I thought I was going to have to take a zero day today. Both of my heels are sporting huge blisters from those newer running shoes of mine that don’t work well with my orthotics. At least not when it comes to walking in them 20 miles at a time. A little slipping in the heels is one thing when you’re casually walking around the house or walking the dog, but quite another when you’re hiking an NST.
My hiking boots, which worked well yesterday, were killing me this morning. I considered hiking barefoot for about one second. Then I tried wearing my running shoes without my orthotics. That felt pretty great. The only thing was that I had left the shoes’ normal removable bottoms back home. After all, I always had my orthotics in them instead of those little foam bottoms. I knew it was risky to try hiking 20 miles in them. Without those little foam bottoms, there is exposed stitching that is also likely to cause blisters. But I had little choice.
So I headed out and hiked on the connecting road route today. I did end up getting one big blister on the bottom of one foot, but I think it will be okay bandaged up tomorrow. And I went to Walmart and picked up some cushy inserts that I’m hoping will be thinner than my orthotics and be just what I need going forward.
One bright spot of the day was meeting Eric Lewis, chapter chair of the next trail chapter I’m entering (the Econfina area). What a nice guy! I also enjoyed hiking across the +2-mile bridge over the Apalachicola River and along the bike path through Blountstown.
Tonight my good friend Judy, aka Ten-Miler, drove up from Punta Gorda to be my shuttler and hiker pal for the next few days.