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sacosta
12-18-2007, 18:13
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

dessertrat
12-18-2007, 18:15
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Offer to let her go with you?

I take it she's not much of a hiker, or she would understand.

Honestly, some people today have no patience. Six months? In the grand scheme of things, that's nothing, and she should want you to be happy and do this trip. How old is she? Can't she meet you in a couple of towns along the way, at least? Spend a weekend?

T-Dubs
12-18-2007, 18:17
Give it some time. Around here it was a good transition when my reluctant spouse starting saying, 'when you hike the Trail' instead of 'if you hike....'

It takes some getting used to. Put the shoe on the other foot and think how you would first react to her being gone for that length of time.

TWS

RockyBob
12-18-2007, 18:18
Time to find a new girlfriend

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 18:19
you got 2 years to start workin' on her

Jack Tarlin
12-18-2007, 18:19
If you've explained that it's a life-long dream, and that this is a rare opportunity for you to make this dream a reality, then what you're left with is someone who's more concerned with her own mental security (or insecurity) issues than with supporting you and your dreams.

I think you should hike.

If your relationship survives, well that's great. Sometimes, absence makes relationships grow stronger.

And if your relationship doesn't survive the trip, well you'll deal with that, too.

At 41, you still have time to find someone who shares your interests, supports your dreams and goals, and doesn't guilt-trip you into abandoning them.

You said that if you don't hike, you may well end up regretting it, and being angry about it, and resentful about it, for the rest of your life.

Is that really how you wanna spend the next 35 years? :-?

thestin
12-18-2007, 18:20
2010 is still over 2 years away. A lot can change in your life by then. You and your girlfriend could get married, or you could break up.

shades of blue
12-18-2007, 18:20
You could have her intimately involved in the planning, support of this hike. She could come visit with you in different sections of the trail. She would have to work at it, and so would you, but it would be worth it. My wife was my girlfriend at the time of my long distance hikes 3 months for the last major one. I know many people have spouses that have helped and been involved. If the girlfriend is worth it, she should work with you. If not, you might be dodging a bullet by her not being supportive.

Jack Tarlin
12-18-2007, 18:25
In retrospect, my first post was hastily written and more than a little cold.

Shades had it right. If you involve your friend in every facet of your trip, and let her know she's an integral part of it, she may come around. Have her help with your planning, scheduling, itinerary, gear. Put her in charge of your maildrops and re-supply. Ask if she wants to transcribe your journal. Plan on finding places where she can join you and take a more active part in the trip. Try and encourage her to actually join you by hiking some of the Trail. The more involved she is with your hike, the more supportive she'll be.

Then again, she may stomp her foot and express no interest in helping you whatsover.

In that case, along with a pack, boots, and other stuff needed for the next phase of your life, I'd shop for a new girlfriend.

wrongway_08
12-18-2007, 18:29
Just keep talking to her about it, include her in on the plans.
Make it clear to her that this Thru-hike will happen! Dont let her think that you might not go - that you are just day dreaming.
If she knows its important to you, she will understand and be there for you. If not, let her go - you dont want someone that wont stand behind you on your dreams.

4eyedbuzzard
12-18-2007, 18:32
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Have her read this post for starters. It's your ONE AND ONLY lifetime. You have to do what you want. If she leaves you because of it, so be it. Harsh, but if you don't go now that you have the opportunity, you'll be miserable and resent her for a very long time. She has to understand that. That virtual guarantees a lousy resentful relationship, which is worse than no relationship. Have her meet you in trail towns like others have suggested. Besides, most people get bored and tired of thru-huking and don't finish anyway.

The Mrs. Buzzard understands that me taking time away for hiking and golf is just part of the package. She'd rather I be away than be moping around miserable because I'm not doing what I want. People need to do what they need to do. If they can do it together with their spouse/SO, that's just a big bonus.

The Old Fhart
12-18-2007, 18:42
I agree that trying to get your girlfriend involved in the planning of the trip to make it her trip as well is a good way to approach this issue. It will also give you the time to see if she will understand that your dream of hiking the trail doesn't mean you love her less.

There is also one other possibility others have mentioned as well and in "The Appalachian Tale" by Don Hirsohm he described a similar situation:

I began my Appalachian Trail hike on April 16, 1982 and made it from Springer Mt., Georgia to Catawba, Virginia before a phone call home revealed that my girlfriend back in California had tolerated just about enough of my foolish lark in the woods.

It was 1984 before I managed to get away again and pick up the trail where I’d left off in Catawba. I hiked 150 miles to Rockfish Gap where the Shenandoah Park begins before hitching down to Waynesboro, Virginia for supplies. I phoned home from the fire-house there to report progress: my trusty girlfriend informed me right there and then that, if I didn’t get back to California pronto, I would find my belongings collecting dust…out in the street. I was beginning to notice a pattern here.

A year later I was back in Waynesboro again, ready to hitch up to Rockfish Gap and re-commence my Appalachian Trail hike with 1300 miles left to go – my prospects now bolstered by the fact that I was 3 years older and wiser, and by the certainty that my girlfriend was scheduled to marry some other guy in September.
Good luck, however it goes. You may have to make a tough decision between the two choices if common ground can't be found.

sacosta
12-18-2007, 18:46
I've really just recently started planning the trip in earnest, and I have made it pretty clear that the trip "will" happen. I think the reality that I'm actully starting to plan the trip is bothering her. See also seems to get upset at the fact that all of my friends are supporting me.

I've invited her to come with me and she has declined saying that she doesn't have time to waste 6 months of her life. I've mentioned her helping me, and she says she's not going to help me leave her alone for 6 months.

I've told her that if she has any life-long dreams that I'll help her accomplish them. All to no avail.

I took a trip to Springer Mountain a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited to have been there, but she gave me nothing but grief afterwards.

I know 2 years is a long time. Who knows where my relationship will be with her by then? I've tried to put myself in her shoes and I can somewhat understand her fears, but at the same time I just can't grasp how she can't find it in herself to support my dreams.

Jack Tarlin
12-18-2007, 18:50
I think you're answering your own question.

And something to think about: The next time you have an important goal or "life dream", whether it's moving to another part of the country, or going back to school, or radically changing your career......will she support you then?

Seems to me she's essentially more interested in giving you ultimatums than trying to find some middle ground or a compromise.

In re. to her ultimatum:

Accept it, with regrets.

And have a great hike!

BigStu
12-18-2007, 18:52
Well for my two penn'orth (or two cents, if you prefer) there should be a little give-and-take in everything and the chance to do this hike with an easy heart and clear head is what you should be given.

If this is a thought out and well considered decision of yours (which I am sure that it is) then maybe this is time to say 'Sorry Honey, this one's for me'

4eyedbuzzard
12-18-2007, 18:54
In the future, what other things will she not support you in doing? What if you have a great job offer on the east coast? What if it's in a foreign country? What if you want to take a big pay cut and change careers at some point? What if, what if, what if...?

What's her answer gonna be?

bigcranky
12-18-2007, 18:57
You said that if you don't hike, you may well end up regretting it, and being angry about it, and resentful about it, for the rest of your life.

Is that really how you wanna spend the next 35 years? :-?


On this note, would your GF want to spend the rest of her life with someone who is angry and resentful at her?

The good news is that you do indeed have two years to work on this. My personal take is that you should indeed involve her in the planning as much as she is willing. Just be clear that this is something you are going to do -- and not give false hope that you'll abandon this dream at the last minute if she still doesn't like the idea.

wrongway_08
12-18-2007, 18:59
Give her some time, sounds like this reaction has come about fairly recently.
Also sounds like she think you are picking the trail over her, make it clear to her that is not the case.

Also dont forget about the fact it might scare the shi$ outta her that you will be gone for so long. She might be thinking "what if something happens to me, you, the house, car, how will I take care of these things?"

My wife just started cryn because I am leaving for my trip march 1st - sitting next to me right now, reading as I am typn. Her big worry is what if something happens to me or her and we are not there for each other.
She doesnt want me to go but like you, this has been something I have wanted to since around the age og 8 or so. She is willing to put up with it/support me :).

Keep talking to her and let her join in the WB site, might answer some questions/fears she has.

Give

ScottP
12-18-2007, 19:04
Well, part of me says, "Kick that bi+<I-I to the curb."

Some says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. For a lot of people, hiking is a top priority. Beware the answers you get."

And the rest says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. What answer are you looking for?"

doggiebag
12-18-2007, 19:07
Give her some time, sounds like this reaction has come about fairly recently.
Also sounds like she think you are picking the trail over her, make it clear to her that is not the case.

Also dont forget about the fact it might scare the shi$ outta her that you will be gone for so long. She might be thinking "what if something happens to me, you, the house, car, how will I take care of these things?"

My wife just started cryn because I am leaving for my trip march 1st - sitting next to me right now, reading as I am typn. Her big worry is what if something happens to me or her and we are not there for each other.
She doesnt want me to go but like you, this has been something I have wanted to since around the age og 8 or so. She is willing to put up with it/support me :).

Keep talking to her and let her join in the WB site, might answer some questions/fears she has.

Give
To possibly alleviate your wife's concern ... or it may add to it ...
I'll track your progress and I'll time it so that I'll be in the same area if not keeping up with you for the last 400 miles or so from the Whites to Kath. I'm sure Sasquatch would be there for a some of it. You won't be alone. It will be awesome. But one step at a time ... you got a good shot at this from what I know.

dessertrat
12-18-2007, 19:08
I've really just recently started planning the trip in earnest, and I have made it pretty clear that the trip "will" happen. I think the reality that I'm actully starting to plan the trip is bothering her. See also seems to get upset at the fact that all of my friends are supporting me.

I've invited her to come with me and she has declined saying that she doesn't have time to waste 6 months of her life. I've mentioned her helping me, and she says she's not going to help me leave her alone for 6 months.

I've told her that if she has any life-long dreams that I'll help her accomplish them. All to no avail.

I took a trip to Springer Mountain a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited to have been there, but she gave me nothing but grief afterwards.

I know 2 years is a long time. Who knows where my relationship will be with her by then? I've tried to put myself in her shoes and I can somewhat understand her fears, but at the same time I just can't grasp how she can't find it in herself to support my dreams.

From the way you describe her, she reminds me of my ex-girlfriend.

EX, I said. She thinks hiking the Appalachian Trail is a waste of time? What, to her, is a good use of your time? Working at a job you don't like every day, and watching CSI and drinking beer every night?

sacosta
12-18-2007, 19:10
Well, part of me says, "Kick that bi+<I-I to the curb."

Some says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. For a lot of people, hiking is a top priority. Beware the answers you get."

And the rest says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. What answer are you looking for?"

Very interesting quote. I would assume this audience would be slanted towards hiking the trail. Maybe I'm just looking for affirmation. Makes me go Hmmmmm.

But at the same time I "know" that I would never try to squash one of her dreams.

CoyoteWhips
12-18-2007, 19:18
Man, it's a good thing you're not in the millitary and away for months at a time on deployment.

I've seen guys give up their lifelong dreams for their girlfriends. They quit the band, sell the sailboat, hang up the mit. Is the AT the only dream she wants to kill?

I am fortunate that if I told my wife I'm going for a six month walk, she'd say, "See you in October." But we've been married eighteen years, so it's not like she hasn't seen me a lot already.

wrongway_08
12-18-2007, 19:19
[quote=doggiebag;476958]To possibly alleviate your wife's concern ... or it may add to it ...
I'll track your progress and I'll time it so that I'll be in the same area if not keeping up with you for the last 400 miles or so from the Whites to Kath. I'm sure Sasquatch would be there for a some of it. You won't be alone. It will be awesome. But one step at a time ... you got a good shot at this from what I know.[/quote

Thanks for the offer, she will be in contact with me along the way but she is just really scared I'll get hurt, lost or bit by a snake - have a bad habit of grabbing every snake I see for a photo opt. :) !!

I am also have a map for her to keep tract of me on. Plans are for her too meet me a little ways South from Harpers ferry, then at Harpers Ferry, then a little ways North of Harpers Ferry.

bigben
12-18-2007, 19:19
I should have thru-hiked when I graduated college back in 1994 but didn't because my then fiance "wouldn't let me." We talked about it, I worked on her and worked on her, but she adamantly refused to be cool with it, threatening to break off our relationship(then of 6 years) if I did it. That's a lot of time to have invested in a relationship to just break it off, but in retrospect, that's exactly what I should have done. We broke up a year later, at which point I started my first "real" post college job, and ever since life has prevented me from thru-hiking. I'm 35 now, and it'll be 21 more years before I can see myself thruhiking. I'm married to another woman and have 2 great kids and a great job, house, dog, etc. I can't just leave all that for half a year. SO I can't do it until I retire. I do a week or two section hike each spring NOBO but that's about it.

If you have the chance now, do it. If you don't, it might be 20 years before you get another one. I regret not having hiked it when I DID have the chance everyday.

Bigben

doggiebag
12-18-2007, 19:23
[quote=doggiebag;476958]To possibly alleviate your wife's concern ... or it may add to it ...
I'll track your progress and I'll time it so that I'll be in the same area if not keeping up with you for the last 400 miles or so from the Whites to Kath. I'm sure Sasquatch would be there for a some of it. You won't be alone. It will be awesome. But one step at a time ... you got a good shot at this from what I know.[/quote

Thanks for the offer, she will be in contact with me along the way but she is just really scared I'll get hurt, lost or bit by a snake - have a bad habit of grabbing every snake I see for a photo opt. :) !!

I am also have a map for her to keep tract of me on. Plans are for her too meet me a little ways South from Harpers ferry, then at Harpers Ferry, then a little ways North of Harpers Ferry.

Most snake bites on the AT are self-inflicted.

Smile
12-18-2007, 19:26
If someone truly cares for you, they will set what "they want" aside and be happy that you have a desire, and opportunity to fulfill your own dreams.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and some of them hike too :)

wrongway_08
12-18-2007, 19:27
[quote=wrongway_08;476972]

Most snake bites on the AT are self-inflicted.

