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CedarKeyHiker
02-26-2016, 11:25
I am interested in hearing from others who are in the over 50 age group who are committed to thru-hiking or doing a long section hike on the AT in 2016. What's your motivation for taking all the time, money, and effort required for such an undertaking? I'll start it off.

I chose to hike at this time because it is a good time for it. The kids are grown and doing well. My wife supports me in this and encourages me daily. I do feel like the window of opportunity begins to narrow as time goes by and there is no good excuse not to seize the moment. I just turned 58, I'm retired, and my health is good. I want to see and experience sights and challenges that I otherwise would miss living at sea level. I want to hear the stories of all sorts of extraordinary people that I would never had met. I want to push myself to achieve a lofty goal. That's my motivation. How about you?

canoe
02-26-2016, 11:28
Good for you. Have a great hike.

Tahoeturner
02-26-2016, 11:35
CedarKey, I share many of the same motivations that you have listed. In my youth, growing up in northern NH, I day-hiked many (most) of the New England peaks. If I had had a bucket list when I was 12, it would have included a thru hike of the AT. I’ll be fulfilling a childhood fantasy. At age 66, my body is not in tiptop shape, but I’ve convinced myself that I can make it to Maine. I hit the trail in less than a month.

colorado_rob
02-26-2016, 11:39
I am interested in hearing from others who are in the over 50 age group who are committed to thru-hiking or doing a long section hike on the AT in 2016. What's your motivation for taking all the time, money, and effort required for such an undertaking? I'll start it off.

I chose to hike at this time because it is a good time for it. The kids are grown and doing well. My wife supports me in this and encourages me daily. I do feel like the window of opportunity begins to narrow as time goes by and there is no good excuse not to seize the moment. I just turned 58, I'm retired, and my health is good.All these things (I was 57 when I did the trail), pretty much exactly. But most of all, long distance backpacking is just plain good old FUN.

Sandy of PA
02-26-2016, 11:41
I like to go for a nice long walk (400miles or so) each spring. It seems to recharge my batteries. I call it sleeping with my Earth Mother while walking with my Spirit Father. Retirement has its perks.

Puddlefish
02-26-2016, 12:00
Therapeutic reasons, mental and physical.

Conductor
02-26-2016, 12:19
I did my first thru hike of the AT when I was 51. Just left my job and did it. Mainly because it had been a dream for many many years and I just wanted that experience of a long distance hike.

I love to hike and I love a challenge. Since I am now 10 years older and since I left the trail last year in Damascus, the challenge is even greater. So I'm starting again at Springer. I intend to pass every white blaze and enjoy every moment that's possible to enjoy.

CedarKeyHiker
02-26-2016, 12:29
CedarKey, I share many of the same motivations that you have listed. In my youth, growing up in northern NH, I day-hiked many (most) of the New England peaks. If I had had a bucket list when I was 12, it would have included a thru hike of the AT. I’ll be fulfilling a childhood fantasy. At age 66, my body is not in tiptop shape, but I’ve convinced myself that I can make it to Maine. I hit the trail in less than a month.

I have no doubt you will fulfill your dream. Your story inspires me. I look forward to meeting you somewhere on the Trail. I'll be that chubby, white haired guy struggling along. Vaya con Dios!!! Bobby Bombero

Trailweaver
02-26-2016, 12:53
I hike because I like the peace it gives me to be out there. It also helps me stay fit, and if I find I'm not "fit enough," I go home and work on it to get better for the next trip out. It also helps me mentally know that I can be tough enough to get through daily challenges. I recently had some serious health challenges, and while I was recovering (and feeling very put upon and sorry for myself), realized that I'd had tough challenges on the trail (times when I thought I'd die before I reached the top of the climb, or an injury on the trail made it difficult to hike out), that I could make it through that, because I'd done something equally tough on the trail. I did recover, and give credit to the AT for the memories that helped me do it.

Slo-go'en
02-26-2016, 13:19
I go for a long hike every year because I can and don't have anything better to do.

Seatbelt
02-26-2016, 13:19
I hike because I like the peace it gives me to be out there. It also helps me stay fit, and if I find I'm not "fit enough," I go home and work on it to get better for the next trip out. It also helps me mentally know that I can be tough enough to get through daily challenges. I recently had some serious health challenges, and while I was recovering (and feeling very put upon and sorry for myself), realized that I'd had tough challenges on the trail (times when I thought I'd die before I reached the top of the climb, or an injury on the trail made it difficult to hike out), that I could make it through that, because I'd done something equally tough on the trail. I did recover, and give credit to the AT for the memories that helped me do it.
I am a ditto of this post. I have found that I no longer fear or worry about what might or could happen to me on my hikes.

Recalc
02-26-2016, 13:37
All these things (I was 57 when I did the trail), pretty much exactly. But most of all, long distance backpacking is just plain good old FUN.

I undertook the trail last year because I thought it would be “fun”. Had to exit at Pinkham Notch (X-rays showed 3 broken toes). My plan is to finish this year. So far, this has been a really great experience. Met impressive people, learned new skills, and appreciated a sense of accomplishment. At age 64 however, it was not “fun”.

Odd Man Out
02-26-2016, 14:22
I am 56 but not really that close to retirement so the potential for a long distance hike is a bit in the future. But if I were to do that (now or later), I always though I would like to do a "through hike" rather than a "thru hike", with the difference being the objective. On a thru hike, the goal is to hike the whole trail. On a through hike, I arrange my schedule so I am free to hike as long and as far as I want (i.e until I'm through), recognizing that I don't really know what that will be at the beginning. If I hike the whole trial, great. If not, also great. (win-win). Most thru hikes fail. It's hard to fail on a through hike (unless you maybe hike more than you really want to?)

poopsy
02-26-2016, 14:24
Hmm,

Two members of my family have recently died. Living in hospitals and taking care of their affairs have worn me down over the past year. What's more, my mother and my brother are in their final days and will likely not see next Christmas. Mom hasn't recognized me in three years and my brother is determined smoke himself to death. I stand torn facing the continuing tragedy of death in my family. I could stay at home waiting for another phone call or I can be out on the trail. My wife says to get going. I dunno. I seem to change my mind about it around once a week.

poopsy

wornoutboots
02-26-2016, 14:48
Because even though I'm 50 but I feel much younger like say 35 ;) & I love to challenge my physical & mental abilities & no better place to do it than on a long distance hike!

greensleep
02-26-2016, 15:23
Therapeutic reasons, mental and physical.

ditto Puddlefish

Grizhicks
02-26-2016, 15:56
CedarKeyHiker -- I think one of the key words from you post is "retired"; as we get further along in out careers is harder to find the time to do the hike. I would say that most (not all, but most) have to wait until retirement, and hope that their health is good enough. I plan on retiring in Feb of '18, and starting the trail in April (will be 65).

