My Adventure is over

Friday September 15, 2017

USFS 293 19.5 miles

Total mileage 1782.4

My Appalachian Trail adventure is over and it has now become a job. It is work and no longer brings me a tremendous amount of joy.

I woke up this morning and decided to quit the trail. It seemed an easy decision to make even though I felt sick to my stomach about it. I decided to hike this last day with my hiking partner, HOOTIE and let him know. I tell Jim just before I hit the trail that this will be my last day. He tells me we will talk later.

It is easy to tell HOOTIE and talk about it. I tell him as soon as we hit the trail. At the end of the hike we talk about it again and he asked me if I still feel the same and I do. I didn’t cry when I made the decision or when I talk to HOOTIE about it. It just feels right. I am tired and my feet are sore. I no longer want to eat. I only eat when I get hungry and nothing really sounds good to eat not even town food.

I’m stressed with my time limit and I just want to lay in bed for days and do nothing. I’ve made myself sick over this and have had such anxiety. I know that I will regret my decision and have been encouraged to continue to make sure this is really really what I want. So today I hike out again. Jim is going home today and he said he will come back and get me if I really really want to end my hike.

Today I am thankful for my friend, Kara who has been through all of this and knows and understands what I am going through. She has been encouraging me every step of the way. Her words always are always from the heart.

16 thoughts on “My Adventure is over

  1. Awww… 😥 I’m grateful to be part of your gratitude list, and was very grateful to have had your support when I was on the trail, too.

    I hope you will take a day or so off the trail to REST UP. It REALLY, REALLY does make a difference! I was never hungry until I got off the trail in town and was resting. I think it’s sort of like a baby who gets overly-tired and then can’t sleep, when sleep and rest is what it needs the most.

    NOBODY ‘has fun’ hiking 20 plus miles a day!!! It’s brutal! As someone pointed out to me the other day, that’s almost a marathon a day! A marathon is about 26 miles. I know you are worried about your deadline. Maybe you can give up trying to finish by your deadline, take it more leisurely, and just see how far you get. That will make it easier for you to come back and finish up within a year’s time so you can still say you thru-hiked.

    I don’t want you to have any regrets (like I do) if you don’t finish the trail. I really think you need to take some time to rest and do nothing (not even slack-packing) for a day or two. (YOU SLACK PACKED WHILE YOUR HUSBAND WAS THERE VISITING YOU! That’s hard-core, lady!) See how you feel about things after some rest! Your body and mind need a day of rest once in a while, and you’ve not taken many of those since you flipped. I can tell you are absolutely exhausted.

    Regardless of what your final decision is, I support you– no matter what. I know both sides of the coin, so I can’t stand in judgement. You’ve had a GREAT RUN, and I’ve been so proud of what you have done so far. It has been so much fun following you. What you have done is amazing. It’s something most people will never do.

    I’m praying for you, friend, and I support you, no matter what your final decision is. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know that all of us who have followed your adventure agree wholeheartedly with your friend Kara. I feel like everything I’m thinking was most eloquently expressed by her in her above comment.

    Pysical, mental and emotional exhaustion can completely affect your feelings, thoughts and decision-making. In my case, after being on the trail only a month (compared to your FIVE!) and now home, I have needed to sleep a huge amount of hours every night for two solid weeks, with almost daily naps thrown in. I know that, in a state of pain, grief and exhaustion because of my injury, I said and decided some things that I now regret. I find it incredulous that you have been able to continue this pace for such an extended amount of time. You really do have great fortitude, both mental and physical, but we all eventually reach our limits.

    Kara made a very good suggestion that I hope you’ll seriously consider: no longer try to finish the entire hike by your work deadline. First, take at least two days of total rest. Give yourself a break from this blog and from needing to achieve one single thing, other than laying horizontally. Then, when you head out, radically lower your mileage expectations and just try to enjoy the hike again. Take a lesson from the lighthearted section hikers you have met. Take it daily. You no longer have the ever present pressure of thruhiking. You’re just enjoying autumn up close and personal with nature, on a trail and in a location like no other. When you go home to honor your work commitments, you now have a much smaller number of miles that you can come back and cover, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE, by the end of April, 2018.

    All my best to you Amy. I wish so much I could be there hiking shorter mileage days with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yo sis, first of all (happy belated birthday) it’s always nice when yours comes around because you take away that gap and I can officially tell people you are two years older than me. Sad news and hope you re consider after some rest. I am so proud of you, I sit around and tell all my fat Navy chiefs about you and they often come back with ….WHY? I tell them it was me that drove you to the brink of insanity that makes you do the shit you do, like the AT, or eating the way you do that put your condition into remission, or the triathlon. (Don’t worry I don’t talk about high school). I know you will finish this trail, because you are to stubborn to be beatin, it may not be on this trip, but I know you will return. Hell I’ll throw a sixer in the backpack and come hike the last mile or so with ya Ha Ha. Whatever you decide killer, I will always support and be proud of you.

    Love ya sis

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Little Bear I am inspired. Way to be brave, tough, and completely authentic. Yesterday my partner turned 60 and we did all this ritual in the forest. I was moved by something someone shared about the freedom to change patterns and find newness and to not keep doing something just cuz it’s what we do. The AT and all the long distance hiking trail starts and ends are arbitrary. Why migrate on a footpath if it doesn’t bring us joy? If we live our lives only to check off boxes that we didn’t create than are we really living? Way to own your experience and just do you. You are hiking your own hike in the truest sense and I think you are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hold your head high and be proud of your accomplishment. You kicked the Trails ass all over the place. You did the toughest parts and you them it well. You decided where you started and where you finished. Therefore you beat it. Enjoy your upcoming nap Amy. Jim will be glad you are home.

    Liked by 1 person

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