I have taken to borrowing my wife’s trekking poles when I go on my long hikes in Whiting Ranch. The big question that I suppose you are asking is whether they help or whether they are just extra weight. They do work as advertised, helping me on both uphills and downhills.
As you know, I am not a strong climber due to my heart defect, a narrowing of the coronary artery. This is as it sounds — one of the arteries feeding my heart has a section where it attenuates. It means that I have to watch my cholesterol and moderate my speed on uphills. The trekking poles help me go a little faster. I struggle less and can go farther on steep stretches before I tire.
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It felt like I was walking on a twig laid across where the forward ball of my foot ascended to the arch. I limped along, wondering what had gotten into my shoe. When I got home, I took my shoes and socks off. The sock had a huge hole and curled edges. I concluded that that was the cause of my suffering.
Yesterday, I found a pair of clean socks not in need of repair, put them on with my boots, and walked a few steps only to find that the pain had returned. I sat down in my red retro chair, took off the boot, and shook it. Nothing came out. I rolled off the sock and examined my foot where I found a long, irregular blister spread over the sore spot. The notion of puncturing it with a needle passed through my head but briefly: I did not want to be an heir in death to Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
A better remedy from Boy Scouts suggested itself: I taped a Bandaid over it. This pushed down the lump and prevented the skin from stretching as I walked. The pain bothered me just a little and only on slopes.
First aid for blisters.