Yup, usually by some idiot grabbing one......:D ...... but I dont mess with Rattlers.... they some fast striking suns of guns.

wrongway_08
12-18-2007, 19:35
If someone truly cares for you, they will set what "they want" aside and be happy that you have a desire, and opportunity to fulfill your own dreams.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and some of them hike too :)


X2

I should mention that when I first met my Wife, I put off the A.T. to start on us and get the house, car and all that. Worse move I ever did, should have done it back then, right out of high school.
Now 14 years later, I am leaving my job to do this Thru-hike. This means I will have to start over - still have the house and all but its the job thing that sucks. Its not going to be easy but just about every day I thought about the TH I didnt do - now its time.

You have the chance to do it, dont wait and then 10 or 20 years later still be kicking your self in the arse for not doing it.

Lone Wolf
12-18-2007, 19:38
Very interesting quote. I would assume this audience would be slanted towards hiking the trail. Maybe I'm just looking for affirmation. Makes me go Hmmmmm.

But at the same time I "know" that I would never try to squash one of her dreams.

thank christ you're not in the military and had to ship out to iraq for a year or more. she'd leave you for sure.
have you done any long distance backpacking? or any at all?
why a thru hike? most fail that attempt one. do a big section to see if you like it. fantasy and reality are two different things. 50% of marriages end in divorce

cannonball
12-18-2007, 19:45
Loose the girlfriend. Haven't you seen enough allready? Get some one who is not nearly as manipulative.

Flush2wice
12-18-2007, 19:52
My opinion- you should seriously consider dumping her. I know that's harsh but that's the way I see it. Security and control issues won't get better. You'll regret it for years if you give in. I've known women like that and they don't change. That's what I would do- you have to decide for yourself.

Cuffs
12-18-2007, 19:57
What I keep reading is "Im leaving her." Sounds like she is insecure in your relationship. You are not doing this trip in order to "leave her." You have to take care of yourself first. Maybe theres something you can do to comfort her, to make her understand you are not leaving her, but just going on an adventure and want her to be a part of it with you... you will need mail drops, someone to journal for you, someone to call to let everyone know you are still alive. This would be a great "job" for her and keep her involved.

If she is still not up for it... well, like others have said, its time for her to go. It may be next week or the day you leave for the trail, but, again, you have to take care of yourself first. Too many people put others before their own well being and wind up suffering instead.

I think she wants the world to revolve around her and you must sacrifice to make that happen... well, hate to tell her, but thats not the way it works.

Have you asked her what extrordinary goal she wants to attain? Can it be reached before you leave in 2010? Maybe if that can be done-together- she will see that you too have a goal and it will take both of you to get you thru it.

All for now, but Im sure I'll be back to this thread for sure!

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-18-2007, 20:13
Socosta, if it isn't too personal - may I ak how long you and your girlfriend have been together and what plans you have for permanency? Unless you two have an extensive history and have plans for happily ever after, I'm inclined to agree with what several here have said -- this lady doesn't seem to be a good fit for you.

Bearpaw
12-18-2007, 20:20
Some says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. For a lot of people, hiking is a top priority. Beware the answers you get."

And the rest says, "Remember where you came to ask this question. What answer are you looking for?"

If you really want to thru-hike, the hike pretty much HAS to be your biggest priority, barring a TRUE family emergency. From what you've said, I wouldn't even consider trusting her to support me. It sounds like an invitation to more manipulation, in the form of none of your maildrops reaching you.

I met a new girlfriend about 2 months before I started my thru-hike. The hike was set. She knew this. I involved her by letters, phone calls, and letting her drive me in my truck to Amicalola Falls. I also arranged for her to come visit me in Hot Springs. But by Pearisburg, she basically gave me the ultimatum that it was leave the trail or leave her. There was never even a second thought for me. If I had left her with my maildrops or any critical gear......:eek:

For me, hiking is such a part of my lifestyle (with summers pretty much sacred for long-distance trails) that I couldn't marry any woman who didn't appreciate this. Fortunately my fiancee gets this and genuinely enjoys the shorter trips we do together. And she keeps the home fires burning safely when I'm out there for a month or more.

You can find one too. It just doesn't sound like you've found one yet.

Javasanctum
12-18-2007, 21:05
I apologize for correctly answering your question. Sometimes there is a bigger issue that can not be ignored:

Regrets last a lifetime, avoid them at all costs. Persue your dreams. This is an excellent screening process for potential, life-long partners. You'll be doing you and your future children a favor. Don't waste this opportunity (and luxury) to let that which can not stand up to diversity fall by the wayside now. It would be a pity if your kids never get to share your love for the trail because of insecurity and fear. That's no life for you or them, you will be dead before you are burried.

Tell her you will not go if she can give you a good reason why this is unhealthy for your relationship. ONLY if this is done while you are both sitting in front of a professional counselor. Sounds harsh but I have to aggree with most of the previous responses.

You must do the hike!!!!!!!!!! There is no easy answer.

Lilred
12-18-2007, 21:12
I've been married for 22 years, and it is beyond my comprehension how one human can try to tell another what they can or can't do. Anything my husband has wanted to do, I supported him totally and never once thought to try and talk him out of it. Including packing up our house and 2 year old and moving to Nashville, with no jobs lined up, to see if he could make it in the music business, his dream. He made it, and he is very happy with his career.

He also supports me totally and has never dreamed of trying to tell me what I can or can't do, including hiking the AT every summer, by myself. If you think he's not worried about his nearly 50 year old wife hiking alone in the woods, think again, he worries terribly. But, he never tells me about it, and does whatever he can to help me get to and from the trail. THAT is a true partnership. NO games, no manipulations, no ultimatums. Just two humans going thru life trying to help each other succeed. Look for that in a mate and you'll have something worth hanging onto. I'm a very lucky woman.

Javasanctum
12-18-2007, 21:12
I meant ... "I apologize for NOT answering your question correctly"...
I apologize for correctly answering your question. Sometimes there is a bigger issue that can not be ignored:

Regrets last a lifetime, avoid them at all costs. Persue your dreams. This is an excellent screening process for potential, life-long partners. You'll be doing you and your future children a favor. Don't waste this opportunity (and luxury) to let that which can not stand up to diversity fall by the wayside now. It would be a pity if your kids never get to share your love for the trail because of insecurity and fear. That's no life for you or them, you will be dead before you are burried.

Tell her you will not go if she can give you a good reason why this is unhealthy for your relationship. ONLY if this is done while you are both sitting in front of a professional counselor. Sounds harsh but I have to aggree with most of the previous responses.

You must do the hike!!!!!!!!!! There is no easy answer.

Cuffs
12-18-2007, 21:24
Excellent example LilRed!!! Your hubby have a brother!?!?

Frosty
12-18-2007, 21:25
First of all, plan a day trip together to the SORUCK. You will each learn a lot about each other.

Are you away from her at all or do you two spend all your time together? Do either of you do anything the other does not do? I mean, is this about hiking, or just being apart from each other? You can be apart but be together.

One thing you did not mention is how she reacts to your backpacking now, if you backpack now. If you do not, consider weekend backpacking.

Go off for an overnight backpack. See how she reacts. Weekend backpacking is hardly a waste of time. If she still objects to your being away from her at all, then you know what to expect for the rest of your life. Constant togetherness works for some, not for others.

It might turn out that she is mostly fearful for your safety, and continued weekend trips might allay her fears.

After a few weekend trips, plan a weeklong trip next spring, maybe the GA section of the AT in March or April when the thruhikers start. It will give you a chance to see how much you like it, and her a chance to see how she will feel with you gone.

If none of this works, you can use my method. I can always get wifely permission to go hiking, and I attribute it to my supportive personality and behavior as a spouse.

You see, I try to help my wife to be the best she can be by pointing out everything she does wrong, and what she should have done. No matter how tired I am, I always find time to point out her faults.

She appreciates this immensely. Not only does she reciprocate by letting me go hiking, she is so attuned to my needs that she insists that I go on a regular basis.

And if I don't go often enough, she encourages me to take a hike.

"Get out of the house," she'll say lovingly. "Go. Go somewhere, anywhere, just go away for a while."

It's sweet when two people can connect like that.

Also consider the NEED for each of you to be an indididual.

As Kalil Gibran said in the Prophet:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

- - Kalil Gibran in The Prophet

Bearpaw
12-18-2007, 21:41
If none of this works, you can use my method. I can always get wifely permission to go hiking, and I attribute it to my supportive personality and behavior as a spouse.

You see, I try to help my wife to be the best she can be by pointing out everything she does wrong, and what she should have done. No matter how tired I am, I always find time to point out her faults.

She appreciates this immensely. Not only does she reciprocate by letting me go hiking, she is so attuned to my needs that she insists that I go on a regular basis.

And if I don't go often enough, she encourages me to take a hike.

"Get out of the house," she'll say lovingly. "Go. Go somewhere, anywhere, just go away for a while."

It's sweet when two people can connect like that.


I am SO using this formula!! I'm fortunate my fiancee has a sense of humor. :banana

Almost There
12-18-2007, 21:41
A spouse supports the person he/she loves and the things they desire to do most in the world. If we could afford me taking time off for a hike then she would support it because she knows by fulfilling a dream it would make me a better man and husband. I in turn would support anything she wanted to do as bad as I desire to one day hike. If a spouse doesn't gain any joy out of the other living out a dream then the question must be, "Is she in the relationship for the both of you, or only for what she gets out of it?"

My wife and I miss each other when I go out to hike each summer, but we deal because of the satisfaction I gain from it and the happiness she feels in seeing me happy.

One other thing that should be said, and it doesn't sound like your significant can do this, is something that AWOL said about his thru hike and that is:

We talked about how demoralizing it would be for her to express regrets about me being away. On the trail you will have your low points - times when you feel like quitting. You got to have your spouse help with two things: 1) They should never agree with you that it is time to quit or say that you have hiked "enough" before finishing the trail, 2) They should never let you know how tough things are without you - even if they feel that way. You both have to be in it together and that's just what your partner has to agree to if you are going to do the trail. If he/she contributes to your doubts while you are gone, you are "finished" before you ever leave home.

I have heard this sentiment echoed many times by thru hikers with significant others/families. If you stay with her this will be the most important psychological hurdle for you to overcome, and most can't if both people aren't on the same page.

Sorry for your problem, but it is something to iron out if you really want to make a serious attempt.

Chaco Taco
12-18-2007, 21:41
Wow, I just went through this a few months ago!!! After I got back from my last hike, my gf and I had it out and she told me that I needed to make a choice between my life with her and my hiking. Well, we broke up (not just because of the hiking) and a few months later, we are starting to hang out and see each other again. She said to me the other night, "Im sorry for not being supportive of your dreams and making them seem so small. Go for it, go for Maine, Ill be there at the top waiting for you."

Just know that its a big decision. It is also hard for someone that does not do what we do to understand. You may have to decide what is more important to you and how much sacrifice you want to make going for a thru. Whatever happens, good luck. I do not envy you right now but can tell you that it gets better!

trlhiker
12-18-2007, 21:53
I would guess that she either has extreme seperation anxiety, which my wife had because her first husband left her for another woman, or she is very controlling.
With seperation anxiety, it has taken me 6 years to get my wife to enable me to go backpacking without her getting all upset that I would possibly find someone else on the trail to replace her. She now realizes that this would never happen but I still believe it is in the back of her mind, because she always asks me how many woman are going, by the way she first reacts when I tell her I am going on a weekend trip. I end up telling her that she could always go with me and that usually breaks any ice present.

Froggy
12-18-2007, 21:55
Generally speaking, it's better to be close to people that help you reach and extend yourself, than otherwise.

4eyedbuzzard
12-18-2007, 21:56
LOL @ frosty.

Appalachian Tater
12-18-2007, 21:59
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Sure. Promise to marry her when you get back, back it up with an official announcement and a ring. Otherwise, she's basically right in her thinking that she's not as important to you as she feels she ought to be. If you don't want to get engaged, then you should break it off and let her find someone who wants a more lasting relationship. At your age, it's not the hiking that's the real problem.

Blissful
12-18-2007, 22:06
Well, you've still got time and a lot can happen by then!

My hubby wasn't thrilled at all when I mentioned my 2007 hike back in 2005. Until he got out there with me, got to hike SNP and northern VA, interact with the trail community, etc. Loved it and was very supportive from then on. Now we hope to do the whole trail again, together, in a few years.

Sly
12-18-2007, 22:07
Sure. Promise to marry her when you get back, back it up with an official announcement and a ring. Otherwise, she's basically right in her thinking that she's not as important to you as she feels she ought to be. If you don't want to get engaged, then you should break it off and let her find someone who wants a more lasting relationship.

Nice sentiment but she sounds too controling to even consider marriage, atleast at this point in their relationship. May I suggest you bring her to the mountains for a few days. Over MLK weekend would be a perfect time. Maybe you'll run into kindred spirits and she'll be better informed, as will you.

See link in sig. :D

max patch
12-18-2007, 22:11
If your girlfriend doesn't understand that you probably have the wrong girlfriend.

Smile
12-18-2007, 22:23
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=30795&page=2

Check out post #79
Put rather well, and something to think about :)

pitdog
12-18-2007, 22:24
One can always find a new one.

Jim Adams
12-18-2007, 22:43
2 examples:

In the early 1970's I was a professional athlete that was in the top 20 in the U.S. in my sport and climbing quickly. I made a very good living and it was getting better every year. I was away from my family 3-4 days / week for 8 months per year. My ex-wife gave me the ultimatum to either quit or get a divorce...I quit for the good of the family.
Three years later I was divorced anyway and too old to get back into it at that level. I realized that although her and I were married for 11 years after a 3 year relationship, she had never really supported anything that I had done both pre-quitting and post quitting. I regret it EVERY day...what if?????