Best of luck in your adventure, and keep us posted. -- Greg/Grizhicks

1234
02-26-2016, 18:28
I started a Thur to win my body an mind back. Work was hard mentally an that wore my body down. I did not finish due to injury but will continue this year and I hope to finish next year. It is tough to see folks start to get stronger an start doing more miles. I must stay in my comfort zone as I already know doing greater than 15 miles a day will knock me off the trail again. Best of luck on your hike

dbright
02-26-2016, 18:40
I am on the bus for Atlanta. I am 66. I am looking to do the AT thru hike. I start on the trail on Sunday February 28. Good luck with your planning.

dink
02-26-2016, 20:55
Woods and mountains feel like home to me...I have done many long sections but have to wait a few years before I can to my thru (flip-flop actually) because I want to get my black belt without a long break in training. The peace of nature keeps me coming back year after year!!

trpost
02-26-2016, 21:00
This will be my second thru hike. The first was NOBO in 1990, the year I turned 30, and it made a huge difference in my life. I changed careers, and became much happier. I am retiring in April, and will be doing a modified SOBO (Hiking from Harper's Ferry south April - June due to family commitments, then heading for Katahdin). I am retiring at 55 so that I am young enough to do all the hiking I want. 5 years ago I had throat cancer - I cancer free now, but the experience reminded me that we do not have any guarantees in life, and you need to go for it while you can.

Mountain Bluebird
02-26-2016, 21:10
I'll be hiking a big section starting in GA starting late--August. Why? I will be 71 and maybe running out of time.

You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139

RangerZ
02-26-2016, 21:31
CedarKeyHiker -- I think one of the key words from you post is "retired"; as we get further along in out careers is harder to find the time to do the hike. I would say that most (not all, but most) have to wait until retirement, and hope that their health is good enough. I plan on retiring in Feb of '18, and starting the trail in April (will be 65).

Best of luck in your adventure, and keep us posted. -- Greg/Grizhicks

Griz - You've got it about careers. I've been offered opportunities that I really didn't want at this point in my career. Some weeks on Monday I'm already thinking of the weekend hike. I plan on retiring Jan18 and starting Apr18. Until then I'm knocking off short and long hikes here in PA and, WV in April. Tomorrow is to a small detached tract of a state forest, just to recon it for future longer hikes, and to get another night under nylon.

I could get philosophical about communing with nature, but like others have said it's a return to some former challenges ... mostly it's just not the office.

Heliotrope
02-26-2016, 22:02
Woods and mountains feel like home to me...I have done many long sections but have to wait a few years before I can to my thru (flip-flop actually) because I want to get my black belt without a long break in training. The peace of nature keeps me coming back year after year!!

I can relate. Black belt training is a commitment that takes priority. I earned my 2nd degree last fall at age 51.

This year I am planning on my longest section hike to date. Katahdin to Gorham, NH. I cannot take the time needed for a full thru yet. But as others have said there are no guarantees one will be healthy enough after retirement. So I need to do some significant hiking adventure. Bucket list needs attention!


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dink
02-26-2016, 22:07
I will get my black belt at 63, the same time as both my grandchildren, we are timing it so we will be in the same graduating class...one will be 12 and the other will be 9. They hike with me a good deal of time too.

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Miel
02-26-2016, 22:11
I am interested in hearing from others who are in the over 50 age group who are committed to thru-hiking or doing a long section hike on the AT in 2016. What's your motivation for taking all the time, money, and effort required for such an undertaking? I'll start it off.

I chose to hike at this time because it is a good time for it. The kids are grown and doing well. My wife supports me in this and encourages me daily. I do feel like the window of opportunity begins to narrow as time goes by and there is no good excuse not to seize the moment. I just turned 58, I'm retired, and my health is good. I want to see and experience sights and challenges that I otherwise would miss living at sea level. I want to hear the stories of all sorts of extraordinary people that I would never had met. I want to push myself to achieve a lofty goal. That's my motivation. How about you?

I'm 57. I'll be 61 at the minimum, possibly older) when I do my first thru-hike. I am waiting for a few reasons, among the seeing my child through college; getting in proper shape that more than a week hike requires; saving the money to do this; raising funds for to certain NGOs that are dedicated to protecting a certain mammal group. My thru-hike will be a fundraiser to fund a scholarship for a witness to give up to six months dedicated to this issue. (The witnesses are not paid, and have to make their own way.)

I love nature and I love beauty. Biking and walking are my favorite physical activities. Like you, I live by sea, however, I am not a strong swimmer, although I love the ocean. I want to be where beauty is, and to me that's the ocean or the mountains/forests.

I'm not doing it as a challenge for myself, although I certainly will be challenged!

People do tend to think of that "window of opportunity" as one ages, although I am told that acceptance comes easier once one is in his/her sixties. I'm not retired and probably never will be able to do so, but since I am in an academic/creative field, I don't think I'd want to make retirement official. I'll keep on until my body or brain or both gives out. :-?

ScottTrip
02-26-2016, 22:46
I was 56, because Can....

Heliotrope
02-26-2016, 23:00
I will get my black belt at 63, the same time as both my grandchildren, we are timing it so we will be in the same graduating class...one will be 12 and the other will be 9. They hike with me a good deal of time too.

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That is fantastic! That will be a great bond the 3 of you will share.


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dink
02-26-2016, 23:01
You bet...they each have their own hammocks too!!

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rocketsocks
02-27-2016, 02:32
You bet...they each have their own hammocks too!!

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalkwell that's good, then you guys don't have to worry about kicking each other in your sleep. :D

But seriously, that's great, good for you's guys.

CedarKeyHiker
02-27-2016, 08:23
These are great replies. Thank you all so much for your honest and heartfelt responses. Clearly, none of you are content to spend your later years watching life pass you by. Best wishes to all of you!!!

garlic08
02-27-2016, 09:08
What I appreciated as an older thru-hiker was being able to apply a lifetime of experience to the challenges of a thru-hike. Though I made my first thru-hike (PCT) at the young age of 48 (I was 52 when I hiked the AT), it seemed like the culmination of everything I'd learned so far, on successively longer adventures. And then, paradoxically, I pretty much threw all that away and learned a whole different style of travel. As an example, by the end of the PCT I no longer carried a stove. I did not see that one coming when I started. By the time I finished the AT, hills no longer mattered, neither did rain, and my pack, a flimsy little silnylon thing, weighed less than eight pounds because I just kept getting rid of things I didn't need any more.

