View Full Version : Are things better the second time around?

06-28-2016, 15:29
Has anyone failed a AT thru-hike. Then came back many years later
to try again and made it.
If so what took you off the trail and why did it take years to try again?

06-28-2016, 15:34
I failed (I wouldn't say failed, just ended sooner than I thought haha), but I hope to retry next year. Came off trail due to a death in the family, everything breaking at home and putting the wife under too much stress, hiking partner got hospitalized and had to quit, and a few other things that just happened all at once. Just couldn't handle it mentally, so I pulled off trail. Had a great time and it was everything I imagined it would be though. Can't wait to try it again. Also can't wait to see the replies, this should be interesting.

Gambit McCrae
06-28-2016, 16:27
This is from a section hikers POV, not a thru but I have quit several trips. The long drive wears you out, trip after trip of not seeing anything more then a trail in the woods, it gets old and about 1 out of 10 trips have just been quit. But be time I get about half way home and think..."you dumb#@*", and then get home and stew over it for a week or so, I find myself running back to it. I've learned from those quits, and they happen less and less, to stick to it, embrace the suck and in the end, no matter how crappy it was during the trip, it turned out to be a great one. I find myself planning less, and succeeding more(use some common sense here please). I am planning a week long jaunt starting in CT in October. My plan? to hike for 7 days.. no mileage goal or end destination. My end destination will be the first road I pass, after 12pm on the 7th day of hiking. Therefore there is no failure involved. The more I hike, the less emphasis I put on what is a pass or fail in the woods, the trees don't care, and that trail certainly doesn't care where you start or stop :) HYOH

06-28-2016, 18:56
Attempted thru in '90, quit about 650 miles into it. Did the HMW and Katahdin that same year in September.

Started doing sections years later, short ones at first, 35 miles or so, in Maine, then a few 100-milers. By the end of '06 I'd finished Katahdin to Lehigh Gap (Palmerton.)

The next summer I did a 600 mile section from there back to where I'd quit in '90.

Since then, haven't done more than 3 or 4 days at a time in the woods, but I did manage to finish the LT last summer. I revisit bits of the trail whenever I get a chance.

This spring I did a bike ride on the GAP trail that took me to Harpers Ferry again. Love that town. I got to ride my bike on a couple of miles of AT, where the AT follows the C & O Canal tow path. Much faster and easier on a bike!

Lone Wolf
06-28-2016, 19:05
i quit my first attempt after 1800+ miles. was not fun anymore. fine physically and financially. enuf was enuf

Don H
06-28-2016, 19:17
I like Gambit's idea, 7 days, no set destination, hike as far as you want, go home when your times up.

06-28-2016, 20:28
Has anyone failed a AT thru-hike. ...
?Nobody has ever "failed" an AT thruhike. Many have not finished, but merely setting out on the attempt has placed you far above what the average person ever takes on. It is a dream for so many that let it be only a dream. If you are among the (relative) few who actually set out for the other end, you did not fail. You achieved beyond the reach of many of those who only say, "Someday...".

Teacher & Snacktime
06-28-2016, 20:48
I am planning a week long jaunt starting in CT in October. My plan? to hike for 7 days.. no mileage goal or end destination.

Let me know when you plan to start and a guess at your anticipated speed (not a plan, mind you...just a guess). Sometimes things happen and people appear and surprises make the trip all the more fun!