2007...1-2 Many begins his 15 year dream of thru hiking the AT. His new girlfriend is totally against it. He hikes to Franklin and absolutely loved it. He then went home for 1 WEEKEND to participate in a wedding and never went back....his girlfriend didn't ALLOW him to go back! $4,000 and 3 serious years of planning were wasted because this girl that he had been in a relationship with for 4 months refused to continue the relationship if he returned to hiking. They have broken-up and gotten back together 4-5 times since his return in April and now doesn't have the money to continue even if the relationship ends. He has attempted to take her hiking and camping several times since then but she continually fights him about it and refuses to ALLOW him to interact with any of his hiking buddies because they are all bad influences.

If you truely love this woman and will abide by her wishes for the rest of your life then marry her now and begin the change now..................
......................see you on Springer in March!

geek

Cuffs
12-18-2007, 22:49
she always asks me how many woman are going,

Bring her along on a trip... let her see our unshaven legs, greasy hair, dirty fingernails, and general over all smelly-ness. She will see just how unattractive we really are!

doggiebag
12-18-2007, 22:55
Bring her along on a trip... let her see our unshaven legs, greasy hair, dirty fingernails, and general over all smelly-ness. She will see just how unattractive we really are!
For some strange reason I'm both repulsed and excited at the same time :eek:
Weird!

Almost There
12-18-2007, 22:56
You're one sick man, DoggieBag

pitdog
12-18-2007, 22:58
The women I met on my thru hike were very clean.Only one south bounder,I met, looked dirty.

Bearpaw
12-18-2007, 23:05
let her see our unshaven legs, greasy hair, dirty fingernails, and general over all smelly-ness.

Hairy, tanned, muscular lady hiker calves are SO sexy....:jump

pitdog
12-18-2007, 23:08
I wouldn't get carried away with stigmatizing.Our views of the world are highly selective.lol

CoyoteWhips
12-18-2007, 23:09
I'd got the impression that the AT was just as good a place to meet women as comic book conventions and monster truck rallies.

Yeah, it happens, but you wouldn't put it on the brochure.

pitdog
12-18-2007, 23:13
Yesterday nitewalker and I went up and over Watchuset.There,s a few feet of snow and we broke the trail.It was cold but the views were great.Gf didn't mind.

River Runner
12-18-2007, 23:18
Sacosta,

The only thing I can advise is to tell her you will do the hike with or without her support. Reassure her that you will call her at every opportunity, she is welcome to visit you anywhere on the trail, and you will be back to your old locale within six months ready to resume the life you temporarily put on hiatus while you accomplished what you've wanted to do since a teen. If she decides to support you, great!

If she decides not to, then it is time to move on. At that point, she knows where you will be. If she chooses not to deal with that, you don't have to worry about leaving her, she has left you.

You are 41 years old according to your profile. At that age, I believe you are old enough to know that being in a controlling relationship is no way to live. No girlfriend or boyfriend is worth giving up your dreams. As many others have pointed out, relationships don't always last even when you think they will. Both of you should be able to deal with being comfortable on your own at some point in the future, even if you enjoy being together now. If it doesn't work out, well there are lots of fish in the sea - you may even find one that likes to hike!

River Runner
12-18-2007, 23:21
I'd got the impression that the AT was just as good a place to meet women as comic book conventions and monster truck rallies.

Yeah, it happens, but you wouldn't put it on the brochure.

Ah, but if it happens, at least you know you've got someone who won't complain when you pursue your dream/hobby/love. :sun

Sly
12-18-2007, 23:31
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=30795&page=2

Check out post #79
Put rather well, and something to think about :)

Hint: If you click on the number in the post in the top right hand corner, it will bring you directly to the post url.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=477187&postcount=79

take-a-knee
12-18-2007, 23:34
Tell her that not only are you gonna thru, you need to borrow some money from her to finance it.

Sly
12-18-2007, 23:35
Tell her that not only are you gonna thru, you need to borrow some money from her to finance it.

LOL... Yeah, and when you're finished with the AT, you're doing the PCT...

CoyoteWhips
12-18-2007, 23:47
Yesterday nitewalker and I went up and over Watchuset.There,s a few feet of snow and we broke the trail.It was cold but the views were great.Gf didn't mind.

Actually got snowshoe weather 'round here. Can't count on that every year.

They'll still have the snow cannons going on the slopes, though, eh?

Blue Jay
12-19-2007, 02:09
Is the AT the only dream she wants to kill?


This is a GREAT question.

Blue Jay
12-19-2007, 02:14
I should have thru-hiked when I graduated college back in 1994 but didn't because my then fiance "wouldn't let me." We talked about it, I worked on her and worked on her, but she adamantly refused to be cool with it, threatening to break off our relationship(then of 6 years) if I did it. That's a lot of time to have invested in a relationship to just break it off, but in retrospect, that's exactly what I should have done. We broke up a year later, at which point I started my first "real" post college job, and ever since life has prevented me from thru-hiking. I'm 35 now, and it'll be 21 more years before I can see myself thruhiking. I'm married to another woman and have 2 great kids and a great job, house, dog, etc. I can't just leave all that for half a year. SO I can't do it until I retire. I do a week or two section hike each spring NOBO but that's about it.

If you have the chance now, do it. If you don't, it might be 20 years before you get another one. I regret not having hiked it when I DID have the chance everyday.

Bigben

Another GREAT post. Any of you out there who are letting a someone keep you down. Do you really want to be this guy? I know three people who died waiting for their dreams. You have one shot at this life, take it.

Blue Jay
12-19-2007, 02:20
Bring her along on a trip... let her see our unshaven legs, greasy hair, dirty fingernails, and general over all smelly-ness. She will see just how unattractive we really are!

Now this is not a convincing argument as for many hikers, myself included, this is a description of the ideal woman.

Pepsi la
12-19-2007, 02:40
After seeing the movie, "Into the Wild", my boyfriend gets sullen and suspicious....finally asking..."Are you thinking about going to Alaska???!!!"
*Bingo* Perfect timing for the introduction..."Oh no honey, not at all...but I do want to hike the Appalachian Trail in a few years".
He: "Oh, okay then!":)

double d
12-19-2007, 03:02
I realize that you love your girlfriend, but......she has got to be way more supportive of you. Why not have her meet you in a trailtown for a few days every couple of weeks? Ask yourself this question: Does she want to share her life with you or control your life while your with her? Sorry to be so hard on you, we are about the same age (I'm 39) and guess what? Someday we are going to wake up and wonder how the hell we got to be 75 years of age so fast. Now....ask yourself another question, will you be happier if you didn't thru hike the AT when you turn 75 (God willing, that is)?

NICKTHEGREEK
12-19-2007, 06:38
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
She's right, as far as she's concerned it's not OK. So what will you regret more, losing the woman you claim to love, or not hiking the AT?

Wanderingson
12-19-2007, 07:35
Sacosta,

I'll add my$1.98 worth here my friend. This may be a little long winded so grab you a beverage and sit down and have a good read.

I have been passionate about the great outdoors for my entire life. I had a previous (Ex) wife who despised the outdoors. I still found my ways to escape when I could, but something was genuinely missing during my marriage to that woman. I was a prisoner to her guilt trips about running of and doing my thing.

Years later I got my freedom and have not looked back.

8 years ago I met the most spectacular woman in the world. She had never spent a single night out under the stars of been on a camping trip. I reflected on a few things a wise old timer had related to me ans life has been great since.

I broke her into the great outdoors by ensuring that her first exposure was a very enjoyable experience. Just an overnight camping trip. Next trip was a weekend trip. Soon we out buying her some gear and she was chalking up some trail miles. Sure I had to show some patience and allow her to go at her own pace, but still still did her part to give it a try.

As time progresses, I started breaking her into snowshoe trips as well. I nearly lost her intrest after a radical snowshoe trip in Northern Japan that kicked her butt. She now owns her own set of snowshoes. She has even been known to initiate a trip without me asking her--wow now that's what I call progress.

She now fully understands that I am passionate about doing the AT in years to come, but will support the 6-month seperation because this is a life-long passion. She is not thrilled about another extended seperation, but I will be including her in the process by having her as my logistics support for mail drops and transcsribing journals.

We recently returned from a 14-day safari in Kenya. On of our stops was at Amboseli at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. I already have a few little hills under my belt and Kilimanjaro has always been on my list of hills to climb. After seeing the mountain first hand, the fire was egnited. I know have her blessing to go for this dream, but I have to compromise and let her safari while I am on the hill.

I'll share with you that if I was controlled like I was during my first marriage, I would be single again. I have found the right approach to getting her blessing in all of my quests.

I will share with you that I was also sucessful in bringing her to Kuwait with me. Now how many women do you know that would be willing to do that. It's all in finding the right approach my friend.

Find the right way to get her excited about your passions or understand what it means to you. I'm not sure how long you have been with her, but perhaps you will need to take a gambler approach to this relationship.

Only you will be able to determine if you will hold them or fold them and when it's time to cash them in.

superman
12-19-2007, 07:38
It's time for a new girlfriend. Hike on.

rickb
12-19-2007, 08:07
FWIW, some women actually want to see themselves married a few years into a relationship. Gives them a sense of emotional security and all that. Go figure.

Not sure how many unmarried women dream of maintaining the status quo a couple years out, but I am sure the number is growing.

Then again, the number who look forward to staying single and sending their no-committed (in a legal sense) partner away for 6-months has got to be smaller.

Bottom line, screw the Trail and marry the lady.

Or not. What the bleep can anyo0ne on the net tell you about your own life. Go watch Dr. Phil.

rafe
12-19-2007, 08:14
Reminds me of a song by the Lovin' Spoonful (http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/didyouev.htm) from the 1960s, with this line in the refrain: "Did you ever have to make up your mind?"

Deadeye
12-19-2007, 09:29
Ditch the girl and go. And change the mindset about spouses or significant others "letting" you do things. If you don't go, you'll resent her the rest of your life, and if you get married, hopefully it will be short, 'cause otherwise it's a long time to be miserable.

Furlough
12-19-2007, 10:04
Hike On.

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 10:12
Bottom line, screw the Trail and marry the lady.

Or not. What the bleep can anyo0ne on the net tell you about your own life. Go watch Dr. Phil.

rick is right. it's just a trail. your chances of hiking it in one shot are very slim. if you dump her then quit the trail a few weeks into it then what you got? like i said dreams and reality ain't the same

WalkinHome
12-19-2007, 10:14
I think that Jack had it right with his first post (a bit cold but on point). You should take a hard look at your relationship. Are you being closed off to anything that isn't an activity involving just the two of you or other couples only? That would point to control issues-not a good thing unless that is what you are looking for in life. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. An ex girlfriend got between me and the AT and all I could say was "I'm gonna miss ya." Best of luck and sorry for the intrusion but you asked? LOL

dixicritter
12-19-2007, 10:22
What about making her feel included even if she doesn't want to come along? There are things she can do to help your hike without actually being there with you. Ever hear of trail supporters? That's what I'm doing for SGT Rock when he does his thru hike. I'll be tracking his progress, transcribing his journals onto Trail Journals, sending out his mail drops and holding down the fort at home so he doesn't have to worry about it. (Not to mention the admin duties here at WB & hikinghq...LOL)

So you see your girlfriend can be important to your hike too, if you allow her to be. She doesn't have to be made to feel like a third wheel or something that's easily discarded. If you really do want to make this relationship work that is. If not, take some of the other advice you've been given and disregard what I've said completely. :)

LIhikers
12-19-2007, 10:26
I guess I'm a lucky one..............................................
The other day when I went to work I found out that I may be unemployeed within a couple of months. When I got home, and told my wife, the first thing she said was something like.."I guess it would be the perfect time to try a thru hike". A short discussion followed and she assured me not only would it be OK, but she'd join me for July and August while she's off from work. But then again we've been hiking and backing together for years now.

As a rule, I don't think most people understand the desire to go for a long hike.

cowboy nichols
12-19-2007, 10:32
Hike!!!!

Almost There
12-19-2007, 10:37
I don't get guys that have to "ask" for permission to do something, is she your wife/girlfriend/fiance or is she your mother? If she loves you for you then she understands that this is a part of who you are and she also loves you for it. I tell my wife what I want to do out of common courtesy as I love her and she is my partner. She in turn will tell me what she thinks, but in almost ten years together she has never given me an ultimatum. To me if you love each other, ultimatums do not work.

I have hiked the past two summers with a female grad student in her early twenties. My wife trusts me and I know what a good thing I've got. If she is secure in your relationship, then she should have no problem letting you do what you want to do. Personally I could never be witha woman who feels the need to give me ultimatums....to me they're like Double Dog Dares.

Grandma
12-19-2007, 10:51
I feel that one should be supportive of your partners dreams/goals. If there is no support, then maybe you should look at the relationship and question if it is real. Your hike has nothing to do with her, and should not be a question of "if you loved me you wouldn't want to leave for 6 months." My wife would classify renting a cabin in the mountains as camping, and doesn't know why anyone would want to sleep out in the woods with bugs and critters, but she understands that it is something that gives me peace, and she is supportive of it. I don't know why she likes to walk around the mall for hours, looking for nothing in particular. :) That's just one man's take on it.

Mags
12-19-2007, 11:12
Just an observation:

It seems that the men who have been in long, committed marriages seem to have significant others who are OK with their partner taking off for 5-6 mos.

Those who are in the non-married stage of a relationship seem to have partners who are aghast at the other partner being away for a length of time.

Being in solid, long term relationship seems to make both people a bit more emotionall secure.

Perhaps not being married (or engaged even), is part of the "fear". If there is no commitment (in a legal/social sense), I guess the fear is that the commitment will not be there after someone has wandered.

I'd be curious to hear from my more female long distance hikers with non-LD hiker significant others. Same scenario? Partner OK with it? A bit fearful?

I've had one relationship fail (in part - there were other issues) because of my wanderlust tendencies.

Grandma
12-19-2007, 11:16
Just an observation:

It seems that the men who have been in long, committed marriages seem to have significant others who are OK with their partner taking off for 5-6 mos.

Those who are in the non-married stage of a relationship seem to have partners who are aghast at the other partner being away for a length of time.

Being in solid, long term relationship seems to make both people a bit more emotionall secure.

