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Re: [at-l] flu on the trail

I was sick for much of the first 100 miles of my hike this past year.  I
started (March 5th) with a trace of a sore throat (we were living in Arizona,
and I usually get a sore throat when I change climates), and by Suches it was
raw and I could barely talk.  I went to the medical clinic in Suches and the
doctor diagnosed bronchitis.  (Still not sure I agree, but she gave me some
powerful drugs and I found myself a trail name.)  We holed up for three days
in a cabin until the weather broke, then set out again.

Just past Dick's Creek Gap I became sick again, some virus this time, and we
spent three days where we only hiked about 5 miles a day, then crawled into a
shelter or tent to sleep away the afternoon and evening.  At Deep Gap (just
before Standing Indian Mountain) I was staggering and knew it was time to get
off the trail, and we were lucky enough to find someone coming back to a
truck at the parking area there who gave us a ride down to Rainbow Springs
Campground, from which I went to a doctor in Franklin for more drugs and more
days off in the warmth.  It took us 3 weeks to cover the first 100 miles,
given illness and snow.

I became sick again on a 10-degree night in the Smokies, and had to hole up
at Mountain Moma's for an extra day.  By then I was carrying extra
antibiotics with me.

Take plenty of vitamin C, I think.  Budget a little extra for motels in
March.  Carry maps not because you need to see where the trail goes or the
elevation profile, but because they're a great aid in finding a way off the
trail when you have to.  (The Pennsylvania maps that the ATC sells are
printed so poorly they're worthless in this respect.)  

David ("Bronco")


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