Those lessons applied to life in general, as well. I came home with much less baggage. I was a lieutenant on a volunteer fire department when left, and on my return the chief promoted me to captain. He said he saw a change, and he wanted me to be the guy standing in the driveway.

Good luck to everyone out there, and planning to get out there.

jimmyjam
02-27-2016, 11:27
It recharges me and I just plain love being outdoors.

B.j. Clark
02-27-2016, 11:52
My first backpacking trip was over 50 years ago. Between running and hiking I have been hooked on foot travel ever since. Retirement has now given me the time and finances to have a go at a thru hike. Living in the West for the last 40 years, the AT gives me a chance to see the mountains and woods I hiked when young. I alternate between ready to go and thinking what have I got myself into! My family is very supportive of my undertaking, that makes this easier. I will hike up Springer age 65 and and start the next day at 66. But I'm only that old when I look in the mirror!

gbolt
02-27-2016, 11:55
I know the OP was asking about thru's for 2016; but now that the thread has shifted a little, I will bite! Lol. For me, it is a return to my youth and giving back to me. "Back in the day" we played outside and vacationed at campgrounds. Bike riding and canoe floats where common summer activities. But then came high school sports and college for the future. Next came marraige and children and life became more about those I loved, rather than myself. Slowly "playing outside" i.e. Backpacking became once every month, to once every three, to once a year to once a decade (if I was lucky). No regrets, life with the family was good! I did what the family enjoyed and the family never caught the passion to the degree I had, for playing outdoors.

Now the career is coming to an end, children are graduating from college and moving on and I am returning to my youth and starting to give back to me. I am day hiking for my health, and am in better shape than 10 years ago even though I am older. I am researching new items to replace old outdated (and usually heavy) gear. I am gear testing the items once a year, then once every six months and now I get to overnight at least once every three months without sacrificing time with others. I love the time with myself! My wife is 100% in because she see the change and the light created in me by just the hope of a Thru Hike.

To quote the movie Pretty Woman - "Everybody got a dream - What's your dream?". Like Griz, mine is to retire and hike the AT in 2018 or 2019. To me it is a transitional period in life and a time where I can give to myself and not feel that I am cheating on giving to those I love. Like any Dream, it is adding to the fullness of my current life.

For now I can only imagine the beauty, the challange, the up's and the down's, the people on the trail, and the lessons of an actual thru hike. But life itself is the journey and an AT Thru Hike is just one section of it.

I really appreciate this thread and Whiteblaze because it enriches my Life's Journey.

CedarKeyHiker
02-27-2016, 12:38
"gbolt" In the deeper sense your post sums it up for me too. Brother, I am really enjoying playing outside again. I am glad you "drifted" off and joined in. One thing I failed to mention in my original post was how much this upcoming journey has lifted me and my light is glowing as brightly as ever. Retirement was not an easy transition for me. Let's just say I went from 160 mph to 10 mph overnight and it wasn't without some stress. From that perspective, you are doing yourself a good thing by preparing for that day when you are no longer "in the game." Being good to yourself will not only benefit you but it will benefit the others around you. Good luck and best wishes to you on your future plans. Thanks again for your contribution.

Deadeye
02-27-2016, 12:54
I guess I'm not very deep... I just like hiking, so I do.

q-tip
02-27-2016, 12:58
At 54 (2010) finished GA - WVA 1,010 Miles. . Just had to do it after being dead in the OR in 2008. A most notable accomplishment in my life. I never plan to finish, I got what I needed.

gbolt
02-27-2016, 12:59
I guess I'm not very deep... I just like hiking, so I do.

Sorry to say that your simple response... Is very deep in and of itself! Rofl. :sun

Traillium
02-27-2016, 16:04
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 8 months ago. Low-grade, non-invasive. I'm 65, retired, in good shape, actively involved in (too?) many things.
My very supportive wonderful wife of over forty years suggested that I should knock off one of my long-held goals of a solo wilderness trip. This has morphed into a thru-hike of our local Bruce Trail here in Southern Ontario.
So in early May I'll be starting at Niagara Falls and backpacking a biblical forty days and forty nights, ending nearly 900 km north at Tobermory at the northern tip of the Niagara Escarpment.
So why? Because now is when I'm still fully capable. Because I've long wanted to spend time alone though I'm noticeably more social and less introspective as I've matured. Because as a botanist and general naturalist, I've wanted to trace Spring northward as it develops. Because I will be fully immersed in my local natural world beyond any previous depth, even though I taught outdoors for most of my career. Because I can and have the full support of those around me who I love and treasure.
Yesterday I got the latest clearance from my urologist, a huge and long hug from my wife, the promise of a specially-designed and made fleece hoody from one daughter, and a pair fine woolen gloves designed and knit by my other daughter, and the promise of being accompanied at least for a few days by an honourary daughter.
I am so fortunate!


Bruce Traillium

MamaSmurf
02-27-2016, 16:47
I was planning on hiking way back in my college days (I'm now 61) Life just sort of 'got in the way' and it never happened. Fast forward 23 + years, and my younger daughter hiked the beginning miles while on spring break in high school. The bug came back :). Now, we have just been through a year that can be called nothing but tragic. I did my second (short) section early last fall (GSMNP). I've realized that if I want to do the whole trail, I'll have to mount a serious thru attempt. I may not have ten years of Section Hiking available to me. So I will set off in 2017, and turn 63 on the AT :)

CarlZ993
02-27-2016, 17:37
To all the 50+ thru-hikers this year, I wish happy trails. From my prospective (I was 58 on my thru-hike), I'd recommend the following for prospective thru-hikers: 1) try to get in good shape (cardio, strength, 'hiking') before you start; 2) make a concerted effort to lighten your pack load; and, 3) don't stop unless something ends up in a cast or there is a family emergency that requires you to terminate your attempt.

That being said, I saw some out of shape people that started w/ monster packs finish (they did pare things - and themselves - down along the way). I saw fit, uber-light people that didn't.