Perhaps not being married (or engaged even), is part of the "fear". If there is no commitment (in a legal/social sense), I guess the fear is that the commitment will not be there after someone has wandered.

I'd be curious to hear from my more female long distance hikers with non-LD hiker significant others. Same scenario? Partner OK with it? A bit fearful?

I've had one relationship fail (in part - there were other issues) because of my wanderlust tendencies.
I see your point Mags. I would be interested in seeing that as well.

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 11:31
Good point Mags.

I am in neither situation, committed relation nor married. As a woman, I just cant seem to grasp why other women feel the need to be so attached that they cant let the other out of their sight for more than a moment.

Alot of women are co-dependant. They have never been without a significant other involved in their lives. I made it a point of not dating after my divorce, because I did not want to fall into that same trap.

Because of that, I feel so much better about myself and what I can/have accomplished.

Even if the GF subject does not like hiking/camping, she should be supportive. She should also have her own interests and goals, which socosta should support.

Socosta... I do have one personal question for you... we all see that you are 41 years old. (hope thats true). How old is the GF? From what you describe, she is desplaying behavior of a much younter (read: immature) person. Dont get me wrong, nothing wrong with that, but if that is the case, she needs to grow up!

Bolo
12-19-2007, 11:32
"If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they are yours. If they do not, they were never yours to begin with."

This should apply to both of you.

A-Train
12-19-2007, 11:32
I "lost" my last girlfriend to the PCT. She knew it was coming practically the entire 2.5 years we dated. At first I tried to include her (before I decided on a thru-hike). Took her out on little hikes, completely outfitted her, planned to hike for a few weeks in Oregon last summer (easy miles, shorter distance than a thru-hike) to get her appetite whet for a potential longer hike.

She ended up admitting she really had no desire to do this despite my best efforts. Eventually I decided to hike the PCT. She knew this had been coming, as did I. She was just getting out of school, wanted stability, routine, money, etc.

There were obviously other prevelant factors (there always are) but my PCT thru-hike seperated us for good, which was probably a good thing. I don't regret the hike, but it's a tough reality to know I lost a great woman. However she was looking for something else in me and I was doing the same for her. Some people you can turn into hikers, others you can't. I think she knew even if she'd weathered the storm, i'd just be muttering C..D..T..in a coupla years and it would be the same thing all over.

But the good thing I took out of this is that I know now it's imperative to find a woman as excited about adventure (and more specifically long distance hiking) as I am. Living in a city I don't even really bother getting involved in "regular" women anymore:)

D'Artagnan
12-19-2007, 11:35
Maybe you'll find someone more compatible during your hike. Just saying...

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 11:39
Some people you can turn into hikers, others you can't.

But the good thing I took out of this is that I know now it's imperative to find a woman as excited about adventure (and more specifically long distance hiking) as I am. Living in a city I don't even really bother getting involved in "regular" women anymore:)

I have to disagree with this statement. You should be trying to "make" people into what you want them to be. Why cant they just be supportive of your goals? Just the same, why not try to do an activity that shes involved in? Did you do that for her?

I cant see a couple who have identical interests in everything making it. We are each indivituals and need our own identities. And you cannot shape another into that perfect mate. You can come close to perfect and take them the way they are, imperfections, interests and all.

superman
12-19-2007, 11:42
My ex went along with hiking etc. until the wedding band was on her finger. It took 18.5 years to correct the situation. It is far better for both people to have a clear vision of their future together. If it doesn't fit...it's time to alit. or ... Run Forest, run!

dixicritter
12-19-2007, 11:44
I have to disagree with this statement. You should be trying to "make" people into what you want them to be. Why cant they just be supportive of your goals? Just the same, why not try to do an activity that shes involved in? Did you do that for her?

I cant see a couple who have identical interests in everything making it. We are each indivituals and need our own identities. And you cannot shape another into that perfect mate. You can come close to perfect and take them the way they are, imperfections, interests and all.

Don't bother Cuffs... I've tried these arguments on here for years now. ;)

doggiebag
12-19-2007, 11:47
As I was heading north past the Appalachian trail station which provides rail services to New York city I passed a couple of kids obviously on a weekender. The girl sitting on the ground with her pack off and her boyfriend was patiently waiting for her to get motivated. I pass the couple and headed to a deli 1 mile down NY22. I had a good lunch and stocked up on provisions and hiked back to the trail head ... I estimated my round trip to be an hour and a half at the most. I crossed NY22 heading North and I immediately notice that the couple I passed over an hour and a half ago has barely traveled a quarter mile. The boyfriend was past a live stock stile and his girlfriend was having a hard time getting over. Aldo being the polite dog that he is ... runs bye climbs the stile like it was not there and sits beside the boyfriend while the girl makes way for me to climb over. We exchange pleasantries and Aldo and I continue heading north. Past the meadows - the climb begins. It was straight up for at least 1,000 feet - no switchbacks but feeling extremely good I get the climb done in under a half-hour. I was thinking - at the rate that couple was going. They were not making it up to flatground before dark which would catch them somewhere during their climb. It was pretty obvious to me that the female was doing everything in her power not to hike more than a quarter mile from the Appalachian Trail station. Which brings me to the subject of this article. You can not make anyone "do the trail". No way ... no how ... forget about it. We all have had those moments where we experience beauty and solitude on the trail that is so encompassing that it tugs at your soul. I hike solo and the experiences I have at those moments make me long to have someone to share it with. Wouldn't it be nice if so and so were here ... I'd muse as I view a little town at night from a perch thousands of feet above? Let us not forget that the vistas and experiences we encounter are earned. We may not think twice of getting the pack on and hiking up a couple of thousand feet and dozen miles from the road; but let us not forget - this is a tough endeavor. It's not car camping. You can grab pretty much anybody and regardless of their lack of interest or outright defiance in "roughing it" take them camping and make a reasonably succesful weekend outing. That's car camping. Hiking is a different animal. Regardless of the beauty and majesty that you feel like you need to share to your loved ones - some folks just dont have the desire or ability to hike. Don't force it on them. It will not be pretty.

Jan LiteShoe
12-19-2007, 11:49
There were obviously other prevelant factors (there always are) but my PCT thru-hike seperated us for good, which was probably a good thing. I don't regret the hike, but it's a tough reality to know I lost a great woman. However she was looking for something else in me and I was doing the same for her. Some people you can turn into hikers, others you can't. I think she knew even if she'd weathered the storm, i'd just be muttering C..D..T..in a coupla years and it would be the same thing all over.

But the good thing I took out of this is that I know now it's imperative to find a woman as excited about adventure (and more specifically long distance hiking) as I am. Living in a city I don't even really bother getting involved in "regular" women anymore:)

Train, you've learned alot in your 24 short years. You continue to amaze me.
Hiking has been good for you.

Splitting up with respect, and without acrimony, is a skill few master of any age. To stand firm yet keep the heart open as you part takes courage and wisdom. Many feel the need to rip and tear the other to justify what is really an inner struggle to get free.

And knowing how to "step around the hole in the sidewalk" or better yet, how to travel down another street entirely, is rare indeed.
Proud of you, '03 bro.
:)

I'm not glorifying hiking over relationship, or vice versa. That's a choice for every person to make.
But when something wells up strongly from inside, something deep, it bears looking at. Dismissing it as trivial, or pushing it down only makes it go underground, "where it toys with us in silly and ignoble ways."

It's a matter of knowing your insides well enough to make wise (not nececessarily easy) choices.

Mags
12-19-2007, 11:59
One relationship really comes to mind everytime I hear this discussion.

She's a sweet, wonderful woman. We just brough out the worse tendencies in each other. And though we are not friends, we are friendly now. It took a while to get to this point.

Part of the reason we had such a tumultuous relationship is the way we think is completley different (Academia vs. my upbringing, my atheism vs devout New Age Buddhist, My passion for what I am really into (be it cooking, outdoors, or ANYTHING vs a more subtle way of enjoying things, etc. egads..how we ever dated??!. :D)

But, a part of the equation is that she feared my wanderlust. We are the same age and started dating just before we turned 30. As the year progressed, she knew the CDT was on my mind. She also wanted two children by the time she was 34. :O (She has no children, though she just became engaged from what I heard).

I once told her, that afer the CDT I'd be ready to settle down a bit. She looked at me with a Mona Lisa smile and said "You'll be saying that when you are 70". She's right. (She also told me that the "Outdoors for you is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle" She's right as well)

So...I guess my advice is to be honest with yourself. What is more important? The woman you love or your dream? Will you want to wander after a thru-hike? Will she be OK with another hike? Will you be happy after doing the AT to resume your old life? Will you be happy to not hike the AT to stay with her?

There is no correct answer. YOU have to decide what is best for you and the woman you love. Don't forget..not being honest with yourself will also hurt her int he long run, too. It may be painful, but breaking off a relationship is sometimes what is best. Or not.


Good luck my friend.

Deadeye
12-19-2007, 12:03
Just an observation:

It seems that the men who have been in long, committed marriages seem to have significant others who are OK with their partner taking off for 5-6 mos.


Which came first, the long relationship, or the understanding? My wife and I have been together since 1973. She knew I was a nut case from day 1, and has encouraged my fishing, hiking, and other adventures, and rarely cares to come along. She's never tried to change me, nor I her. I would no more try to prohibit her from accomplishing her dreams than she would mine. She knows the AT is a lifelong goal, and is prepared. At the same time, I know that 5-6 months is a long haul, and will likely break it into a few sections over a few years (post-retirement at this point).

I still stand by my original post: you don't need permission from anyone. Go, whether she "approves" or not, and be prepared to have a different (maybe better, maybe over) relationship because of that choice.

Mags
12-19-2007, 12:08
Which came first, the long relationship, or the understanding?


good point. Basically what I was hinting at..but you put it more succinctly! :)


Here's an approrpriate passge from Corinthians 1:14 (NIV):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails




.

Roots
12-19-2007, 12:12
I just want to take a moment and say, THANK GOD FOR MY HUBBY!!! He and I didn't even get into hiking until about 5 years into our marriage. We get it. We get the call of the wild. I honestly have to say if we were into it before marriage, we would have already thru-hiked. But I'm glad things worked out the way it did. If your girlfriend continues to not understand or doesn't want to understand, think about it. That could be a sign of what is to come in the relationship. Selfless acts are the key to a relationship. It is truely a 50/50 thing. Keep with your goal of the hike while you are young. You'll be glad you did. Good luck!:)

A-Train
12-19-2007, 12:15
I have to disagree with this statement. You should be trying to "make" people into what you want them to be. Why cant they just be supportive of your goals? Just the same, why not try to do an activity that shes involved in? Did you do that for her?

I cant see a couple who have identical interests in everything making it. We are each indivituals and need our own identities. And you cannot shape another into that perfect mate. You can come close to perfect and take them the way they are, imperfections, interests and all.

were you trying to say you should or shouldn't try to make people what they are? Not sure. Anyway, I believe both to a certain extent. You can't make anyone be who they're not, and that will eventually lead to greater conflict, which in my case was ending a relationship. However this was a 2way street as she was doing the same. I do though believe that people can change and adapt their hobbies and interests. I've seen it. I know people (women) who weren't long-distance hikers until they fell in love with guys who were and eventually loved it themselves. Not everything in life is discovered on your own. Isn't that how passions and hobbies are found? Someone introduces you to a great whiskey or reccommends a wonderful author and soon you are intrigued and researching all you can on the particular topic. We form our identities from the influences around us. It's just up to us to filter what we don't like out. I don't think it was unreasonable to ask her to try out my passion to see if she liked it. I didn't say she had to like it.
As for doing things she was passionate about, i'd like to say I did. However it wasn't evident she had things in life she was as passionate about as I was for the trail. In there, layed part of the problem.

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 12:18
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

you need to post a lot more detail on your situation. kinda hard to give advice on just this post. all the experts are coming out of the closet as usual

maxNcathy
12-19-2007, 12:23
Sounds like she gets separation anxiety...6 mos is a very long time!

First go away hiking for 6 hrs. When you return mow the lawn.
Next go hiking for 6 days. When you come home mow the lawn and vacuum the house and paint two bedrooms pink.
Next go hiking for 6 weeks. Phone her every night....... just as she sits down to watch her favorite show on tv.
When you come home buy her that new truck that you have always wanted.
Next go thru hiking for 6 months. When you return trade in the old truck for a new diesel one.Then take her on a sea cruise to Vancouver. Buy her a huge sparkly diamond and ask her to marry you. If she says NO then get off the boat and hike the PCT south to Mexico. If she says, YES then honeymoon in the mts of British Columbia for a week first.

My sympathies,
Sandalwood

taildragger
12-19-2007, 12:27
Tricky situation indeed.

Is thru-hiking all that important to you? Or would section hiking the trail do it for you?

Is the woman controlling at all?

Is this a project for a psych class (see how hikers react to a question...between this guns and poles you would have hit all major subjects)

I had a girlfriend that was freaked out by my passion about hiking and hunting. I got her to go hunting with me a few times (bow and rifle). But she hated to be away from me for more than a week, so that would have strained it too much. But she's no more.

Current woman never really did any hiking and I started taking her out on short mile jaunts in the evening. This girl was (is) bullheaded and if I had any doubt about her doing something, she'd do it just to show me that she could. Now she's gonna join me on the PCT for two months, right off of a whim.

Personally, I'd say look at getting a new woman, each one will have their issues, but I would never want to be on a leash, and I would never want to have to let my dreams die, whether those dreams be hunting an Alaskan moose with a bow, getting a triple crown, or doing a survival hike. My current girfriend is a little worried about me doing stuff like this, but she knows that I haven't come back home dead yet :D

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 12:29
Atrain,, you caught a typo! and a bad one! Should read... "you should not be trying to ...

Thanks! (really!)

Johnny Thunder
12-19-2007, 12:35
you need to post a lot more detail on your situation. kinda hard to give advice on just this post. all the experts are coming out of the closet as usual


Wolf, I have some great advice for this duder. I'll lay it out step by step...

