View Full Version : Profound Life Changes After Katahdin

12-30-2004, 03:08
Hi All,
Just wondering how the trail changes people when they are done. What kind of changes have taken place in your lives after finishing your thru hikes?

Pooja Blue
12-30-2004, 03:18
- I cannot stand the constant advertising we're subjected to back in the "real world."
- I enjoy being around people more, but I need more down time alone now, too.
- I am closer to God.

12-30-2004, 09:13
When I started my through hike in 2000 I heard most people saying that they were hiking to be close to nature, hug a tree or see flora and fauna. That bull faded pretty fast and then the real stories rolled out. A very high percentage of the through hikers were going through a major life change.... usually dealing with relationships. Most of the people were trying to sort out their lives in one-way or another. I hadn't even realized it when I went to hike but I also fit that model. I had retired, my sons were grown and moved away. I lived .7 mile from my ex-wife and I suddenly found that I was free to go any place and do any thing. I grappled with that for a good part of the AT. I came to no conclusions while I hiked the AT. When I went home after Katahdin my life shot off in a direction that I would never have thought of. Needless to say I no longer live right down the road from my ex. Life is good but confusing at times. Some times it helps to take your ex's advise and go take a hike.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>


Superman and Winter GA>ME 2000<V:p</V:p<O:p</O:p

12-30-2004, 13:13
Life is good but confusing at times.

I think that fairly well sums up life with or without the trail, has a very nice ring to it!

12-30-2004, 16:08
One year to day I summited the Big K I moved to Colorado. Doubt would have moved 2000 miles across the country if I had not done the AT. The AT showed me a much different way of life than what I had grown up with in RI. If it wasn't for the AT, would not have seen something different. If it was not for the AT would not have moved to a new state (sight unseen mind you, did not know a soul who lived there).

Can honestly say if I did not do the AT my entire life would be different. Doubt I would have the passion for the outdoors I have now. Doubt I'd be loving life in Boulder, CO. Doubt I would have the wondeful friends I have now. If I did not do the AT, probably still be in RI.

The white blazes not only led to Katahdin but to a different life than I can imagine. The first step on Springer was the first step to many other adventures.

12-30-2004, 16:15
I climbed Katahdin with my wife in 2001 after hiking the 100 mile wilderness together on her thru-hike. I hadn't hiked the trail from end to end that year so although I was elated to "be there" and share in her accomplishment I wasn't affected in the same way as most thru-hikers. About all that experience did for me was to strengthen my desire to complete the trail myself.

Well ...in 2003 I got my chance. Hiking for over 6 months and summiting Katahdin was a totally different gig and it had a much greater effect on me. At first I missed trail life and that clouded my ability to realize what completing the hike had meant to me at a deeper level. But, once I got back into some sort of a routine and re-joined society it became more and more clear.

First and foremost, I am more tolerant of people and things that used to drive me totally up a wall. I am more at ease with myself and I generally take life more as it comes than the way I'd like it to be. I am more clear within myself about what I want and don't want out of life. There was a time in my life when I tended to allow the situation to occasionally control me and now I am less prone to that. If I don't like the way the river is running I don't jump in. I spent a lot of "alone time" on the trail and learned to really value the opportunites to stop the world and get off now and then.

I had approached the thru-hike with a firm belief that I would finish and yet, making it to Katahdin actually did give me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I had a hypothermic episode during the hike while in New Hampshire and was fortunate enough to come through it without terrible consequences. That alone has taught me to appreciate how brittle life can be.

I always liked being in the woods but for me, hiking the trail wasn't totally about nature and animals. I learned about the AT as a young scout but, living in Ohio, it always out of reach. I and several of my young scouting friends used to dream out loud to each other about how "cool" it would be to walk all the way from Georgia to Maine ...and none of us had even been outside of Ohio at that point in our lives. The idea of hiking the AT somehow managed to stay alive inside me for several decades and finally came to the surface and turned into a "plan". Hiking the trail for me was like "living a dream" and thus I ended each day of my journal in those words.

After a little over a year since being home I rarely go through a day without holding some thought of the trail in my mind. It's funny because when I first got home the LAST thing I wanted to do was consider another distance hike. But now, my wife and I have begun to discuss a second thru-hike at some point in the future ...and I have no doubt that we will, but this time together !!

Yeah ...the trail had quite a profound affect on me !!

AT 2003