Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back at it...Again

It felt fantastic to get back out on the trail. It took some time to get into a rhythm again, but that was partly due to the fact that I was hiking right near a town for a better part of the first morning. I was also hiking in a fairly steady morning rain, which I was hoping wouldn’t be a harbinger for this leg of my trip.

I started out walking tentatively, hoping not to aggravate my leg injury. It was like walking on eggshells. It was frustrating to move along so slowly. What would have taken me eight hours to hike in the past would now take me ten hours or more. It made the days seem very long, even when not covering many miles. There were also the usual distractions that came along with the trail slowing me down. This time it was the numerous patches of wild blueberries, raspberries and blackcaps (black raspberries). All were ripe and easy to find. I would pause for a few minutes at a time to scarf down a few handfuls of the tasty berries and continue on. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Moseying along the trail, there was some discomfort in my leg still, but it was tolerable. As my leg was feeling OK and I like to keep things interesting, I went ahead and decided to develop a little tendonitis in my left knee. It is not excruciatingly painful at this point and I am hoping it will pass, but I have some serious doubts as to whether that will be the case. I have had tendonitis in the past and it took some rest for it to subside.

Along the way I met a retired doctor with whom I had a supremely interesting conversation regarding healthcare in the United States. I expressed my frustration with the inefficiencies and waste in the medical system. While we both agreed that the Federal Government should not be involved in universal healthcare, or the healthcare business in general, the suggestion was made that it might work on a state level as there would be more accountability. There would be other obstacles, but if I had to choose between healthcare being provided at a Federal or State level, I would choose State. My doctor friend also suggested that perhaps medical insurance/care should not be provided by profit-making entities so as to remove moral hazard from the equation; this being one case. I see the sense in that, but don’t think that would really work in the United States. I would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on the matter.

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