Jakesdad1
02-28-2016, 10:04
My thru hike started just after graduation in 1975. It only lasted 4 days. Retired in 2012, so second attempt was in 2013. Lasted 100 miles before my back gave out. Now I am 65, and by golly, I'm going to complete it this time!

greensleep
02-28-2016, 10:40
To all the 50+ thru-hikers this year, I wish happy trails. From my prospective (I was 58 on my thru-hike), I'd recommend the following for prospective thru-hikers: 1) try to get in good shape (cardio, strength, 'hiking') before you start; 2) make a concerted effort to lighten your pack load; and, 3) don't stop unless something ends up in a cast or there is a family emergency that requires you to terminate your attempt.

That being said, I saw some out of shape people that started w/ monster packs finish (they did pare things - and themselves - down along the way). I saw fit, uber-light people that didn't.

Thank you Carl; I've been fretting over my planned thruhike attempt in '17 wondering if my age and weight related infirmities might cause me to fail. I'm 65 and am actively trying to not only dump weight, but strengthen my body, especially the lower body and core. Your observations, above, give me a renewed optimism and I think I'll "fret" less.

CedarKeyHiker
02-28-2016, 11:30
Thank you Carl; I've been fretting over my planned thruhike attempt in '17 wondering if my age and weight related infirmities might cause me to fail. I'm 65 and am actively trying to not only dump weight, but strengthen my body, especially the lower body and core. Your observations, above, give me a renewed optimism and I think I'll "fret" less.

I sent Carl a private message thanking him for his encouraging post. Thank you for doing it publicly. Young or old we all have challenges we have to overcome. I can't imagine too many people who plan to hike the AT don't have some level of insecurity. I know I do. I take great comfort in the encouraging words of those who have made the commitment and gone before me. I'm also lifted up by the others who share my apprehension and still plan to take the plunge. Good luck on your adventure in 2017!!!

CarlZ993
02-28-2016, 17:47
I sent Carl a private message thanking him for his encouraging post. Thank you for doing it publicly. Young or old we all have challenges we have to overcome. I can't imagine too many people who plan to hike the AT don't have some level of insecurity. I know I do. I take great comfort in the encouraging words of those who have made the commitment and gone before me. I'm also lifted up by the others who share my apprehension and still plan to take the plunge. Good luck on your adventure in 2017!!!

Thanks for the kind words.

Usually, the over-50 thru-hikers have more financial resources than the younger hikers. That is an advantage. When I got tired of the dealing w/ the elements, I'd find a hostel or motel (hopefully an inexpensive one) in the next town. As a result, I spent 63 nights on the AT sleeping indoors. :)

CarlZ993
02-28-2016, 17:53
Thank you Carl; I've been fretting over my planned thruhike attempt in '17 wondering if my age and weight related infirmities might cause me to fail. I'm 65 and am actively trying to not only dump weight, but strengthen my body, especially the lower body and core. Your observations, above, give me a renewed optimism and I think I'll "fret" less.
You can do it. I've seen hikers your age & older make it in 2013. The more prepared you are for the hike, the 'luckier' you'll be. Happy trails.

RETCW4
02-28-2016, 20:25
Because I can.

StuartCairnie
02-28-2016, 21:35
Hey Bruce if you're looking for some support my wife and I live near the Bruce trail in Niagara shoot us an email
Cheers Stuart

MinaSauk
02-28-2016, 21:58
The window of opportunity opened and I felt if I didn't jump it may not come again. Ideally, I'd love to make it all the way. Realistically, I will take it step by step, day by day, etc. If I get to Kathadin, great. I just want to be happy with my accomplishment.
So many have told me I can't do it or shouldn't do it that it only makes me want to do it more.
I am so very excited to start my adventure!

RockDoc
02-28-2016, 22:22
Started the AT the day after graduating High School in 1974. Hiked north from HF to ME, turned 18 on the trail.
Finished the trail in Oct 2014 at age 58.
Trail name: "Forty Year Plan"

runt13
02-29-2016, 08:44
For me, it is a life long dream since i was about 9 years old. That was when my grandfather and i did a short hike from rout 80 in NJ, to Sunfish pond, that ended at the ''Old Coppermine Inn''.

Since then its always been on my mind. I have hiked almost all of NJ over the years. as well as West VA, about 50 miles in VA, about 100 miles in PA, and maybe 50 miles in NY But now that the body is telling me it may be at the beginning of the end, i have revisited the prospect of starting the section hike process next year, picking a state every year and just doing it.

The main reason is that i just like being in the woods, people laugh when I come back from a hunting trip empty handed and explain to them i am very content walking around the woods, staring at trees, rocks, moss, streams, and wildlife. sometimes i think its where i truly belong.

RUNT ''13''

Mouser999
02-29-2016, 09:59
I have hiked Conn. sections with my hiking club but always felt I didn't see much as we had to finish by a certain time.
This year I decided to hike all of Conn. by my self. (Over 60). I plan on more sections while I'm still in good health.

Thorfinn
02-29-2016, 11:19
I completed the AT at 70. I never thought my motivation was different from anyone else's. In the interviews I did with the local papers I asked them not to mention my age because that was not what it was about. One advantage though, as someone mentioned, was having more money so I was able to do the whole thing without camping. That did preserve my back by not having to carry a heavy pack.

illabelle
02-29-2016, 15:18
I'm not young, but I'll never be any younger than I am now. The last thing I want is for retirement to greet me with artificial joints and one of those daily pill organizers. I want to be one of those seniors who is fit, active, sharp, still learning and engaged. Backpacking is an activity I enjoy, and it helps me to develop and maintain physical strength.

But why the AT? I don't know exactly. We just finished a long weekend section, and I'm feeling worn out and beat up. But I know that after a little rest, I'll be eager for the next one.

Traillium
02-29-2016, 21:25
Hey Bruce if you're looking for some support my wife and I live near the Bruce trail in Niagara shoot us an email
Cheers Stuart

Trail magic!


Bruce Traillium

CedarKeyHiker
02-29-2016, 22:39
I completed the AT at 70. I never thought my motivation was different from anyone else's. In the interviews I did with the local papers I asked them not to mention my age because that was not what it was about. One advantage though, as someone mentioned, was having more money so I was able to do the whole thing without camping. That did preserve my back by not having to carry a heavy pack.

