Mount Diablo; a lot of cities (SF, Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Richmond…); and some regional parks and reservoirs.

This is what I can no longer deny: While not unbearable, the steady complaining of my heel — along with the inherent challenges of the Himalaya — is likely to turn my three-week trek into an experience only a Buddhist monk has the wisdom to appreciate.

I just wrote to Cheryl:

The confusion about my visit has been probably driving you as crazy as it has me. I sincerely apologize. I’ve never had trip plans turn upside-down like this, and I’m not handling it gracefully.

The thing is, I haven’t been able to let go of the trip because it’s been my dream and beacon all these months. But in rational moments I remember that this is the hugest physical challenge I’ve attempted, and it would be foolhardy to do it in a weakened condition … particularly when I’m no athlete to begin with.

Not only do I feel sorry for myself at having to sacrifice this once-in-a-lifetime adventure with you, but I feel like [censored] for [censored] your plans. My consolation is knowing that (health permitting) you still plan to trek to Everest Base Camp anyway.

So I guess this means that I will cancel my plane tickets tomorrow. [Censored.] [Censored.] Love, Ginna

Does anyone want to borrow books about Nepal, the Himalaya and South Asia? I can recommend movies, too.

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