Step 1: Call up your chick and break it off. She'll probably say some nastiness so just deal with it. You may even learn some of the new words these ladies learn in Cosmopolitan Magazine "unkempt", "emotional quagmire", etc

Step 2: Go find a woman who has emigrated from a non-Western European country. We're not talking fresh meat here...Johnny's saying go find a Woman who is in the process of "Americanizing" and hasn't yet realized that she absolutely needs the 2.5 with the 1 and three fourths dog white picket fence two SUV's and vinyl siding. Or, maybe she's been here long enough to realize that she doesn't want that. Regardless, she's either had to work real hard and sacrifice for her dreams or grew up in a house where her parents did the same.

Step 3: Get her pregnant. I know you're thinking "Johnny, why would I want to get her pregnant? I hardly know this woman and anyways I want to go hike some trail for some long period of time or something." You know what I dont' know how it works but it does.

Ok, so maybe that getting her preggers line was a bit off but the sentiment's still the same. You need a woman who's open to adventure and adversity. One that's flexible.

Send a $19.99 check to Johnny Thunder's Crafty Dating Service to receive a name and number of a woman with 99.9% flexibility and has been screened for Cosmo Magazine reading tendancies.

Mags
12-19-2007, 12:40
I do though believe that people can change and adapt their hobbies and interests.

That is how I picked up skiing and canyoneering. By being introduced to it from other people.

I introduced backpacking to people on introductory trips. One person in particular never backpacked until this year. She started doing solo trips, organizing her own trips and now she wants to do the JMT in 2008!

My "star student". :)

Mags
12-19-2007, 12:44
all the experts are coming out of the closet as usual


...or maybe we are just sharing our own applicable experiences?

I ain't no expert. But I've had some painful lumps that apply to this situation.

sacosta
12-19-2007, 12:47
If none of this works, you can use my method. I can always get wifely permission to go hiking, and I attribute it to my supportive personality and behavior as a spouse.

You see, I try to help my wife to be the best she can be by pointing out everything she does wrong, and what she should have done. No matter how tired I am, I always find time to point out her faults.

She appreciates this immensely. Not only does she reciprocate by letting me go hiking, she is so attuned to my needs that she insists that I go on a regular basis.

And if I don't go often enough, she encourages me to take a hike.

"Get out of the house," she'll say lovingly. "Go. Go somewhere, anywhere, just go away for a while."

It's sweet when two people can connect like that.

LOL Frosty is a genius! Why didn't I think about this before?!

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 12:48
I agree that people will change and adapt new hobbies and interests. I have also seen many many (women in particular) show extreme interest in their guy's hobby(ies) in order to spend more time with them, even tho they despised doing so. Later, when things to real serious (rings and all) things changed back to the days before they met... "i hate it when you do ____" or "i dont want to do ___."

Just make sure their interest is genuine. I picked up some new hobbies from a guy I used to date and still do them, even tho he is long gone! Thanks Joe!!

Lone Wolf
12-19-2007, 12:49
I agree that people will change and adapt new hobbies and interests. I have also seen many many (women in particular) show extreme interest in their guy's hobby(ies) in order to spend more time with them, even tho they despised doing so. Later, when things to real serious (rings and all) things changed back to the days before they met... "i hate it when you do ____" or "i dont want to do ___."

Just make sure their interest is genuine. I picked up some new hobbies from a guy I used to date and still do them, even tho he is long gone! Thanks Joe!!

Gypsy actually watches golf with me :)

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 12:52
I (now) love NHRA drag racing and Pro Football! I am usually in front of the TV any given fall Sunday!

taildragger
12-19-2007, 12:53
Gypsy actually watches golf with me :)

You watch golf? Is golf code for something else?

bolickj
12-19-2007, 13:00
from a womens point of view, if she knows that is has been your long time dream to walk the trail and she still won't support you and she is just thinking about herself, then do you really want that kind of girlfriend? i know it would be hard for someone who doesn't hike the AT to understand what it is really like. maybe you should invite her to go on some short trips and see if she then understands why you want this really bad. hope i have helped!

Cerridwen
12-19-2007, 13:08
I suffered some of the same problems when I told my boyfriend of three years that last spring was going to be spring to thruhike. It was something I had wanted to do as far back as I could remember and it wasn't until then that it seemed truely possible. I had considered doing it after highschool- not enough money nor enough confidence- thus went to college, considered dropping out half way through to do trail, since I didn't know what I was in there for- parents begged me not to, just finish school they said- so I did, considered doing it after graduation- by then I had met the man of my dreams (this same boyfriend and the one I am with today) and didn't want to jeopordize the fresh relationship to six months of separation nor did I have enough confidence- thus got my yoga certification and a decent job and earned some money, the job got less decent, the yoga was fun, but not something that I couldn't pick up again teaching anywhere anytime-thus time to do the trail!
All he could hear was that I was choosing to leave him for six months-not that this was my dream, not that it was for me and not about him, he figured I must be unhappy living with him if I wanted to go do this hike. This was his initial reaction. I told him I was going to do it and worked really hard on convincing him that it was about my dream, my desires, and not about him or a lacking in the relationship. As I began to plan, one miraculous morning I awoke to him telling me that he knew this was something important and that he would do all he could do to support me in my hike-that taking care of the rent and pets was the least he could do. I invited him to come along, he considered, but my boyfriend is not a hiker and likes his home comforts, thus he entertained it, but the decision was no.
However, throughout all of Georgia and NC he came and visited me every weekend, bringing me supplies, and spending time together. We talked on the phone every night (cell phones!). I did suffer a lot of home sickness, because all this contact was a constant reminder of him and our life at home, and ended up coming home for a couple of weeks, thinking I was done with the trail. Uh, no. The trail is magickal and it sucks you in. I ended up telling him I was heading back out, and he had seen how unhappy I was at home, so he said okay. I went up north and did NJ-NH all on my own, no visits or anything. We still talked on the phone everynight and he continued to be supportive.
I knew the whole time that he would rather have me home, even though he did his very best to not express it, and this did play a role in my not hiking the whole trail. But since I have gotten back home for good, I realize I have caught the hiking bug. I am finishing the trail this spring and he says okay-completely. The prospect of three months is nothing compared with that of six. ANd I have told him that there will be more to come (because the amazing thing is, is that once you've done a hike like this, you will have a confidence in yourself that you never did before and in the value of spending extensive periods of time out in the woods-there is absolutely nothing life wasting about it!) And though this has continued to be a rough spot for us to work through- he has told me, "very well, then I'll just take one hike at a time."
So, I'd say give it a chance. Work with her a bit on this. If she continues to be unbending, unsupportive, then you do have some questions to ask yourself. I know that I wondered if I were crazy to do the hike before I actually got out there and did it and continued to feel somewhat guilty while hiking. But now that I've done it and had time to process, I realize that this is my life and I have the right to make of it what I wish...if she loves you and wants to be with you, she will be supportive and if you feel the same for her you'll be able to work through it together, otherwise, and she'll move on and you can too.

superman
12-19-2007, 13:11
Wolf, I have some great advice for this duder. I'll lay it out step by step...

Step 1: Call up your chick and break it off. She'll probably say some nastiness so just deal with it. You may even learn some of the new words these ladies learn in Cosmopolitan Magazine "unkempt", "emotional quagmire", etc

Step 2: Go find a woman who has emigrated from a non-Western European country. We're not talking fresh meat here...Johnny's saying go find a Woman who is in the process of "Americanizing" and hasn't yet realized that she absolutely needs the 2.5 with the 1 and three fourths dog white picket fence two SUV's and vinyl siding. Or, maybe she's been here long enough to realize that she doesn't want that. Regardless, she's either had to work real hard and sacrifice for her dreams or grew up in a house where her parents did the same.

Step 3: Get her pregnant. I know you're thinking "Johnny, why would I want to get her pregnant? I hardly know this woman and anyways I want to go hike some trail for some long period of time or something." You know what I dont' know how it works but it does.

Ok, so maybe that getting her preggers line was a bit off but the sentiment's still the same. You need a woman who's open to adventure and adversity. One that's flexible.

Send a $19.99 check to Johnny Thunder's Crafty Dating Service to receive a name and number of a woman with 99.9% flexibility and has been screened for Cosmo Magazine reading tendancies.

I'm still LMAO. Johnny, does that advice include the mandatory "I'll call you"? They really like that.:D

mudhead
12-19-2007, 13:33
I guess I'm a lucky one..............................................
The other day when I went to work I found out that I may be unemployeed within a couple of months. When I got home, and told my wife, the first thing she said was something like.."I guess it would be the perfect time to try a thru hike". A short discussion followed and she assured me not only would it be OK, but she'd join me for July and August while she's off from work. But then again we've been hiking and backing together for years now.

As a rule, I don't think most people understand the desire to go for a long hike.
Keepah.

Wolf, I have some great advice for this duder. I'll lay it out step by step...

Step 1: Call up your chick and break it off. She'll probably say some nastiness so just deal with it. You may even learn some of the new words these ladies learn in Cosmopolitan Magazine "unkempt", "emotional quagmire", etc

Step 2: Go find a woman who has emigrated from a non-Western European country. We're not talking fresh meat here...Johnny's saying go find a Woman who is in the process of "Americanizing" and hasn't yet realized that she absolutely needs the 2.5 with the 1 and three fourths dog white picket fence two SUV's and vinyl siding. Or, maybe she's been here long enough to realize that she doesn't want that. Regardless, she's either had to work real hard and sacrifice for her dreams or grew up in a house where her parents did the same.

Step 3: Get her pregnant. I know you're thinking "Johnny, why would I want to get her pregnant? I hardly know this woman and anyways I want to go hike some trail for some long period of time or something." You know what I dont' know how it works but it does.

Ok, so maybe that getting her preggers line was a bit off but the sentiment's still the same. You need a woman who's open to adventure and adversity. One that's flexible.

Send a $19.99 check to Johnny Thunder's Crafty Dating Service to receive a name and number of a woman with 99.9% flexibility and has been screened for Cosmo Magazine reading tendancies.
May I have two for $34.95?
Pass on step three. Sounds like the hiker who shall remain unnamed.

sacosta
12-19-2007, 13:48
Thanks to everyone for your replies. I had no idea that it would have this kind of response. I have to be careful or this could be a long reply.

The short answer is that I know that I will attempt this hike with or without my girlfriend’s blessing. I would just prefer to have it. I guess it’s the proverbial “Have my cake and eat it too”. I am prepared to deal with the consequences, but it would make me very sad to lose her…she is a good woman and they are hard to find.

To answer some of your questions: Yes, I am really 41 and my girlfriend is 48. We have been dating for about 1 ˝ years, and we are both recently divorced. I’ve been divorced for about 3 ˝ years and she has been so for about 2 years. I am not in a big hurry to be married again, but she seems to be a little more eager for that to happen. Is marriage in our future?…I think that this hike could be one of the determining factors.

Just for the record, my girlfriend hasn’t issued any types of ultimatums. She has never said that she would not allow me to go. I guess part of that is because I never really asked for her permission. I sat down with her a few months ago and told her about my dream and how I was never able to make it happen, and now the opportunity was coming and I felt like I had to take it. I think at the time she thought it was just a pipe dream and that I would never do it. But now that she is seeing me take concrete actions to make it happen she has become more vocal about it. She somehow thinks that I am abandoning her. Oh, and I forgot to mention before that she seems to obsess about me meeting other women on the trail.

I hike local trails almost every weekend, and she seems to enjoy this, but they are just short day hikes less than 10 miles. I go tent camping with my friends at least 4 times per year. For a while she wouldn’t come, but I’ve managed to get her to come along the last couple of times. It’s not really her thing. She prefers hot showers and soft beds. The worst part is that she has asked me a couple of times why I waste so much of my vacation time camping when I could be going on ‘real’ vacations. There’s another example of her not getting it.

I don’t think there’s ever been a question in my mind about attempting the hike. I just prefer to keep my girlfriend in the process. I know there are other fish in the sea. I just happen to want to keep the one I have.

I guess there is no easy answer.

Johnny Thunder
12-19-2007, 13:51
I'm still LMAO. Johnny, does that advice include the mandatory "I'll call you"? They really like that.:D


Keepah.

May I have two for $34.95?
Pass on step three. Sounds like the hiker who shall remain unnamed.


Yeah, that step three was a bit over-the-top. Still, the sentiment holds true. Find someone who's suffered through adversity due to their own choices and you'll have someone who's going to "get it" when you propose your Thru-hike, Kilimajaro Adventure, or Reality TV Stardom dreams. I'm sure A-Train agrees that you'll find a lot of these type of girls in Brooklyn.

(who's the unnamed hiker? I'm missing something)

ScottP
12-19-2007, 13:52
I "lost" my last girlfriend to the PCT. She knew it was coming practically the entire 2.5 years we dated. At first I tried to include her (before I decided on a thru-hike). Took her out on little hikes, completely outfitted her, planned to hike for a few weeks in Oregon last summer (easy miles, shorter distance than a thru-hike) to get her appetite whet for a potential longer hike.

She ended up admitting she really had no desire to do this despite my best efforts. Eventually I decided to hike the PCT. She knew this had been coming, as did I. She was just getting out of school, wanted stability, routine, money, etc.

There were obviously other prevelant factors (there always are) but my PCT thru-hike seperated us for good, which was probably a good thing. I don't regret the hike, but it's a tough reality to know I lost a great woman. However she was looking for something else in me and I was doing the same for her. Some people you can turn into hikers, others you can't. I think she knew even if she'd weathered the storm, i'd just be muttering C..D..T..in a coupla years and it would be the same thing all over.

But the good thing I took out of this is that I know now it's imperative to find a woman as excited about adventure (and more specifically long distance hiking) as I am. Living in a city I don't even really bother getting involved in "regular" women anymore:)

We might be long lost brothers?

earlyriser26
12-19-2007, 14:04
You are 41 and unless your girlfreind is 18 she should be mature enough to handle it. If not, she may not be able to stay married anyway. It would not be like you are going to pluto. She could visit you on the trail or you could visit her. Most people don't make it anyway so most likely you won't be gone 6 months. I've been married 25 years and my wife hates it everytime I go hiking. I love her dearly, but I still go every year. You don't have to choose, but maybe she does. Good luck.