I understand your reluctance to share your age but there is a fascination with people who defy convention. You have to admit it is rare a 70 year old hikes the AT. I can only imagine your other accomplishments in life. One of my obsessions is why someone, at any age, would choose to leave the comforts provided in the 21st century and choose to be uncomfortable for any amount of time. Such as walking on the AT. My theory is it's been bred in us by our fore bearers. We're the sons and daughters of risk takers. You are a Mainer your heritage is one of strength and courage. Mine as a Floridian is one of insufferable heat, mosquitoes, alligators, and having to deal with snowbirds. Anyway, all seriousness aside, I admire your Yankee self. If you should ever pass this way you are more the welcome to sit a spell on my front porch, and enjoy a glass of sweet tea, with or without a shot of whiskey. If you choose to bide a while we'll rustle up a mess of mullet and grits and have a grand time...

Carbo
02-29-2016, 22:52
My first thru attempt was in 2015. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done but, the satisfaction I felt at the end of each day plus the people I met are what made it so special. I'm heading out again this year for a 2nd attempt. I will be 70 this year. Not sure what motivates me, it just seems like the right thing to do.

kibs
03-01-2016, 01:23
When you have a bucket list and you are my age or older, you want to get r' done before something else either falls off, rusts up or just quits working!!

CedarKeyHiker
03-01-2016, 09:49
When you have a bucket list and you are my age or older, you want to get r' done before something else either falls off, rusts up or just quits working!!

Some of the replies here are insightful. Some are introspective. Some like kibs are funny and made me laugh out loud. All of them are appreciated. The one answer we didn't hear was that someone saw a movie and it compelled them to spend a ton of money, take a bunch of time, and as more than one reply intimated, "do the most difficult thing" a person can volunteer to do. I've read that when the book came out there was a boost in people who started out from Springer Mountain. I am not aware of the statistics on finishers that year. Personally, I read the book after I saw the movie and saw the movie after I had decided to hike the Trail. I guess time will tell how much influence Robert Redford and Nick Nolte will have. Clearly, if you use the small sampling of people who have replied to this thread as a barometer, it takes a deeper, more thought out commitment.

Without starting diatribe against the movie or the author of the book; does anyone have an opinion on, or prediction for the affect of the movie?

Puddlefish
03-01-2016, 11:44
Some of the replies here are insightful. Some are introspective. Some like kibs are funny and made me laugh out loud. All of them are appreciated. The one answer we didn't hear was that someone saw a movie and it compelled them to spend a ton of money, take a bunch of time, and as more than one reply intimated, "do the most difficult thing" a person can volunteer to do. I've read that when the book came out there was a boost in people who started out from Springer Mountain. I am not aware of the statistics on finishers that year. Personally, I read the book after I saw the movie and saw the movie after I had decided to hike the Trail. I guess time will tell how much influence Robert Redford and Nick Nolte will have. Clearly, if you use the small sampling of people who have replied to this thread as a barometer, it takes a deeper, more thought out commitment.

Without starting diatribe against the movie or the author of the book; does anyone have an opinion on, or prediction for the affect of the movie?

I was more influenced by reading Dove by Robin Graham when I was a kid. Later in life, I'm just too jaded and critical of movies to be moved deeply by them. I tend to smirk at crucial scenes an think about how the director is clumsily trying to tug on my heart strings. One movie in a thousand will impress me, and this movie wasn't that one.

But... maybe it will make an impression on some kid, who will grow up to appreciate nature all the more.

gbolt
03-01-2016, 18:53
Had to laugh, but it is a fact that no one mentioned the book or movie as a factor! I think it is because in the book, Bryson admits he quits on the thru-hike but to his credit he does become a section hiker. Nothing wrong with that and I appreciated his background information for the trail and his humorous take on things. The fact that he didn't "thru hike" it makes me want to even more. It also caused other books (such as Awol's) to have a greater impact on helping my preparation. As far as the movie is concerned, that seemed to be more about the relationship between two people (would say friends but it was an odd friendship to start), than it was about actual hiking.

I don't know why, I just have a feeling that the number of hikers was on the increase with or without a movie or movies. Don't know why, I just feel people are looking for a more minimalist experience or challange that is counter to the comforts and current technological materialism engrained in our lives. Yet few are leaving their cell phones at home! Thankful for Airplane Mode! Lol

Old Boots
03-01-2016, 19:57
Because I could.

Hikin Pole
03-01-2016, 20:17
Greetings, Just about to turn 62 and this summer I plan on doing some 4 to 5 day section hikes and I hope finish the Maine section of the AT. (I have done the 100-mile wilderness twice in mid 1970's so will likely skip this part and do some AT in New Hampshire.) In my 20's I did extended hiking all over the country and did a week long trip each summer. In early 30's I got settled with house, job and kids so got into a sedentary hobby. Now with the kids gone, house paid for, and only several years to retirement I am drawn back to the mountains and solitude. Another big reason is health: I need to lose 20 to 30 pounds and become stronger. My spouse had more than once asked me to throw away all my hikin gear but I could not do it. This winter I have had a good time cleaning all my old gear. The sleeping bags are in fine shape, my 30 year old boots are amazingly in great condition. The tents and packs needed new urethane coatings applied after the old urethane was pealing and smelling. The recent movies had no influence on my interest to get back on the trails. Not till after I was interested did I sek them out and rent them.

Wolfclan
03-01-2016, 20:41
I did a Thru hike back in 1978, one of the best things that I ever did. That experience gave me a positive and confident opinion of myself. The only negative about the whole thing is that long distance hiking is addictive. I often dream and plan new adventues every winter. I guess that is not really a negative. Currently I am still working, but I am section hiking south. I have done three sections so far, ending at the water gap last summer. I will start there in June and do three weeks, ending in Virginia. I retire next year and the goal will be to complete the trail southbound 40 years after the first hike. Back to your origional question of why, because I enjoy it and it is all down hill going south.

Chris10
03-01-2016, 21:30
For the adventure and to do things I haven't done before, and to conqure a fear or two. Sleep out in the middle of know where with nothing between me and the evils of the woods was a huge deal ! :)
The main reason is though, is that I got to take my oldest son along for a few hikes, and this summer am taking my youngest on his first hike-it was very cool to see him away from his high speed world and appreciate the beauty of the woods!

kenl
03-02-2016, 09:26
I've been unemployed for two years looking for a new opportunity in the software area. I'm sick and tired of the "you're over-qualified" rejection. If you've ever been in transition, you know how emotionally taxing the job search can be. Enough is enough. With the blessing of my wife I'm hoping to head out for a thru hike very soon.

I hiked when I was younger but like others who have contributed here, real life took available time away. So for me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the woods. I'll still need to find some job when I return but I'm hoping the experiences on the trail, the interaction with others broadens my perspectives further and restores some vibrancy and emotional well-being.

