Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feet in the Sand - Day 11 on the Inman 300

I am at the end of another long day, which included over 10 hours of being on my feet. Today's 22+ mile Section J included some of the softest miles thus far. These miles provided a welcome respite for my feet, ankles, knees and hips. This morning, I walked for a few pleasant miles on the wood chip path known as Veterans Parkway alongside other walkers and joggers. Over the course of the miles, the pounding in my feet departed. I no longer had to caution myself against taking ibuprofen too early in the day. In this fact, I found the answer to my wondering whether the pavement was responsible for the extra foot pain over what I have experienced in the past while hiking long days. When I returned to concrete, it wasn't long before the pounding was back. A number of miles later, the route took me across the beach, minus a concrete path, and down to the ocean itself. I took off my shoes and socks and tentatively stepped into the salt water. Cold! The water provided a cold soak for my feet and a change in my mood. I felt gleeful at being there, right where I was, soaking in the beauty of a southern California beach. I breathed and spoke gratitude, and then kept walking. 

Tomorrow will be my last day on this route. I hope to complete section "K," perhaps with a bit of company. I am reminded of my last night on the Pacific Northwest Trail, when I said goodbye to my summer of solo hiking and thought excitedly about each member of my family that would be meeting me the following afternoon. There is a sadness to ending a trail, and a satisfaction as well. It's difficult to relax into the journey while it's happening. I want to know - will I be able to finish. I lie here tonight, spent and weary, at the end of 11 days of pushing myself physically and mentally. At the end of tomorrow I will hope to feel satisfaction. For tonight, I feel gratitude. 

Veterans Parkway walking path

Redondo Beach

Cold sand and water massaged my aching feet

Beach Refuse in the intertidal zone in Malaga Cove

Unusual stair construction in Palos Verdes

Stairs carried me up for views of the the whole LA area

Flowers above where surfers were enjoying the waves

This is why southern California

More soft tread for my feet

Sunset & still walking


  1. As Ying, Andrew and I neared the completion of our Inman 300, Andrew recited a saying "Never wish away the miles". Yes, completion will give your body a well needed rest. The joy that you have taken from this task will come to an end but for your memories and this wonderful blog.

  2. Yes, I agree and I like your quote. I kept it with me all that next day, the final day of hiking. It was a gorgeous day. I especially loved the trail through the canyon. In fact, though, each day brought its own pleasures and rewards. The route is fantastic.