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Lacbe
01-07-2008, 14:59
I tried in in 2007 and failed, I only made it to Neels Gap, and the feeling I had sitting in the foyer next to the bathrooms, made sick to my stomach, I told myself that I would never forget that feeling. Now I have that same drive again. to try again. No disrespect to those who do it in sections or just enjoy being on the AT but why go all the way?

Cannibal
01-07-2008, 15:09
Because I want to challenge myself and see if I can find work-arounds to my own limits/doubts. No desire to conquer the AT or prove anything to anyone, just want to do something for me.

Besides, it's a good excuse to go play in the woods for a few months.

Lacbe
01-07-2008, 15:12
Oh, I forgot those who have done it, why did you do it? Did you find what you were looking for?

4eyedbuzzard
01-07-2008, 15:15
Besides, it's a good excuse to go play in the woods for a few months.

As good a reason as any other, and probably far more candid.

I don't know why I want to try again(quit at Damascus in '76) other than even after quitting I still kind of wanted to do it, that and my daugther wants to give it a go, so at least I'll have other motivation this time.

pittmad
01-07-2008, 15:16
I'm not really looking for anything. I'm doing it this year for a couple reasons....

a) I can and it's there
b) It is going to be an amazing and unique experience
c) Meet and learn from all sorts of new people from all different walks
d) Get back in trail-shape and play in the woods for an extended period
e) Accomplish something great and incredibly challenging

Pedaling Fool
01-07-2008, 15:17
Not enough information here, need to answer the following:
- Why I quit
- Why I have such a strong desire to do a thru-hike.

I had a strong desire because my health, I could see, was deteriorating (no it wasn't to be with nature). I saw a thru-hike as an overhaul to my body; I could have just gone to Harper's Ferry, that probably would have been good enough for an "overhaul", but the end is at Katahdin so I figured what the hell. No words of wisdom here, it's just because that was where the trail ended.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-07-2008, 15:19
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Frequently%20used/DrDinoSpringerFever-1.jpg

Marta
01-07-2008, 15:20
Because the idea of the Great Journey took hold of my imagination decades ago, when I was a child. Other than that, there were lots of fantastic things to see (eagles, loons, hawks, flowers, moss, waterfalls, lakes, ice, snow...) and experience. (Eating as much as I want and still losing weight ranks way up there.) I was too stubborn to quit when quitting seemed like a good idea, then things would turn around and I'd start enjoying myself again.

Pedaling Fool
01-07-2008, 15:21
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Frequently%20used/DrDinoSpringerFever-1.jpg
I got it REALLY BAD. It hurts.

jersey joe
01-07-2008, 15:25
the physical and mental challenge of it.

renew my spirit.

Lacbe
01-07-2008, 15:31
I had two hernia surgeries on 1/17/2007 and tried to begin my journey on 3/17/2007. Big mistake, I was to stubburn to wait another year, My wife of 35 years says I'm not to bright sometimes. She is right. But the drive is still there.

doggiebag
01-07-2008, 15:35
Because it's fun. Personaly there are no eureka moments or things to find. There are self discoveries of strenght and a understanding of what one really needs to be happy. After a few weeks in the woods you won't be the same person that started anyway IMHO. At least until the hike ends. It all depends on how much deprivation you are willing or not willing to take during a long-distance hike. If you have to ask why some folks do a long distance hike ... if you have any doubts now as to why go all the way your chances start going down - I believe you should have no doubts as to why attempt a thru by the time you step on the trailhead. For the couple of thousand folks that try it every year - there could be a couple of thousand different reasons ... self-imposed rehabs, self-imposed fatcamps, the kids that think it's a big smokefest ... escapisim. Or it could be as simple as it's a great adventure that you can fondly remember for years to come.
PS - I only made it to New Hampshire. I'll finish the last 400 or so miles sometime this year.

Lacbe
01-07-2008, 15:48
Dino, It would be an honer to meet you on the trail, with all that you and your family has been thru . You to me, show what this community is all ab out. Caring for those who enjoy being out in nature and what we as hikers enjoying.

Mags
01-07-2008, 15:55
I wrote this almost exactly 10 yrs ago...

"The most asked question about hike (besides if I have seen the movie "Deliverance" ) is a simple "WHY GO?" I have several reasons, but I think the best answer is for the journey itself-all the pain and joys, all the experiences that comes with a 2160 mile walk in the woods. My journey on the AT will not be easy. I will be tired, cold, wet, and, at times, depressed. But I will see sunsets, smell pines on a sunny day, and relish the cup of hot cocoa on a chilly night. In short, my journey on the AT will be filled with memories I will not forget. That is the answer to the question "WHY GO?"" -

Pedaling Fool
01-07-2008, 16:12
I wrote this almost exactly 10 yrs ago...