Safe travels to all.

ldsailor
03-02-2016, 15:53
Twenty years ago, I interviewed a kid for an IT job. All he talked about was his hike of the Appalachian Trail. He didn't get the job (no IT experience). Nevertheless, his enthusiasm stuck with me all these years.

I sold my IT Company in 2015 and retired. Being a sailor for over 40 years, I took off on several sailing adventures in 2015 including a sailboat delivery from Virginia to the British Virgin Islands, which took the boat through Tropical Storm Kate and a month sailing through the Bahamas on another boat.

So here I am today, been there, done that and looking for something new. Then I saw A Walk in the Woods. Need I say more? I have always stayed in fairly decent shape and for a guy in his mid-60s, I can usually keep up with those ten or twenty years younger. Consequently, I am looking to do a short section hike to see what it is all about. My goal is Georgia and maybe part or all of North Carolina.

I have been doing research for the last two weeks, but Im not sure I can get ready in time. I would like to leave sometime mid to the end of April. The one aspect of such an adventure is to see how it compares to long distance sailing.

By the way, if there is anyone who would be willing to mentor me on the trail for at least a week to get me up to speed, I would be eternally grateful.

MinersLettuce
03-02-2016, 16:47
Short answer: Because I'm not getting any younger :p

tl;dr version: I have wanted to through-hike the AT for over 40 years. My first hike on the AT was in 1972, with borrowed, inadequate gear. It was in January and it rained the whole week. I was miserable. I didn't get the feeling back in my toes for 2 months. By spring, I couldn't wait to go again.

My father did it when he was a year younger than I am now, and I did a few sections with him then. Now I want to do my own hike in his memory.

The time is now because I still have my mobility and mind and not too many physical problems. All around me, I see relatives and friends developing health problems as they age, and many can no longer do the things they want to do. I feel a sense to time pressure to do the things on my bucket list before the inevitable happens to me, too.

I want to do it because I like being in nature, and taking long-distance walks, and testing myself. When I was on the Via Podiensis in France, I asked a Swiss hiking partner why she was hiking, and she said, "Pour l'aventure !" That's me, too.

CedarKeyHiker
03-03-2016, 09:48
The general consensus seems to be that the movie has had no affect on this group to hike any portion of the Trail. My unscientific, sorely lacking data, and possibly short-sighted opinion is there has to be another reason for an increase in AT hikers this year. We were the target audience. When I saw the movie it was very mature crowd. If the numbers go up considerably because of it every forth or fifth person you see in pictures from the Trail this will have an abundance of gray hair and character lines on their face.

CedarKeyHiker
03-03-2016, 09:50
*(this) year

Thorfinn
03-03-2016, 21:11
I understand your reluctance to share your age but there is a fascination with people who defy convention. You have to admit it is rare a 70 year old hikes the AT. I can only imagine your other accomplishments in life. One of my obsessions is why someone, at any age, would choose to leave the comforts provided in the 21st century and choose to be uncomfortable for any amount of time. Such as walking on the AT. My theory is it's been bred in us by our fore bearers. We're the sons and daughters of risk takers. You are a Mainer your heritage is one of strength and courage. Mine as a Floridian is one of insufferable heat, mosquitoes, alligators, and having to deal with snowbirds. Anyway, all seriousness aside, I admire your Yankee self. If you should ever pass this way you are more the welcome to sit a spell on my front porch, and enjoy a glass of sweet tea, with or without a shot of whiskey. If you choose to bide a while we'll rustle up a mess of mullet and grits and have a grand time...

CedarKeyHiker, thanks for your thoughtful reply. My courage as a Mainer is suspect because I am here in Key West to get away from that damn snow and ice. I love walking on this flat terrain. As a matter of fact, we may be stopping in Cedar Key on our way north in April. If it comes to pass, I will look you up. Yes, with the whiskey. Cheers.

Plain Pete
03-03-2016, 21:25
I will be 75 in June, so most of the sand in my hourglass is on the bottom. Been hiking since I was 9. It is a love, a passion and a desire to see what's over the next hill. I have had a quad bypass and cancer. Not bragging, just letting some other old timers know that you can overcome most obstacles. I section hike and am planning to do Fox Creek to Pearisburg in late April

CedarKeyHiker
03-04-2016, 09:13
CedarKeyHiker, thanks for your thoughtful reply. My courage as a Mainer is suspect because I am here in Key West to get away from that damn snow and ice. I love walking on this flat terrain. As a matter of fact, we may be stopping in Cedar Key on our way north in April. If it comes to pass, I will look you up. Yes, with the whiskey. Cheers.

I am going to be on the Trail in April I will miss your visit. However, do yourself a favor and discover Cedar Key. It is definitely a hidden gem. We don't share that fact with too many people. We keep this place pretty quiet. There are only a few places like it left in Florida. Don't get me wrong Key West is a nice place. We lived down there almost three years. Cedar Key is what that was 75 years ago before the cruise ships and the tacky tee shirt shops.
I am sorry I am going to miss you. Enjoy your time down there. If you get a chance go to El Siboney. It's at Margaret St and Catherine Ave and have some great Cuban food. We use to eat there at least once a week.

Deacon
03-04-2016, 09:24
I turned 70 last September and consider myself very fortunate that I'm still am healthy enough to hike, especially when I look around me and see that most folks my age suffer from a malady that would prevent them from hiking.
Two years ago, after thru hiking the Long Trail in Vermont, I committed to hiking the AT in four annual sections. This year will be my third, from Harpers Ferry to Killington Vermont, 677 miles. Hopefully I'll finish next year.

Sanity's Edge
03-04-2016, 10:42
I'm 55 and just retired. I decided to hike the AT several years ago and then read "A Walk in the Woods". The book is even better than the movie. Saw "Wild" but did not read the book. I do think that both of these books will have an effect on the numbers on the trail, but only time will tell. My reasons for hiking echo so many of the posts. I'm less than 2 weeks from my start date and waiting is the hardest part.

ridehard
03-04-2016, 11:29
Retired for 3 years turning, 63 this month, start the PCT next month.

Most of the posts have echoes of my own motivations. My family finally have themselves on solid footing. As with many posts here, logistically there have been some challenges. Hopefully those remain at bay while I'm hiking but it's been a bit of a strain to work around various issues to free myself up for the full 5 months. My wife is supportive in my desire, but says this project is "daft". She's supported my previous daft adventures of various sorts too, including months in Brazil, taking up MMA at 55, and more. I suspended more injury prone activities until after my return. Now it's yoga, cycling, multiple jogs, or day hikes, 6 days per week. My wife's desire for a cycling tour of southern France can wait til next year.