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 14:05
I guess it’s the proverbial “Have my cake and eat it too”.
But isnt that the purpose of cake... to eat it? You can have both.
I am prepared to deal with the consequences, but it would make me very sad to lose her…she is a good woman and they are hard to find.
Hate to sound harsh, but if she's not supporting you, how is that good?
To answer some of your questions: Yes, I am really 41 and my girlfriend is 48. We have been dating for about 1 ˝ years, and we are both recently divorced. I’ve been divorced for about 3 ˝ years and she has been so for about 2 years.
So she has only been "single" for the 6 months between her divorce and when you all started dating? Sounds a tad co-dependant to me. She probably needs time to be herself and on her own... You dont always have to be in a relationship to love life or yourself.
I am not in a big hurry to be married again, but she seems to be a little more eager for that to happen. Is marriage in our future?…I think that this hike could be one of the determining factors.
Dont rush it. Let it take its course.
I sat down with her a few months ago and told her about my dream
Has she expressed any dream of her own? Make hers happen to show her it can be done without your relationship falling apart... maybe then she will see that you too have a dream, but need her to be a part of it and that you are not "leaving" her.
and how I was never able to make it happen, and now the opportunity was coming and I felt like I had to take it. I think at the time she thought it was just a pipe dream and that I would never do it. But now that she is seeing me take concrete actions to make it happen she has become more vocal about it. She somehow thinks that I am abandoning her. Oh, and I forgot to mention before that she seems to obsess about me meeting other women on the trail.
That is a sure sign of insecurity!
I hike local trails almost every weekend, and she seems to enjoy this, but they are just short day hikes less than 10 miles. I go tent camping with my friends at least 4 times per year. For a while she wouldn’t come, but I’ve managed to get her to come along the last couple of times. It’s not really her thing. She prefers hot showers and soft beds. The worst part is that she has asked me a couple of times why I waste so much of my vacation time camping when I could be going on ‘real’ vacations. There’s another example of her not getting it.
So her idea of a vacation is different that yours... so be it. Would she be willing to go on a cruise by herself? Send her! Pay for it, if it helps!
I don’t think there’s ever been a question in my mind about attempting the hike. I just prefer to keep my girlfriend in the process. I know there are other fish in the sea. I just happen to want to keep the one I have.
You are here questioning her ability to support you in your dream... really worth keeping?
I guess there is no easy answer.

Easy answer? Heck NO! But take the time to think all this out before making ANY decision about your relationship. Who knows... maybe by 2010 you will have worked it out, or you will have left the lid up on the toilet one too many times and she will have dumped you...?

taildragger
12-19-2007, 14:09
or you will have left the lid up on the toilet one too many times and she will have dumped you...?

:D

Why am I still so entertained by toilette humor

scope
12-19-2007, 14:16
Yep, some people just don't get it, and its not just women. I have a friend that I used to, and still do, "camp" with from time to time, but he has not shown any interest in hiking the AT other than a short distance to camp or to a viewpoint. I've had family ask me "so, what do you do when you're out there?", for which there is never really a good response. You hike and along the way you enjoy just being out there - a response that I don't think that has ever registered with anyone in my family.

You don't HAVE to dump your GF just because she doens't get it. There's a lot more to life than hiking the AT, a lot of which she may get. But, everyone here is right in that if you want to thru, you should AND you should do it with support, or at the very least without her disapproval hanging over your head while you're on the trail. IF hiking is going to be a lifestyle, then I think there is going to be a long-term problem unless she really comes around. But, you may thru and that may be all you need to satisfy yourself so that you turn your lifestyle attention elsewhere. If that is the case, you may REGRET it if you end your relationship prematurely.

At the very least, the one thing you need to do if you want to try to keep her is to make sure she is informed about the trail so that she can truly support you, even if its only for her peace of mind (not drop boxes, etc.). I'd get her on this site, trailjournals.com, and whatever else you find turns on your interest for the AT. She needs to know bears don't eat humans and that cameras are better than pepper spray for deterence. She needs to know how utterly disgusting you and other hikers (female ones, too) are going to be. She needs to know how hard it is to do 10 miles in the Whites as opposed to 20 miles in PA. In doing so, she'll begin to understand what the challenges are and that the reward is just meeting those challenges AND that these are things she cannot offer you. She will also be better able to tell you what she needs in relation to what you will be able to give out on the trail.

However, you may find that she doesn't care to be informed, and if so, then I would say that she's already made the decision for you regarding your relationship with her.

tazie
12-19-2007, 15:24
:)
Hairy, tanned, muscular lady hiker calves are SO sexy....:jump

Bearpaw, you're a gem! I agree, and keep trying to convince my hubby;)

Frosty
12-19-2007, 15:32
"If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they are yours. If they do not, they were never yours to begin with.""If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."

You caught the gist of this, and I apologize being a PITA, but because this is an actual quotation, not a homily, the words should be as originally stated.

Besides, as a died in the wool romantic, I like the idea that someone was always yours, even before you met (like in the movie ONLY YOU).

Cuffs
12-19-2007, 15:35
You are a good man Frosty! I cant wait to hike with you again!

jesse
12-19-2007, 15:37
You should run an ad in the paper:

Wanted: Girlfriend with a two-person tent. Please send a picture of the tent.

Bolo
12-19-2007, 15:44
Ah, Frosty, a true romantic you are! It took me about 20 years to realize the truthfulness of that quote.

-Bolo

taildragger
12-19-2007, 15:59
"If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."

I did that once, realized that she was a PITA on about day 4 of her being done, didn't take her back and I haven't looked back.

HYOH, BYOB, insert other acronym here...

RadioFreq
12-19-2007, 16:21
That is how I picked up skiing and canyoneering. By being introduced to it from other people.

I introduced backpacking to people on introductory trips. One person in particular never backpacked until this year. She started doing solo trips, organizing her own trips and now she wants to do the JMT in 2008!

My "star student". :)

What are you waiting for.......marry her! :eek:

Frolicking Dinosaurs
12-19-2007, 17:11
Sacosta, if it is true love, she will wait. If it isn't, she won't. I hate to be that blunt about it, but sometimes the unvarnished truth is best.

You have to live your dreams so you don't end up my age and wishing you had :).

Mags
12-19-2007, 17:41
What are you waiting for.......marry her! :eek:

Heh...it takes more than just a love of the outdoors for a successful relationship. Besides, her boyfriend may disagree with that notion. ;)

RadioFreq
12-19-2007, 17:45
I'd get her on this site, trailjournals.com, and whatever else you find turns on your interest for the AT. She needs to know bears don't eat humans and that cameras are better than pepper spray for deterence. She needs to know how utterly disgusting you and other hikers (female ones, too) are going to be. She needs to know how hard it is to do 10 miles in the Whites as opposed to 20 miles in PA. In doing so, she'll begin to understand what the challenges are and that the reward is just meeting those challenges AND that these are things she cannot offer you. She will also be better able to tell you what she needs in relation to what you will be able to give out on the trail.

Earlier in this thread I was thinking the same thing and thought maybe Sacosta could be persuaded to ask her to actually join in and voice her reservations to the masses. Lord knows there aren't very many people on WB who have strong opinions about things. But perhaps we could have found a few to help ease her fears. ;)
However, I believe once she saw the number of people on this thread who have basically said, "dump her" it wouldn't surprize me in the least if she put her foot down and issued an under no uncertain terms "me or the trail" ultimatum. Don't misunderstand. I am not criticizing those who gave their honest opinions. That appeared to be what Sacosta was looking for...and he got 'em...and for the most part I agree.

My point is there are two sides to every story. And, unfortunately, no matter how honest a picture Sacosta tries to paint I don't think we will hear the entire story. Too bad.

:) T minus 14.5 months.....and counting :)

maxNcathy
12-19-2007, 18:27
Sacosta, consider a compromise so you can be with this girl you love more and still do lots of hiking.

This is what Jack Tarlin (thruhiker extrordinaire)wrote here in WB in case you missed it.

" Not being committed to hiking the whole Trail can be very liberating.

I took more side trails and blue blazes this year than I'd ever done. I saw waterfalls I'd never seen; camped at places I'd always managed to miss; took zero days in the woods instead of in town. I didn't have to worry about a schedule or keeping to one because I didn't have one.

It was great.

One can have a great time by passing every blaze, hitting every mark, and hiking every yard of the Trail.

Been there, done that.

Took me awhile to realize that one can have a great time by deliberately NOT doing this, too. Some of the best experiences one can have on an Appalachian Trail trip aren't necessarily on the Appalachian Trail.

Oh, and I got to skip most of Pennsylvania!

Shoulda figured THAT one out awhile ago! :D"

Best wishes.

Sandalwood

Spirit Walker
12-19-2007, 19:07
To answer some of your questions: Yes, I am really 41 and my girlfriend is 48. We have been dating for about 1 ˝ years, and we are both recently divorced. I’ve been divorced for about 3 ˝ years and she has been so for about 2 years. I am not in a big hurry to be married again, but she seems to be a little more eager for that to happen. Is marriage in our future?…I think that this hike could be one of the determining factors.


This may be a large part of the problem. You are both divorced. She may be projecting onto you some of the issues she had with her ex - i.e. was he unfaithful or was he so busy with his own interests that he didn't have time for her? Or maybe she knows that you were unfaithful to your ex and she is worried that it might happen again. If you really do want to keep her, you need to let her know that this situation is different from anything from the past.

I agree with others that if the hike is truly important to you, if you will have lasting regrets for not doing it, then you should go and sooner rather than later. Life is very uncertain. Waiting for 25 years until you are ready for retirement is likely to be too late. Waiting two years could be too late. Life is short, eat dessert first.

The thing that bothered me most about what you wrote was her comment that time spent hiking was time wasted. It shows a very different value system. If you are hiking most every weekend, then obviously spending time in nature is very important to you. That she doesn't get that, after a year and a half, is a bit worrisome.

Mother's Finest
12-19-2007, 19:18
it ain't gonna work.

you either give up your dream, or you give her up.

you are not married yet.

peace
mf

DaisyDeb08
12-19-2007, 19:25
Sharing Interests is one of the major components of a good, happy relationship. Try to involve her. However, in my opinion, its not a good sign. I know I would want to do everything in my power to help someone I love accomplish their goals, and if hiking the AT was one og=f those goals, I would be trying to figure out a way to do all I could to help him. There's so much she can do. She can research, encourage with idas of meeting along the way, figure out things to help you rather than pull you down. Hopefully she will come around. I wish you much luck.

Jack Tarlin
12-19-2007, 19:45
What a wise post!

Geez, Sacosta, maybe you should hike with DaisyDeb! :D

(For the humor impaired, and I know you're out there, this was meant as a joke).

Sly
12-19-2007, 19:46
Sharing Interests is one of the major components of a good, happy relationship. Try to involve her. However, in my opinion, its not a good sign. I know I would want to do everything in my power to help someone I love accomplish their goals, and if hiking the AT was one og=f those goals, I would be trying to figure out a way to do all I could to help him. There's so much she can do. She can research, encourage with idas of meeting along the way, figure out things to help you rather than pull you down. Hopefully she will come around. I wish you much luck.

Hi Yeah, Daisy. Welcome to Whiteblaze! :welcome Taken? ;)

Hooch
12-19-2007, 19:57
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.In many ways, the Trail is like a girlfriend. It loves you, it appreciates you spending time with it, it has its ups and downs, but you come back to it no matter what. Remember, women come and go, but the Trail will be there always. :D

Toolshed
12-19-2007, 20:01
This isn't an AT problem - it is a girlfriend problem.
20 years ago I wanted a couple of ferrets. One of my GF's at the time said no. I said I might. she said it was her or the ferrets. I go the ferrets and kept them in a back bedroom. She found out about 2 months later and demanded either they go or she goes. I said "Fine, Get the F$%*$ out. She was pretty surprised and tried to get back together a couple of times. I said no way!! Glad I did.

If it isn't the AT, it'll be something else that she will demand you tuck your b*lls in and suck it up "for Her and the relationship". Hard to see it now, but you might be looking back in 5 years and say I gave up my dream for YOU????

Keep her around until it's time to leave or get rid of her now - either way, You probably aren't gonna live this dream (or any other) and keep her happy.

There are some really screwed up woman out there and the good ones might be hard to find, but spend some quality time with yourself and you'll find someone who is interested in you and you can both provide mutual support for each others interests.

Sly
12-19-2007, 20:05
This isn't an AT problem - it is a girlfriend problem.
...I go the ferrets and kept them in a back bedroom. She found out about 2 months later and demanded either they go or she goes. I said "Fine, Get the F$%*$ out."

Could be a boyfriend problem too. :rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
12-19-2007, 20:05
So what ever happened to the ferrets? They live happily ever after or did you dump them, too? :D

Froggy
12-19-2007, 20:06
Wait a minute... you're going in 2010? You've got two more years before any of this matters. This is all premature.

Check back in a couple years and let us know what your relationship is like then.

Sly
12-19-2007, 20:15
So what ever happened to the ferrets? They live happily ever after or did you dump them, too? :D

A dog over a girlfriend, maybe. A hike, definitely. But, a couple ferrets? I don't think so! ;)

ScottP
12-19-2007, 20:17
"A dog over a girlfriend, maybe. A hike, definitely. But, a couple ferrets? I don't think so! ;)"

Naa, that's not the quesiton sly.

The question is No girlfriend vs a girlfriend that sets ultimatums

Almost There
12-19-2007, 20:22
Like I said ultimatums are like double dog dares....you gotta do it, just to prove'em wrong!!!:banana :banana

Toolshed
12-19-2007, 20:23
Could be a boyfriend problem too. :rolleyes:
Where did he say he was gay??!!?!?! :D

Toolshed
12-19-2007, 20:24
So what ever happened to the ferrets? They live happily ever after or did you dump them, too? :D
Traded them for a pair of snowshoes. So much for Committment!!!!! :-?

