Giardia Delay

Me smiling because I don’t know I’ve contracted giardia again
MAV on a lunch break

Garrison Keillor used to open the story portion of his “A Prarie Home Companion” show with the phrase “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…” By contrast, my past week has been eventful. After reuniting with my hiking brother MAV to tackle the final few hundred miles to the border together, I managed to contract giardia again, having also dealt with it toward the end of my Continental Divide Trail thru-hike back in 2019. That time I spent weeks on the trail struggling with the effects before getting diagnosed and treated after returning home with Wendy. For better or worse, this time around I recognized the onset and symptoms within a day and- thanks to MAV’s buddy Tim from their days in the Marines together- was able to climb down a couple thousand feet from the trail near Idyllwild, California and get to a hospital for tests, IV and treatment meds.

Tim picked us up from the trailhead, drove me to the hospital and two different pharmacies, then took us back to his home where I’ve been recovering. I can keep food down now and expect to be fully on the mend within another day or so, when MAV and I will resume the hike for the final 170 miles to the border.

Post-giardia recovery: me and MAV with bowls of Japanese curry made by friend and outstanding trail angel Tim (middle)
Surprisingly beautiful desert colors
I wasn’t expecting the “Desert section” to be this lush

In the absence of any other roadblocks or delays, we expect to wrap up after about one more week of hiking, give or take. Despite the loss of appetite and energy and extreme discomfort/embarrassment of uncontrollable diarrhea (yeah, definitely not kidding about that “uncontrollable”part), it’s still been amazing hiking with a trail companion and we’ve had an excellent time. The pictures on this post continue to portray a landscape far more diverse than the “PCT Desert Section” label implies.

This late-blooming Cactus must have waited for us
Ridges for miles
MAV on the trail, zoom-in shot from way across a big canyon
Two hundred miles to Mexico and starting to feel sick

As we wait out my recovery, Tim has been an absolutely incredible, generous host, upending both his work and weekend schedules to accommodate us and making me feel completely at home in his beautiful house. The three of us all lived in Japan during several overlapping years, so there’s been plenty to discuss and reminisce.

So many ridges and fingers to walk
The winding trail near Palm Springs
“The Price is Right” audition glam shot

Thank you all again for your ongoing interest in this thru-hike! Barring any further drama, my next post will likely be after I return home (Spokane again!) from the trail. Once again, there are new videos on my YouTube channel, (videos 73-75 are new) so give that a look-see as well! Love and best wishes to you all! Max

More abundant desert colors
Walking a ridge
Southern California just keeps impressing

2 Responses to “Giardia Delay

  • So sorry Mike. I’m praying that you can finish and get back to your new home soon. Love you lots.

    • Thanks mom! Feeling a bit better this morning as the meds take effect and should get back to the trail tomorrow. Love you too!

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