I seek new challenges, new adventures. Carpe diem.

Proton
03-11-2016, 13:02
I turned 50 this summer and reflected on my life and what I would like to do to "celebrate." I really liked the idea of an adventure that would be a daily challenge too. I am attracted to things that make me stick to a hard task. I don't want to buy a sports car or go on a cruise. I want to unplug from life for a while and reflect on my future. I'm an IT consultant so I think I can take this time off and get a new gig upon my return. I have a wife and 11-year-old son so I choose not to leave them for the time it would take to do a thu-hike. So what works for me is a start at A-Falls and walk for 3-4 weeks. I look forward to some self-reflection, but I also look forward the camaraderie of meeting people where I overnight. Since it's been 35 years since I've backpacked, and I love gear and gadgets, I've had a great time learning about how to travel safely and lightweight. I can look at gear online for hours! I hope to meet you on the trail!

rafe
03-11-2016, 13:42
I hike because it's healthy, it clears my mind, and satisfies my craving for mild adventures. I like the idea of covering sizeable distances by foot, camping in the woods (most of the time) and town stops as needed for rest, relaxation or resupply.

No major AT plans (as yet) for this year, but a hundred-mile section is certainly a possibility. I only have to decide, which section... I haven't hiked south of Pearisburg for eons, so there's a part of me itching to do that.

CedarKeyHiker
03-11-2016, 13:49
I turned 50 this summer and reflected on my life and what I would like to do to "celebrate." I really liked the idea of an adventure that would be a daily challenge too. I am attracted to things that make me stick to a hard task. I don't want to buy a sports car or go on a cruise. I want to unplug from life for a while and reflect on my future. I'm an IT consultant so I think I can take this time off and get a new gig upon my return. I have a wife and 11-year-old son so I choose not to leave them for the time it would take to do a thu-hike. So what works for me is a start at A-Falls and walk for 3-4 weeks. I look forward to some self-reflection, but I also look forward the camaraderie of meeting people where I overnight. Since it's been 35 years since I've backpacked, and I love gear and gadgets, I've had a great time learning about how to travel safely and lightweight. I can look at gear online for hours! I hope to meet you on the trail!

Your plan sounds well thought out. Good luck on your adventure and congratulations on making it half way to a hundred. Be safe...We'll look for you out there, and don't forget to bring the Cuban sandwiches, deviled crabs, and cafe con leche from anywhere in Tampa...

rjwilliams
03-11-2016, 14:45
My brother and I are attempting a thru hike at the end of March 2016. We are both retired, aged 58, and want to do it for the same reasons you described. I see it as an opportunity to be truly free. No schedules, no telephones, no demands other than the ones you put on yourself. Also the fact that the trail is actually still there to be explored and admired. We too live in Florida and want to experience some true American landscape.

rjwilliams
03-11-2016, 14:47
Nothing but respect for you brother.

Options
03-12-2016, 10:52
For many of the same reasons that the OP listed. At 57 I saw the window of opportunity for such an adventure slowly closing. Friends and acquaintances were getting sick and dying. Why wait! So here I am sitting at The Pit Stop in Fontana with 166 miles behind me. It's been the trip of a lifetime to date. Can't wait to see what the next several months hold in store.

Brad L
03-12-2016, 14:45
Wondering for those of you that have been taken off the trail on previous hikes, WHY?

rafe
03-12-2016, 15:02
Wondering for those of you that have been taken off the trail on previous hikes, WHY?

The fun/misery quotient was too low.

shawnlakenorman
03-12-2016, 16:28
I want to walk the trail to find myself. Enough said I guess.

Sent from my SM-J100VPP using Tapatalk

Tintype
03-13-2016, 01:58
Man I know where you are coming from. 2015 sucked. I turned fifty and saw both parents die within 9 months of each other. Looking after them has taken a real toll mentally and physically over the last few years. This is a trip that I have been planning for 20 years now and I think 2017 might be my year.

CedarKeyHiker
03-13-2016, 09:10
My brother and I are attempting a thru hike at the end of March 2016. We are both retired, aged 58, and want to do it for the same reasons you described. I see it as an opportunity to be truly free. No schedules, no telephones, no demands other than the ones you put on yourself. Also the fact that the trail is actually still there to be explored and admired. We too live in Florida and want to experience some true American landscape.

You are fortunate to be able to share the experience with your brother. Best of luck to both of you. I hope to meet you out there. You guys will be a few days ahead of me. I step off April 3.

Carbo
03-13-2016, 10:06
Wondering for those of you that have been taken off the trail on previous hikes, WHY?

Pushing too hard and not enough zeros. I know I will make it all the way this year!

Captain Panda
03-13-2016, 10:11
Going to start my hike March 31. I'm 65 and a thru hike has always been #1, 1A, and 1B on my bucket list. Survived Cancer in 2014, and realized that you only live once. See you on the trail!!

CedarKeyHiker
03-13-2016, 10:44
Pushing too hard and not enough zeros. I know I will make it all the way this year!

This is most valuable information. I am wondering if there is a direct correlation between what Rafe stated, "The fun/misery quotient was too low"
and Carbo's observation. I am going to try and be kind to my mind and body and not push this 1958 model too far. There's a lot of miles on my suspension and drive train. I spend a lot of time outdoors and push myself regularly but I've always had time to recover. Great insight. Thank you!!!

rafe
03-13-2016, 10:56
Zeros -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. They absolutely kill your forward progress and your average mileage.

On my most "successful" section hike, about 600 miles in forty days, I took no zeros at all, but I gave myself a half-day off every four or five days. I'd typically walk eight or ten miles on those half-days. Arrive in town early- or mid-afternoon, enough time for town chores, a good meal, and lazing around a bit, back on the trail the next morning.

CedarKeyHiker
03-13-2016, 12:05
Zeros -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. They absolutely kill your forward progress and your average mileage.

On my most "successful" section hike, about 600 miles in forty days, I took no zeros at all, but I gave myself a half-day off every four or five days. I'd typically walk eight or ten miles on those half-days. Arrive in town early- or mid-afternoon, enough time for town chores, a good meal, and lazing around a bit, back on the trail the next morning.

When you mentioned the fun/misery quotient being too low, I took it to mean that at some point the the ratio got out of balance and it just wasn't fun anymore. Since that statement immediately reminded me of my first marriage(humor attempted)I related to it. Carbo suggests taking it a little easier and taking zeroes to increase overall miles. Your way is suggests a little more push. My question is: If you had it to do again, and I assume you will; would you take it a little easier to help you maintain a better balance in your fun/misery quotient?

CedarKeyHiker
03-13-2016, 12:11
* (is suggesting) a little more push...

rafe
03-13-2016, 12:24
When you mentioned the fun/misery quotient being too low, I took it to mean that at some point the the ratio got out of balance and it just wasn't fun anymore. Since that statement immediately reminded me of my first marriage(humor attempted)I related to it. Carbo suggests taking it a little easier and taking zeroes to increase overall miles. Your way is suggests a little more push. My question is: If you had it to do again, and I assume you will; would you take it a little easier to help you maintain a better balance in your fun/misery quotient?

Happily married to a woman who doesn't hike, so an AT thru hike is not in the cards. At this point in life I'm down to section hikes.

I wasn't really clear on that last post, but I guess I mean to say that too many zeros can play havoc with a thru hike. The fun/misery quotient isn't really related to the number of zeros. For sure, knowing just how hard to push yourself is important. Over the years I've found that consistency is the key in many endeavors. So instead of 20 mile days and lots of zeros, I went for a consistent 15 mile/day average pace.

CedarKeyHiker
03-13-2016, 16:03
Happily married to a woman who doesn't hike, so an AT thru hike is not in the cards. At this point in life I'm down to section hikes.

I wasn't really clear on that last post, but I guess I mean to say that too many zeros can play havoc with a thru hike. The fun/misery quotient isn't really related to the number of zeros. For sure, knowing just how hard to push yourself is important. Over the years I've found that consistency is the key in many endeavors. So instead of 20 mile days and lots of zeros, I went for a consistent 15 mile/day average pace.

I plan to heed pay a good mind to both of you. There is wisdom in both approaches. I tend to push myself a bit too hard. I have to remind myself that it is a marathon and not a sprint.

Postmark
03-14-2016, 06:18
I love to walk in the woods. When I moved to Tennessee in 2004 I started exploring LBL with co workers. Big South Fork was next. Then in 2009 I was bitten by the release of the National Geographic's Appalachian Trail Documentary. I retired in 2012 and was somewhat healthy just overweight. I decided that I needed to get up off the couch. Now I am 7 years into dreaming and about to step off in Virginia on my journey. I however am not a very social type, this being one thing I have struggled with most of the 60 years of my life. I do fine one on one, but it takes a little more with crowds. So if you see me on the trail don't be put off by my lack talking.
I am hiking this year for Seamarkranch dot com which is a a group of children that have accepted me and are excited to follow me north then south. I feel they will provide me the incentive to go the extra mile when the day comes where I need that extra push. The Marine Corps drill instructor was the extra push I needed in boot camp (no choice). Those that went through it will know what I mean.

Proton
03-14-2016, 15:31
I'm sure I can mix up a nice "con leche" when we cross paths on the AT! Jack

Your plan sounds well thought out. Good luck on your adventure and congratulations on making it half way to a hundred. Be safe...We'll look for you out there, and don't forget to bring the Cuban sandwiches, deviled crabs, and cafe con leche from anywhere in Tampa...

rocketsocks
03-14-2016, 15:45
Burned out on life, need to unwind, no responsibility but to stay fed, hydrated, and warm as I think, look around and walk.

handlebar
03-14-2016, 22:20
i turned 61 on the AT during my '06 thru and have been doing long and medium length hikes since. I did the AT to fulfill a long held dream and to make a clean break from my 38-year IT career. I had already done several week long backpacks so I knew I could handle the challenge. A bout with prostate cancer at age 58 taught me I better start doing some of the things I'd put off until "some day" because I might not live until "some day" arrived. I found that I had the financial resources to retire early, my family obligations had diminished, I had kept myself in fairly good physical shape, and my wife of then 35 years was and continues to be supportive.

i have continued long distance backpacking not only because I enjoy it, but because I felt as young and fit as I did at 25. (Damn mirrors set me straight on that.) I wanted to keep that feeling and have hiked now an additional 9000 miles on long trails. I plan to keep on keepin' on as long as I can. I enjoy both the comaraderie I've found on hikes on the more popular trails and the solitude on some of the less popular.

When I hiked the Arizona Trail, a man in his 40s on an ATV stopped as I was walking a forest road along a ridge after a climb of over 1000 feet in full sun asking, "Old man, are you OK?" I had to correct him. "I'm not old," I said. "I've simply reached advanced middle age." Last fall I hiked Vermont's Long Trail with a 24-year old and averaged 18 miles per day with average elevation gain of 3000 ft per day. This past January and February I completed the Florida Trail hiking over 1100 miles. I dare say I'm in better physical and mental shape than the day I retired nearly 11 years ago.

So many trails. So little time.

illabelle
03-15-2016, 07:02
i have continued long distance backpacking not only because I enjoy it, but because I felt as young and fit as I did at 25. (Damn mirrors set me straight on that.) I wanted to keep that feeling and have hiked now an additional 9000 miles on long trails. I plan to keep on keepin' on as long as I can. I enjoy both the comaraderie I've found on hikes on the more popular trails and the solitude on some of the less popular.

When I hiked the Arizona Trail, a man in his 40s on an ATV stopped as I was walking a forest road along a ridge after a climb of over 1000 feet in full sun asking, "Old man, are you OK?" I had to correct him. "I'm not old," I said. "I've simply reached advanced middle age." Last fall I hiked Vermont's Long Trail with a 24-year old and averaged 18 miles per day with average elevation gain of 3000 ft per day. This past January and February I completed the Florida Trail hiking over 1100 miles. I dare say I'm in better physical and mental shape than the day I retired nearly 11 years ago.

So many trails. So little time.

+1 This is how I wanna be!

Traillium
03-15-2016, 07:19
+1 Me too! (Living with prostate cancer and a wonderful supportive wife of 44+ years!)


Bruce Traillium

CedarKeyHiker
03-15-2016, 10:40
I thank everyone for participating in this query. It was much more than I expected. All of your answers have been inspirational. Some of them magic and some of them tragic but inspirational none the less. I am stepping off in two weeks for a LASH to Harpers Ferry and, who knows, maybe points north. I'll be taking many of these thoughts with me. I'm leaving in a few minutes for my last shakedown hike and three days in a Florida pine forest before I travel to Georgia. Good luck to everyone..."I'm growing older but not up, my metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck. Let the winds of time blow over my head, I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead." - Buffett