Hooch
12-19-2007, 20:27
A dog over a girlfriend, maybe. A hike, definitely. But, a couple ferrets? I don't think so! ;)

[quote=ScottP;478092
The question is No girlfriend vs a girlfriend that sets ultimatums[/quote]I'd choose a few things over a girlfriend, particularly one that makes ultimatums; ie: my kid, my career, a good dog, cold Sam Adams, a good dog, etc. Life is to short for some chick to have ya by the nutz. Granted, it's a while til your hike, but don't let this dark cloud loom over you.

Jack Tarlin
12-19-2007, 20:33
While we're on the subject, did you know that almost 1,000,000 Americans own ferrets?

Did you also know that Rudy Giuliani has a pathological loathing of these little animals, and has crusaded against ferret ownership?

In a close election, this could become important.

Don't know why I brought this up, but if you happen to see ferrets running around your hometown wearing "McCain '08!" tee shirts, now you know why.

Just thought you'd wanna know.

Sly
12-19-2007, 20:38
Naa, that's not the quesiton sly.

The question is No girlfriend vs a girlfriend that sets ultimatums

You got to give a little, to get a little.. ;)

4eyedbuzzard
12-19-2007, 20:52
While we're on the subject, did you know that almost 1,000,000 Americans own ferrets?

Did you also know that Rudy Giuliani has a pathological loathing of these little animals, and has crusaded against ferret ownership?

In a close election, this could become important.

Don't know why I brought this up, but if you happen to see ferrets running around your hometown wearing "McCain '08!" tee shirts, now you know why.

Just thought you'd wanna know.

Yes. Thanks. Lets see... National security, the economy, healthcare, immigration, abortion, gun control - and ferrets. Yep, ferrets may well be THE defining major swing vote issue.:D

Lilred
12-19-2007, 21:27
Reminds me of a song by the Lovin' Spoonful (http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/didyouev.htm) from the 1960s, with this line in the refrain: "Did you ever have to make up your mind?"

"Say yes to one and leave the other behind".... sounds quite appropriate to your situation.





"If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they are yours. If they do not, they were never yours to begin with."

This should apply to both of you.


Wolf, I have some great advice for this duder. I'll lay it out step by step...


Step 2: Go find a woman who has emigrated from a non-Western European country. We're not talking fresh meat here...Johnny's saying go find a Woman who is in the process of "Americanizing" and hasn't yet realized that she absolutely needs the 2.5 with the 1 and three fourths dog white picket fence two SUV's and vinyl siding. .


Vinyl siding??? Are you NUTS!!?? Brick, and only Brick will do.......:p

Bootstrap
12-19-2007, 22:54
If both your girlfriend and the trail are important to you, go read a book called "Difficult Conversations: How to talk about what matters most":

http://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Douglas-Stone/dp/014027782X/

If she's not going to let you take significant time for hiking, and that's as important to you as I think it is, it's going to be hard for you to feel like there's room in the relationship.

If you start by deciding that you are going, no matter what, and that the effect this has on your girlfriend doesn't matter, and you're going for 6 months straight through on this particular date, and it's not negotiable, well, that's a pretty clear statement that the trail matters to you more than she does.

On the face of it, this looks like a fundamental conflict, but it doesn't have to be. Start by having conversations that don't need to make decisions, listen to each other about what's important to each of you, and listen to the feelings and values behind that. If she wants to be with you, be grateful for that, and try to feel what it feels like for her to have you gone. Help her to feel what it feels like to you to be unable to pursue this dream. Help her to know what it's like for you to be alone in the woods, and what that means in the relationship - particularly, that it doesn't mean wanting to get away from her, but also acknowledge that it might feel that way to her.

Look for things that feel good to both of you. You'll find them. I can't remember who it was who said that her boyfriend visited her each weekend and that she talked to him on the cell phone regularly - that's a great way of showing that the relationship is important and sharing the experience. Or taking her with you - on the trip, or even just on day hikes or overnight trips beforehand so she can picture what's going on (if she can enjoy that kind of thing).

In general, you really lose by establishing a bottom line too early, or by limiting your options, or by claiming that things are black and white and there's only one reasonable way. Use the discussion as a way of showing that you care not only about doing something you want to do, but also that you care about the relationship and what's important to her and about how she feels or will be feeling if you work things this way or that ....

And good luck with all this. If you can have a relationship where you can really talk things out at this level, it will be a great relationship.

Jonathan

slowandlow
12-19-2007, 23:19
There are many women, but there is only one AT.

take-a-knee
12-19-2007, 23:32
Cutaway Bro, the ground is comin' up fast! Two years from now will be too late, I'm afraid.

River Runner
12-19-2007, 23:54
Earlier in this thread I was thinking the same thing and thought maybe Sacosta could be persuaded to ask her to actually join in and voice her reservations to the masses. Lord knows there aren't very many people on WB who have strong opinions about things. But perhaps we could have found a few to help ease her fears. ;)
However, I believe once she saw the number of people on this thread who have basically said, "dump her" it wouldn't surprize me in the least if she put her foot down and issued an under no uncertain terms "me or the trail" ultimatum. Don't misunderstand. I am not criticizing those who gave their honest opinions. That appeared to be what Sacosta was looking for...and he got 'em...and for the most part I agree.



Actually it might be an excellent idea for her to read how other people feel about it. Maybe it would make her realize if the relationship is worth keeping, she needs to be supportive of his pursuing his dream. And that stifling the aspirations of another person is not the way to grow a relationship.

Tinker
12-20-2007, 00:09
I just read the orig. post, not much else.

So, she's asking for the rest of your LIFE, but won't let you use SIX MONTHS to live out your life's dream?????

NEXT!!!!!!

Believe it or not, I'm not usually this brutally frank. If she has made you her life, she may need to find one of her own. Is she afraid you'll find someone on the trail more like yourself than she is? It wouldn't be the first time that insecurity has lead to a control thing.

Texasgirl
12-20-2007, 00:42
I'm not thru hiking, but I'm supporting one who is. Why? Because I respect and admire his passion to do something extraordinary and his tenacity to see it through.... whether it be doing a thru hike or if it was climbing Mt. Everest. It has nothing to do with being away from me... it's not about "me". It's about his goals, it's about "him".

I don't know if I'm doing all the right things, but it's what I got for now. I've no doubt someone here who's already done a thru will correct me if I'm not on track: I've read six AT books which has really helped me understand all that's involved and what I could help with (rather than convince me it was okay for him to do this); I read Whiteblaze; I research equipment; taste-test package nut spreads; study maps. It's his hike and I want him to leave here with full faith in my support and smile. Six months is nothing in a lifetime. It's a mere blip. Someday there may come a time I need his support and I have full faith I'll have it.

I respect the advice by others to get her involved so she can learn and buy into it. That could be helpful if she's at least on the fence, but it sounds to me like she's way off in the distance. Maybe over the next two years she'll get closer to center ground. If not, in the end, you gotta make the best decision you can with the information at hand. In 2 years, that may be to put your pack on and head out the door without her; it may not. In the meantime, keep the dream, keep the planning, keep the goal.

Blue Jay
12-20-2007, 03:35
Don't know why I brought this up, but if you happen to see ferrets running around your hometown wearing "McCain '08!" tee shirts, now you know why.

Just thought you'd wanna know.

I'd vote for McCain, however are you sure he has a proferret platform.

Jaybird
12-20-2007, 06:15
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. ................................................, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. .




Take her along....if you dont KILL each other...
you'll come out of it with a stronger, different relationship...
IT HAPPENS!

Deadeye
12-20-2007, 09:23
Take her along....if you dont KILL each other...
you'll come out of it with a stronger, different relationship...
IT HAPPENS!


Take her along? Are you nuts? Who wants to drag someone who doesn't like hiking, on a hike of a lifetime? It'd be like having a permanent sniveller nagging at you all day and night. No thanks.

Lone Wolf
12-20-2007, 09:27
Take her along? Are you nuts? Who wants to drag someone who doesn't like hiking, on a hike of a lifetime? It'd be like having a permanent sniveller nagging at you all day and night. No thanks.

and sacosta doesn't even know if it's a hike of a liftime. it's a dream. reality bite you in the ass.

pitdog
12-20-2007, 09:55
Buy her off!

taildragger
12-20-2007, 10:12
I'd choose a few things over a girlfriend, particularly one that makes ultimatums; ie: my kid, my career, a good dog, cold Sam Adams, a good dog, etc. Life is to short for some chick to have ya by the nutz. Granted, it's a while til your hike, but don't let this dark cloud loom over you.

God gives you three good things in life; a good dog, a good horse, and a good woman. I think that I'll trade my woman for another dog

-Wise words from "Turkey Jack"

Lone Wolf
12-20-2007, 10:13
my wife ran off with my best friend... i sure do miss him

Deadeye
12-20-2007, 10:20
my wife ran off with my best friend... i sure do miss him

but you still got your dog, your pickup truck, and your backpack:sun

Jan LiteShoe
12-20-2007, 10:57
but you still got your dog, your pickup truck, and your backpack:sun

...and that lonesome whistle a'blowin'...
and you've got a country song.
:)

taildragger
12-20-2007, 11:02
...and that lonesome whistle a'blowin'...
and you've got a country song.
:)

no no no, still no mention of mamma, prison, trains, or getting drunk.

Jan LiteShoe
12-20-2007, 11:07
no no no, still no mention of mamma, prison, trains, or getting drunk.

Well, you got the trains.
The rest is, of course, implied.
:sun

The Old Fhart
12-20-2007, 11:17
Steve Goodman-

"We left out all the good stuff. Dallas, dope, divorce, dead dogs, trains, prison, Christmas, mothers, farms, and trucks. Mothers, prison, trucks, trains, farms, Christmas, and dead dogs are essential, you can't have a good country song without them things.
.....
Ever since the dog died and mama went to prison
Ain't nothin' round this old farm that's been the same
[Spoken] You know when mom broke out last Christmas
She drove the getaway laundry truck into a train

Chorus:
But I'll hang around as long as you will let me
I never minded standing in the rain
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
But you never even call me by my name."
written by Steve Goodman and John Prine

Lone Wolf
12-20-2007, 11:19
but song the best by David Alan Coe

Mags
12-20-2007, 11:20
Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams

I can settle dow-own and be doin just fine
Til I hear an old train rollin down the line
Then I hurry strai-aight home and pack
And if I didnt go, I believe Id blow my stack
I love you ba-aby, but you gotta understand
When the lord made me
He made a ramblin man.

Some folks might sa-ay that Im no good
That I wouldnt settle down if I could
But when that open ro-oad starts to callin me
Theres somethin oer the hill that I gotta see
Sometimes its har-rd but you gotta understand
When the lord made me, he made a ra-amblin man.

I love to see the tow-owns a-passin by
And to ride these rails neath gods blue sky
Let me travel this la-and from the mountains to the sea
cause thats the life I believe he meant for me
And when Im go-one and at my grave you stand
Just say God called home your ra-amblin man.

(http://us.v2music.com/site/product.asp?ID=1676)This version is really good. (http://gb.v2music.com/site/product.asp?ID=1584)

(Mark Lanegan is an awesome artist BTW. Best described Tom Waits meets Nick Cave with a dose of Johnny Cash)

taildragger
12-20-2007, 11:21
The true beauty of WB, you come asking for advice and in the end you end up with referrences to The Perfect Country and Western Song instead

The Old Fhart
12-20-2007, 11:23
I have the David Alan Coe version on my MP3 player. Some of his songs are a little strong.:eek:

Mags
12-20-2007, 11:24
The true beauty of WB, you come asking for advice and in the end you end up with referrences to The Perfect Country and Western Song instead

Hey..if the Tao of Hank Williams does not apply to having wanderlust tendencies and deciding between that an a significant other than what does? :D

Covnversations must be boring with you. Always staying on the same path and never straying into tangents that may apply. ;)

taildragger
12-20-2007, 11:38
Hey..if the Tao of Hank Williams does not apply to having wanderlust tendencies and deciding between that an a significant other than what does? :D

Covnversations must be boring with you. Always staying on the same path and never straying into tangents that may apply. ;)

I don't like tangents, they suggest cartesian systems. I prefer a polar outlook of the world, that way a straight line isn't so to describe, but ellipses become easier.:banana

Roots
12-20-2007, 11:41
no no no, still no mention of mamma, prison, trains, or getting drunk.

Don't forget the trucks...:D

Mags
12-20-2007, 11:42
I don't like tangents, they suggest cartesian systems. I prefer a polar outlook of the world, that way a straight line isn't so to describe, but ellipses become easier.:banana


I cosine-ing off this conversation....

mudhead
12-20-2007, 12:12
Vinyl siding??? Are you NUTS!!?? Brick, and only Brick will do.......:p

Cuz she's a brick, house...

Ferrets that do trig for prez.

Jan LiteShoe
12-20-2007, 12:30
but you still got your dog, your pickup truck, and your backpack:sun

The ultimate in woe:

" I'm sittin alone, Saturday night, watching the Late Late Show.
A bottle of wine, some cigarettes, I got no place to go.
Well, I saw your other man today; he was wearing my brand new shoes,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.

Well, I met my old friend Bob today from up in Bowling Green;
He had the prettiest little gal that I'd ever seen.
But I couldn't hide my tears at all, cause she looked just like you,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.


(Spoken)... Well my dog died just yesterday and left me all alone.
The finance company dropped by today and repossessed my home.
That's just a drop in the bucket compared to losing you,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.

Got the Down to Seeds an Stems again Blues."

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen (http://www.digihitch.com/road-culture/music-lyricsartistsA_C#commander-cody-and-his-lost-planet-airmen)

bigcranky
12-20-2007, 13:41
I know my baby loves me, I love my baby too
But she don’t understand me when I’m feelin’ blue
And when I hear that whistle blow I hurry home to pack
And kiss my baby cryin’ in the smoke along the track

(Written by Alan Rose and Don Helms; various performers but I like Dwight's version.)