"The most asked question about hike (besides if I have seen the movie "Deliverance" ) is a simple "WHY GO?" I have several reasons, but I think the best answer is for the journey itself-all the pain and joys, all the experiences that comes with a 2160 mile walk in the woods. My journey on the AT will not be easy. I will be tired, cold, wet, and, at times, depressed. But I will see sunsets, smell pines on a sunny day, and relish the cup of hot cocoa on a chilly night. In short, my journey on the AT will be filled with memories I will not forget. That is the answer to the question "WHY GO?"" -


Very True, at least the way I interpret. Walking the trail is filled with pain, boredom; itís cold, depressing... But then you have those times that are filled with things you'll never experience in the "real world", such as the views, wildlife sense of accomplishment, camaraderie,... These "good times" are eclipsed by the "bad", yet they are extremely memorable.


But then again:

Somehow many of those "bad" experiences turn into some of my best memories. Why do I gain so much joy in remembering how I almost suffered from hypothermia, or slipping & breaking my treking pole and cursing out the world, the list of miserable experiences is much larger than the good, yet I keep returning. Mind boggling.

Red Hat
01-07-2008, 16:27
Because I know I CAN! I just need to get out there and do it without worrying about folks at home. I keep letting other people influence my hike and I need to do what I need to do. Part of it is proving to the naysayers that I CAN!

ki0eh
01-07-2008, 16:30
I'm wondering why it's the A.T. that exercises such a fascination vs. creating one's own hike of magnitude suiting the time/money available, using a wider network of footpaths.

Kirby
01-07-2008, 16:37
A change from my current life. I always feel like I am trying 100%, and I want to do something that will require me to try 100% both physically and mentally. Plus, I can't thing of a better way to spend my spring and summer.

Kirby

RITBlake
01-07-2008, 16:40
someone refresh this sobo's brain, how far is neels gap from SM?

My reasons for going:

1. adventure
2. fun
3. challenge.
4. friendship and new experiences
5. seeing the country.
6. doing something different and off the beaten path
7. enjoy the outdoors
8. test of mental/physical limits

Kirby
01-07-2008, 16:41
someone refresh this sobo's brain, how far is neels gap from SM?



30.5 miles.

Kirby

RITBlake
01-07-2008, 16:52
I tried in in 2007 and failed, I only made it to Neels Gap, and the feeling I had sitting in the foyer next to the bathrooms, made sick to my stomach, I told myself that I would never forget that feeling. Now I have that same drive again. to try again. No disrespect to those who do it in sections or just enjoy being on the AT but why go all the way?

With all due respect, can you share why you fell short just 30 miles in your initial attempt. What is it an injury, difficulty, weather, or just not what you had envisioned. Maybe understanding that will help you in your next attempt.

*thanks kirby!

Appalachian Tater
01-07-2008, 17:37
I was just bored and wanted a change.

rafe
01-07-2008, 17:44
I tried in in 2007 and failed, I only made it to Neels Gap, and the feeling I had sitting in the foyer next to the bathrooms, made sick to my stomach, I told myself that I would never forget that feeling. Now I have that same drive again. to try again. No disrespect to those who do it in sections or just enjoy being on the AT but why go all the way?

When a nobo thru hike attempt ends at Neels, I have to guess that the hiker in question simply hadn't done their homework concerning the nature of the trail -- or perhaps had never actually done a two or three-day hike in the woods with a backpack. Quitting after two or three weeks, or after a month or two, is another matter -- that's more likely to be one of expectations not being met, or boredom, or some such.

Well, anyway my own attempt ended after sixty days and falls into the 2nd category. Oh, I felt plenty bad. Many tears at the time. I always felt like I wanted (in fact, needed) to finish the job I'd started. And eventually it came to pass, through no small effort... 17 years later. :D

Why? Wow, tough question. I suppose there's nothing terribly rational about it. Needed a change in my life, needed to "get away." I'd broken my hip a year earlier, in a skiing injury, and it seemed important to prove to myself that I was well again -- well enough to do a marathon walk in the woods.

Cannibal
01-07-2008, 18:00
He seemed to have a good reason to drop-off:


I had two hernia surgeries on 1/17/2007 and tried to begin my journey on 3/17/2007. Big mistake, I was to stubburn to wait another year, My wife of 35 years says I'm not to bright sometimes. She is right. But the drive is still there.

Never had a hernia, but pretty sure I wouldn't want to go hikin right after getting two of them fixed. 'Fixed' somehow seems like a scary word when talking about that area. :eek:

Pedaling Fool
01-07-2008, 18:11
Lacbe, are you starting this year? If so, when?
Just take it easy and don't think about Maine, that's way too much trail for anyone to think about at one time. Despite your "drive" to do a thru-hike, if your anything like me, you'll be hating life after the 3rd day. Just have to keep telling yourself: "It can't get any worse than this". It will get worse, but keep telling yourself that.:D No rain, no pain, no Maine.

The only reason the number of people complete a thru is because of the social factor, without that, the number would be so much smaller, it's just plain tough(mentally, the physical part is easy after a couple of weeks and barring injury), but very doable given the right frame of mind, you just have to find out what works for you.

Kirby
01-07-2008, 18:53
With all due respect, can you share why you fell short just 30 miles in your initial attempt. What is it an injury, difficulty, weather, or just not what you had envisioned. Maybe understanding that will help you in your next attempt.

*thanks kirby!

I he was a NOBO, and made it to Neels Gap, I don't think he was SOBO, correct me if I am wrong.

Kirby

greg burke
01-07-2008, 19:14
To try all the camping gear I have to see it really works well.Mental limits. Get out of the city for a while.To do and see all the things I read about on WB. And what ever else happens to happen.

kayak karl
01-07-2008, 19:28
the reason i want to do this is:
1. unemployeed
2. got the money to go
3. health still good enough to go
4. single
5. love the outdoors
6. already got the gear
7. always wanted to go (in 1973, but life got in the way)

but most of all;
where could i meet a more understanding, friendly, soft spoken, give u the shirt off their back, humble group of people like the ones on Whiteblaze:rolleyes:

wrongway_08
01-07-2008, 20:12
the physical and mental challenge of it.

renew my spirit.

x2 .... mental challenge is the best part, I think.

doggiebag
01-07-2008, 20:23
x2 .... mental challenge is the best part, I think.
That's ok Rick ... we'll still let you hike with us regardless of you being mentally challenged.:D

88BlueGT
01-08-2008, 23:33
A change from my current life. I always feel like I am trying 100%, and I want to do something that will require me to try 100% both physically and mentally. Plus, I can't thing of a better way to spend my spring and summer.

Kirby

Sounds like that came straight out of the movie Trek :) Great movie BTW.

Bob S
01-09-2008, 00:32
Because I want to carry a concealed handgun from one end of the trail to the other…










Seriously I don’t want to through hike it, section hiking would fill my needs just fine.

Bearpaw
01-09-2008, 00:42
I wanted to celebrate still breathing after a decade of military service. (And I only spend a few weeks in combat areas, but a few friends still didn't make it.....)

I had the money, time, and inclination.

Who really needs a reason?

Just get out there and hike! ;)

Uncle Wayne
01-09-2008, 07:02
I just love to hike.

gldwings1
01-09-2008, 07:11
Just wanna give my 2 cents here. I think that hiking at all is a noble endeavor. If one tries to thru hike and decides not to; there is nothing wrong with that. It is a monumental task to hike 2175 miles. I am looking forward to it but it is scary to me to try. I section hike right now. One day I hope to thru hike but if I don't there is no shame. I say to you kudos for what you have done, not shame for what you haven't.

superman
01-09-2008, 08:40
Hiking the AT was the healthiest thing (both mentally and physically) that I ever did just for myself. I would encourage recent retirees or people who are in one of lives great transitions to do the AT.
It also helps if youíre a little nuts. You can do it if youíre sane but it may be a handicap.:)

Cindy from Indy
01-09-2008, 09:15
I've been thinking about doing this for over 20 years.........I have this ache in my soul and I need to prove to myself that I can meet and conquer this challenge. There is a kind of 'romance' about it too. I am attracted to that. But I am also realistic. This hike will be a helluva lot of hard work!

I want to see unspoiled landscapes and commune with it all.

I want to feel the feelings that the very early hikers had. The good, the bad and all the ugly stuff too! LOL

At one point in my life I was told I would never walk again. Well, by God, I'll show them all!!!!

kyerger
01-09-2008, 12:37
I plan on doing it in 2010. I have done sections up to now. Have hiked springer to fontana,SNP and new jersy. I have a question. have I saw the hard parts of the trail yet? This year I plan on hiken just east of the smokies and going east for 2 or 3 weeks. How hard is this part? Thank you all. To answer your question I think it is just a drive a person gets. I know how short life is because Im a nurse in a nursing home. It makes me feel good to tell my patients about my hiking and they love it. Even taken my gear in and showed them. Even made a trail dinner for them it was great. To me this is what life is about. The trail provides an escape from the "real" world and allows me to clear my mind.

rafe
01-09-2008, 14:08
Well, Mapman has some surprising statistics -- Georgia is hard, even by the numbers. So you've got that under your belt!

Most folks would agree, I think, that the toughest part of the AT is the Whites and southern Maine.

SNP has some respectable verticals but is very nicely graded, for the most part, which isn't usually the case on the AT. New Jersey isn't on anybody's list for the toughest part of the AT.

DogMother
01-09-2008, 16:48
I tried in in 2007 and failed, I only made it to Neels Gap, and the feeling I had sitting in the foyer next to the bathrooms, made sick to my stomach, I told myself that I would never forget that feeling. Now I have that same drive again. to try again. No disrespect to those who do it in sections or just enjoy being on the AT but why go all the way?


I made it to NOC in 1998 before I dropped off. And the reason I quit was due to my husband's stressful job. Him having to take care of everything at home (dogs and cats) while I was gone. And me feeling a bit guilty about it and not being able to shake the feeling that it was the wrong time to go.
Now he has totally changed careers and when he gets through with school this summer, I will be attempting it again in 2009 or 2010.
And the reason that I wanted to do it was to find out if I could. Since I didn't fall off a mountain, blow myself up with the camp stove or get eaten by a bear, I guess I found out I could. :)

High Life
01-09-2008, 16:56
i want to do it again , just to do it .. :)