My friend Erick and I left for the BFT with one day notice of which trail we were hiking, and shotty topo map Erick printed from the internet and laminated. You may be thinking, "That's not ideal!" But that was sort of the point. And if you're thinking "Well smart guy, I see "Mission Fail" up there so I guess you got what you wanted!" You'll be displeased to know that not having a detailed understanding of the trail, national park, county, wildlife, locals, etc., or a detailed map had nothing to do with us not finishing.
Here's some things we managed to see before we left:
[A few of many]
[I think it was two days before - some locals said a tornado did damage to the trail leaving a large amount of downed trees and debris, while it was a mess for the clean-up crews, it wasn't without it's own beauty:]
A few more pics:
Now normally I would give a lot of detail to what I packed, maybe even what Erick packed, talk about how it poured rain for about an hour, and was otherwise at 100% humidity, talk about why I went with dry food instead of packing a stove, and plenty of other things - but we didn't make it through the first night - so not much of it matters.
After a full days hiking (about 15 miles) we get to an area we like for camp, and start setting up. I felt great, I normally have issues with my knees, but aside from a slight twinge in my left knee, I felt awesome. The last ascent had me physically shaky, but by the time we got to camp I was back. Or so I thought. I began vomiting shortly after we started setting up. Then felt fine. Told myself it was from pushing it too hard, and kept setting up. When I started vomiting again I grew concerned. More importantly Erick grew concerned, and decided it wasn't worth the risk to stay if I was really sick. The last multiday trip we planned ended the same way. Since we hiked the southern inner-turns of the trail, around to the west leg of the trail it was only a mile and a half from 44, and then 4 miles to our car. Erick jogged the five miles to the car (leaving his gear with me) and came back to pick me up. That's why he's the person I go backpacking with, we have each other's backs. I went home and did some research, and spoke with some friends/family and figured out what happened.
Exercised induced nausea is something I've never had a problem with before in my life. Maybe it's been a few years of day hikes and over nighters being my only real exercise, and assuming because I'm thin that I'm still in good shape - or maybe it was the heat and humidity - or maybe it's bad backpacking habits (when and how I'm taking breaks/eating and how I'm stopping at the end of the day) - But no matter what it was, I'm dissapointed to find out that I could have slept it off and kept going. Better safe than sorry I guess. Lesson learned.
I'm happy to talk about anything I left out - but I'm too tired to go into anymore detail in this specific post Thanks for reading.