Toolshed
12-20-2007, 18:53
You know a thread has served up its useful life when people start quoting song lyrics.

Mags
12-20-2007, 19:00
You know a thread has served up its useful life when people start quoting song lyrics.

Unless, of course, you are discussing music lyrics.

In which case, the thread should come to an end when people star quoting prices on hiking equipment? :-?

Jim Adams
12-20-2007, 19:25
The ultimate in woe:

" I'm sittin alone, Saturday night, watching the Late Late Show.
A bottle of wine, some cigarettes, I got no place to go.
Well, I saw your other man today; he was wearing my brand new shoes,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.

Well, I met my old friend Bob today from up in Bowling Green;
He had the prettiest little gal that I'd ever seen.
But I couldn't hide my tears at all, cause she looked just like you,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.


(Spoken)... Well my dog died just yesterday and left me all alone.
The finance company dropped by today and repossessed my home.
That's just a drop in the bucket compared to losing you,
And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.

Got the Down to Seeds an Stems again Blues."

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen (http://www.digihitch.com/road-culture/music-lyricsartistsA_C#commander-cody-and-his-lost-planet-airmen)


OK, I'll add a little drift...Commander Cody loves gin and tonic!:cool:

geek

Frosty
12-20-2007, 21:00
You are a good man Frosty! I can't wait to hike with you again!I'd like to get down south and hike again. It's COLD up here and my lawn is buried under a lot of snow.

weary
12-20-2007, 21:01
Time to find a new girlfriend
Or maybe to look for a woman friend.

maxNcathy
12-20-2007, 21:05
I have dreamed about thru-hiking the AT since I was a teenager, but life just never presented an oppurtunity to make it come true. But I now see an chance to make it happen in 2010. Everything inside me seems to be pulling me towards this hike. All of my close friends support me, and even want to hike portions of the trail with me, but my girlfriend wants no part of it. She thinks that there is no way I could love her if I want to leave her for 6 months. I've tried to explain to her that it's been a life-long dream, and that I want to prove to myself that I can do something that is extremely difficult. But she doesn't seem to get it. She always brings it back to the fact that I want to leave her for 6 months. I love her dearly and don't want to lose her, but if I give up on this dream I feel like I will regret it for the rest of my life.

Does anyone have any advice to how they convinced a relunctant spouse or girlfriend that it's okay?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Tell her you will look sexier by far when you return..you will have lost weight,gained harder muscles,and have a wildly seductive long beard.

Tell her you will not run off with another women simply because they stink as much or more than male hikers.

Tell her you will live much longer as a result of getting so much exercise..she will lose you for 6 months BUT you will live 6 years longer ..a net gain of 5.5 years.

Tell her she can live with someone else while you are away..

Tell her ANYTHING !!

Good lucK

Sandalwood

kayak karl
12-20-2007, 23:07
is she reading this thread? maybe you should let her. it will make a long story short!

JAK
12-20-2007, 23:33
Life is full of myths. One could even argue that life is made up entirely of myths, so myths can't be all bad. Now let me explain.

We grow up believing certain things. We have to. Whether they are true or not we have to beleive in something, lots of things, in order to function. When we fall in love, we may not realize it at the time, but love is a myth. We don't actually fall in love with another person. We fall in love with a myth. Marriage is also a myth. Now remember myths are not all bad. Myths are essential to life. Some myths are good. Mother is a myth. Father is a myth.

Now what makes marriage most interesting, is that it brings two people together, two people with different myths. Two people that are different myths. Each and every marriage is really a myth that brings two myths together, forcing them eventually to reconcile and blend into one. Through marriage you will discover and uncover not just their myths, but your own also. I did not know before I got married that some men wear wedding rings. I did not know that some families do not go on picnics together. I did not know that some people are allergic to sailing, or that it is best to call the plow after the husband has shovelled the drive, so that he will know how wide to shovel it next time. I did not know many things. I am learning new things every day. This takes time of course. The time that this takes is not the time it takes for the marriage to begin. The time that it takes is the marriage. Recall again that the marriage is a myth. Now a little about faith.

It doesn't require much faith to believe in a marriage. Marriage is a myth. It is easy to believe in a myth. A myth is whatever you beleive it to be.

What actually requires faith is to believe that the person on the other side of the myths, the myth of you, the myth of the marriage, and the myth of them, is actually a real person, just like you. Now that requires a huge leap of faith. Trust me. You can't help but love a person once you know them.

Lone Wolf
12-20-2007, 23:35
really deep BS. :rolleyes:

JAK
12-20-2007, 23:38
Really just another myth actually. :)

Montego
12-20-2007, 23:39
Ah, sounds Mytha-logical to me, ah, I think :-?

kayak karl
12-20-2007, 23:49
really deep BS. :rolleyes:
sorry, but here i agree with wolf.

kayak karl
12-20-2007, 23:52
sorry, but here i agree with wolf.
Did i just type "I AGREE WITH L.WOLF?:-? ". i need to go to bed. Good Nite

Frosty
12-21-2007, 00:28
Life is full of myths. One could even argue that life is made up entirely of myths, so myths can't be all bad. Now let me explain.

We grow up believing certain things. We have to. Whether they are true or not we have to beleive in something, lots of things, in order to function. When we fall in love, we may not realize it at the time, but love is a myth. We don't actually fall in love with another person. We fall in love with a myth. Marriage is also a myth. Now remember myths are not all bad. Myths are essential to life. Some myths are good. Mother is a myth. Father is a myth.

Now what makes marriage most interesting, is that it brings two people together, two people with different myths. Two people that are different myths. Each and every marriage is really a myth that brings two myths together, forcing them eventually to reconcile and blend into one. Through marriage you will discover and uncover not just their myths, but your own also. I did not know before I got married that some men wear wedding rings. I did not know that some families do not go on picnics together. I did not know that some people are allergic to sailing, or that it is best to call the plow after the husband has shovelled the drive, so that he will know how wide to shovel it next time. I did not know many things. I am learning new things every day. This takes time of course. The time that this takes is not the time it takes for the marriage to begin. The time that it takes is the marriage. Recall again that the marriage is a myth. Now a little about faith.

It doesn't require much faith to believe in a marriage. Marriage is a myth. It is easy to believe in a myth. A myth is whatever you beleive it to be.

What actually requires faith is to believe that the person on the other side of the myths, the myth of you, the myth of the marriage, and the myth of them, is actually a real person, just like you. Now that requires a huge leap of faith. Trust me. You can't help but love a person once you know them.Thanks for reminding me. I need to have my septic tank pumped.

JAK
12-21-2007, 01:47
The Decision
In the Fall sunshine the whole world was glowing
And before her now the digger was going,
But she must answer at the end of the row.
Which word should she say to him, "yes" or "no"?

She hadn't even known the way he'd asked her
If 'twas herself or "it" that he was after.
But no one else had asked. It was her first chance,
And she'd been one who'd often sat out a dance.

Others around her were picking spuds like crazy.
She snapped off the head of an ox-eyed daisy
And pulled off its petals, counting one by one
Till they were gone and deciding was done.

A small thing it was that could come anyhow,
But an answer would end suspense. Why not now?
"No" for an odd number; if even, say "yes"
An outside verdict, not an inside guess.

At the row's end, coolly her answer was given.
The result for both was not hell nor heaven.
It made her wonder as the years dragged along
Why deliberately she'd counted wrong.

- Fred Cogswell

JAK
12-21-2007, 08:24
Medical Myths:
1. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
2. We use only 10% of our brains
3. Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
4. Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
5. Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser
6. Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals
7. Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7153880.stm

1. Researchers found no evidence supporting the need to drink eight glasses of water a day. In fact, studies suggest that adequate fluid intake is often met by drinking juice, milk, and even caffeine-rich tea and coffee. Data also suggests drinking excessive amounts of water can be dangerous.

2. The belief that we only use 10% of our brains appears to be completely untrue. Studies of patients with brain damage suggest that damage to almost any area of the brain has specific and lasting effects on mental, vegetative and behavioural capabilities. Brain imaging studies also show that no area of the brain is completely silent or inactive.

3. The belief that hair and fingernails continue to grow after death may be an optical illusion caused by retraction of the skin after death. The actual growth of hair and nails requires a complex interplay of hormonal regulation not present after death.

4. Again, illusion may be to blame for the belief that shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, and coarser, report author Rachel Vreeman told the BMJ. The stubble resulting from shaving grows out without the finer taper seen at the ends of unshaven hair, giving the impression of thickness and coarseness.

5. Expert opinion is that reading in dim light does not damage your eyes.

6. There is little evidence to support the banning mobile phones from hospitals on the basis of electromagnetic interference.

7. Eating turkey - and the tryptophan amino acid it contains - does not make people especially drowsy. Indeed, turkey, chicken and minced beef contain similar amounts of tryptophan. Any large meal can induce sleepiness because blood flow and oxygenation to the brain decrease, and meals rich in protein or carbohydrate may cause drowsiness. Wine may also play a role.


Dr David Tovey, editor of Clinical Evidence journal, said: "The difficulty is it is often hard to disprove a theory. On the flip-side, absence of evidence does not necessarily mean absence of effect. Where reliable evidence becomes really important is in helping people make serious decisions about harms and risks. Many of these 'myths' are innocuous. However, we are still finding evidence that runs contrary to current practice and what we expect."

Bearpaw
12-21-2007, 09:54
Marriage is also a myth.

Try telling that to a soon-to-be ex-wife's divorce attorney..... :rolleyes:

JAK
12-21-2007, 10:30
Ah yes. They get paid big bucks to dispell such myths.
They are myths too, of course, but far more difficult to dispell. ;)

CaseyB
12-21-2007, 10:33
4. Again, illusion may be to blame for the belief that shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, and coarser, report author Rachel Vreeman told the BMJ. The stubble resulting from shaving grows out without the finer taper seen at the ends of unshaven hair, giving the impression of thickness and coarseness. "

I respectfully disagree.

JAK
12-21-2007, 10:44
I respectfully disagree.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7153880.stm

Dr David Tovey, editor of Clinical Evidence journal, said: "The difficulty is it is often hard to disprove a theory. "On the flip-side, absence of evidence does not necessarily mean absence of effect. Where reliable evidence becomes really important is in helping people make serious decisions about harms and risks. Many of these 'myths' are innocuous. However, we are still finding evidence that runs contrary to current practice and what we expect."

JAK
12-21-2007, 10:46
The laws of gravity are very, very strict
And you're just bending them for your own benefit

One minute she says
She's gone to get the cat in
The next thing I know
She's mumbling in Latin
She cut the stars out of the sky
And baked them in a pie

She stole the scene and scenery
The script and the machinery
That's how I know
She's got a new spell
Yes, that's how I know
That she's got a new spell

- Billy Bragg

taildragger
12-21-2007, 10:56
It's time for this thread to have some seriousness to it, and nothing adds seriousness like Rodney Carrington

"I like my women like I like my chicken
with a little bit of fat on the side
not too much and not too little
just enough to make me grin.
When I see a little girl walking down the street
she ain't my type I need a little more meat
she's skinny, and not my cup of tea.
I'VE GOT THIS BURNING SENSATION WHEN I PEE!!!!"
-Rodney Carrington
Chicken Song
C'mon Laugh you Bastards CD

MOWGLI
12-21-2007, 11:01
My wife will probably never "understand" my need to immerse myself in wildness. Thankfully, she doesn't stand in the way. Good thing too. I like being married to her. ;)

JAK
12-21-2007, 11:27
My wife doesn't get the woods either, but she definitely understands what I'm like when I don't get fresh air and exercise. She also lets me take the wee hiker with me. So these mixed marriages can work after all. Catholic and Heathen. ;)

Deadeye
12-21-2007, 11:34
I respectfully disagree.

If shaving made the hair grow more, most of us would be gorillas, and any 'balding' man would simply need to shave to grow his hair back. Then, like me, he could simply say "I'm not bald, it's shaved."

Mags
12-21-2007, 11:40
Reality is a myth?

hmmm....

I am going to conjure up Smoky Mtn Steve....

ALL RISE FOR THE GOSPEL OF ABBEY
Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our antimaterialist, otherworldly, New Age,
spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should
be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and
seaweed slime. --Ed Abbey

:D

CaseyB
12-21-2007, 11:42
If shaving made the hair grow more, most of us would be gorillas, and any 'balding' man would simply need to shave to grow his hair back. Then, like me, he could simply say "I'm not bald, it's shaved."
...from the TMI dept. :
I've got a spot on my belly, shaved as a prank in 1994, that is still thicker than the rest. No illusion, just plain more hair. It grew back longer.

JAK
12-21-2007, 12:05
Reality is a myth?

hmmm....

I am going to conjure up Smoky Mtn Steve....

ALL RISE FOR THE GOSPEL OF ABBEY
Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our antimaterialist, otherworldly, New Age,
spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should
be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and
seaweed slime. --Ed Abbey

:DDon't forget about the breathairians.

There's a guy in the cell who's been fasting for a reason I can't remember
(world peace?). He's gettin' pretty hungry as Dietrich eats a sandwich at
his desk. Dietrich tells him there are people, 'breathairians', who believe
that food is unnecessary. The guy take a huge breath through his nose and
Dietrich says 'Don't stuff yourself'.

It was my favourite all time show.
Dietrich my favourite character by far.
And they were all great. The best.

JAK
12-21-2007, 12:51
Nobody could do Deadpan quite like Dietrich.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TthgTwGHaNw&NR=1

JAK
12-21-2007, 13:08
Dietrich: Was that Mrs. Miller?
Barney Miller: Yeah.
Dietrich: Past tense was unintentional.

Deadeye
12-21-2007, 13:36
...from the TMI dept. :
I've got a spot on my belly, shaved as a prank in 1994, that is still thicker than the rest. No illusion, just plain more hair. It grew back longer.

Guess I better not go into the (let's see... 1, 2, 3,4 )times I shaved or had shaved for me the... no, you're right, TMI:eek: