View Full Version : Worst reason to not hike the trail?

01-10-2011, 05:22
I was all set to hike the AT in 2011. It fit in perfectly with my plans, I had saved up the money, I had everything I needed... and then I got cancer. Sucky.

The cancer was benign, but the recovery is going to last at least six months (I can't even lift a gallon of juice at the moment, picking up my pack would not end well), so my plans for the trail are out the window and jealous of those of you setting off in the next few months.

I'll probably get some miles in on the CDT this summer, hopefully.

Anyone have any stories of how they tried to make the trail... and something just smacked them upside the head and dragged them back home?

01-10-2011, 06:23

While you're convalescing, read Three Hundred Zeroes (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Hundred-Zeroes-Lessons-Appalachian/dp/1450557465). It's a humorous story about overcoming hardship--in this case, a serious cardiac condition.

Best of luck!

Speakeasy TN
01-10-2011, 06:28
Now that's an excuse! Best of luck. TrailJournals may make it better (or worse) when you hear about postholing or rain! The warm bed may be your best friend! Feel free to wear your boots to bed!

01-10-2011, 08:08
God speed for a quick recovery. The trail isnt going anywhere! Look out 2012!

01-10-2011, 08:17
That definitely sucks! (Though I'm glad it was benign!)

I hope you can still work the needles and lift the yarn...

There are so many things that can get in the way of the thru-hike--health, family problems, money problems, and on and on and on. It takes a monumental amount of perseverence and determination to make it happen. Best wishes that the star line up for you next year!

Old Hiker
01-10-2011, 08:28
Hang in there, Melissa. Set your sights on 2012 and I'll see you on the Trail then. My prayers and best wishes are with you.

01-10-2011, 10:26
Six months puts you at June July? go Sobo.

01-10-2011, 10:31
Now that's an excuse!

it's a reason, not an excuse...there is a big difference between the two imo. To the OP, best wishes to you.

01-10-2011, 10:53
I started my thru last March after years of planning and dreams. The morning of my 3rd day I climbed Blood Mt and found the shelter empty. Taking advantage of the elevation and the solitude, I pulled out my cell phone to do a quick check in with my wife.

I had a voice mail from my Mom stating there was an emergency and I needed to call her. As various thoughts went through my head, the news I got was worse than I expected. My twin brother had committed suicide.

The climb down Blood Mt. was horrible. I got to Mt. Crossing and knew I needed to go home, but took awhile to come to grips with it. I got a room in the dungeon at first. I guess I was in denial. It didn't take long for reality to set in, and a nice talk with Ms. Janet, and I was on my way to the train and home for his funeral.

A thru hike is still in my future, just not sure when. I thought I'd go again this year, but my brother's death left a lot of loose ends. These are just things that need a little more time to work through.

I spent a few years getting prepared for my thru hike. I'll spend a few more doing the same. When the time is right, I will be back out there.

So will YOU!

01-10-2011, 11:47
The trail isn't going anywhere. When you're fully ready and healthy it will be there for you. Don't worry about it right now and concentrate on your recovery. Best wishes.

01-10-2011, 12:57
Did you have some kind of treatment then?

I'd say try to stay active. I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma (surgery plus chemo then) and have been in remission since but never have felt quite the same though I've never been able to be as active as I was before then, but hoping to one day get on a good fitness schedule. Anyway, so I say try to stay active. Even if it's just a little bit!

01-10-2011, 13:05
Cancer is a reason not go hiking. Get better and the trail will still be here next year. Back in '06 I tried to thru hike and ended up getting Mono and then my mom was in a serious accident, which seems trivial compared to what you're going through, but I'm doing it this year.

Have fun on the CDT

01-10-2011, 14:43
Sorry to hear that this is happening! There is always next year! See you on the trail!


Spirit Walker
01-10-2011, 14:50
Cancer is definitely a horrible reason to have to forego a thruhike, but at least for you it's a temporary situation. You still have the hike in your future to plan for and dream about. It's harder when you know there will never be a hike in the future, that your dream will never come true.

Take care of yourself now, and enjoy your hikes on the CDT. There is a lot of beautiful country in the rockies - to be honest, much much nicer than the AT.

01-10-2011, 15:44
You have a good diagnosis if the tumor is benign. Tumors are usually called cancerous when they are malignant (or can spread). So good news there. Get well and then enjoy your hike!

01-10-2011, 17:37
it's a reason, not an excuse...there is a big difference between the two imo. To the OP, best wishes to you.

Yeah, it's a reason. An excuse would be something like "because I'm afraid of bears."