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Joker4ink
06-10-2011, 19:58
Have you ever gone out to a trail head and realize your head or heart wasn't into it like you had thought? Today, that happened to me. I drove the 4.5 hours up to the Whites, got to the trail head and realized I didn't want to go. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out if I should go as I had planned. Ultimately, I hopped back in the car and drove home.

This is extremely frustrating and I am disappointed for allowing myself to not do what I love. I had goals of the trails and mountains I wanted to complete and I feel like I failed. Has anyone else experienced this before? What did you do to get your head back in the game?

-Punchy

mcskinney
06-10-2011, 20:02
There are starving people in China... so finish your food.

There are innocent people in prison... so finish your hikes.

Pedaling Fool
06-10-2011, 20:09
Have you ever gone out to a trail head and realize your head or heart wasn't into it like you had thought? Today, that happened to me. I drove the 4.5 hours up to the Whites, got to the trail head and realized I didn't want to go. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out if I should go as I had planned. Ultimately, I hopped back in the car and drove home.

This is extremely frustrating and I am disappointed for allowing myself to not do what I love. I had goals of the trails and mountains I wanted to complete and I feel like I failed. Has anyone else experienced this before? What did you do to get your head back in the game?

-Punchy
It's hard to put this in perspective without knowing how much time you got hiking.

LIhikers
06-10-2011, 20:10
There's no sense in forcing yourself into doing someething

kayak karl
06-10-2011, 20:20
many different things go on in peoples heads..........................................Wha t were we talking about?

Joker4ink
06-10-2011, 20:32
many different things go on in peoples heads..........................................Wha t were we talking about?

Yeah, my thoughts exactly!

But in all seriousness, I had never experienced this before. I am usually 110% ready to go, can't wait to get on the trail...any trail. Today was new and frustrating.

Slo-go'en
06-10-2011, 20:35
I could see turning around and going home if the weather was nasty when you got up here, but it was a good day for a hike, as will be for the next couple of days.

You should have at least started. If you were not into it after an hour or so, then turn around and go home, but I bet you would have said "sure glad I decided to go hiking today".

Instead you wasted a whole day driving and spent way too much money on gas to do it. For shame.

mcskinney
06-10-2011, 20:36
Yeah, my thoughts exactly!

But in all seriousness, I had never experienced this before. I am usually 110% ready to go, can't wait to get on the trail...any trail. Today was new and frustrating.


Maybe you didn't feel like going solo?

gumball
06-10-2011, 20:42
Sometimes it's best to follow your gut. You may never know why it was a a good thing you did not go--try trusting your instincts, as we always tell fellow hikers. If something feels wrong it probably is.

Go back when you feel ready to go. I will wager you have a great time and a safe hike.

Gum

fiddlehead
06-10-2011, 20:47
Depends what you did instead.
If it was some TV show or video game, yeah, you screwed up.
Priorities are just plain messed up.
But if you went to look up and old girlfriend or play some great music with
a reggae band, yeah, you have days like that sometimes.

Skidsteer
06-10-2011, 20:54
Have you ever gone out to a trail head and realize your head or heart wasn't into it like you had thought? Today, that happened to me. I drove the 4.5 hours up to the Whites, got to the trail head and realized I didn't want to go. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out if I should go as I had planned. Ultimately, I hopped back in the car and drove home.

This is extremely frustrating and I am disappointed for allowing myself to not do what I love. I had goals of the trails and mountains I wanted to complete and I feel like I failed. Has anyone else experienced this before? What did you do to get your head back in the game?

-Punchy

You probably have some stuff you need to take care of

Carbo
06-10-2011, 21:12
Drove nearly 2 hrs to the Delaware Water Gap to pick up the trail for a 12 miler. Got about a mile into the hike and turned around because something just didn't feel right. Two days later I came down with a case of shingles and it took about a month to fully recover. My body was telling me to stop, but in my mind I felt bad for giving up. Still learning the subtle but important signals that make up the gut feeling.

Jonnycat
06-10-2011, 21:13
I sometimes get whiny after a long drive to a trailhead, usually if it's a snow trip and I have gotten too late of a start and the sun is out making all of the snow mushy. Fortunately I'm stubborn, so I make myself go and end up having a neato time anyway.

Deadeye
06-10-2011, 21:22
Colin Fletcher called it "Fletcheritis"

I've never turned around once I started the car, but I have on occassion not bothered to get out of bed.

That's life, I guess.

mweinstone
06-10-2011, 21:22
you cant go hiking with baggage. the trail is like my god. it cant be around untruth. if you wanted a drink, or to go gambeling, or to have sex,......you wouldnt be hiking.if you have a girlfriend you hate or only moneys borrowed, ur trip is ruined. if you are lonely or scared or lacking confidence....sometimes a trip is ruined because you love someone so much.

Slo-go'en
06-10-2011, 21:23
Sometimes it's best to follow your gut.

Yes, let me ammend my some what sarcasic comment. Do you feel at all out of sorts, physically? Might be a some kind of medical condition coming on.

Just over a year ago, I started what was to be a month long trip and wasn't my normal self after 3 days on the trail. I reluctantly decided to go back home at considerable expense. The day after I made it home I was in the ER with a very serious medical condition. If I had tried to "walk it off" I would be dead now. So, sometimes it really is best to follow your gut.

I sure hope unknown health reasons is not why you weren't into it today.

sbhikes
06-10-2011, 21:23
You should check later and see if a plane crashed on the trail or something.

Blissful
06-10-2011, 21:24
You probably have some stuff you need to take care of


Agree with SKids. The trails are always there. There's a time to hike and a time not to hike. :) Don't beat yourself up.

Sierra Echo
06-10-2011, 21:25
I would have hiked regardless. You never know when your ability to hike is going to be taken away from you.

mweinstone
06-10-2011, 21:30
my second thru attempt started when my son and his mom waived and kissed goodby from 30th street station in philadelphia as i boarded amtrack for gainsvill in a sleeper car. max was too young to leave. it ripped and tore at me. my hike vs my sons fourth year. at neels. 34 miles in, i paid mountain man wayne 100$ for the trip to atlanta. at the drop off in front of my airline, i turnned to him with hundreds of dollars worth of things i coulodnt fly with, and handed them to him as a tip. nothing ment anything. i learned that the trail waits for us to make time. it onlly wants our quality time. ive quit 5 thru hike attemps. allways for reasons the trail makes clear. allways to return without the burdon. allways better for the trip. no matter its endpoint.

Dobie Swift
06-10-2011, 22:35
I think I know the feeling. I often get a case of "cold feet" usually on the shuttle ride. It happened more when I was first starting out and lacked the confidence of rolling solo. It now usually happens when I start thinking about all I'm leaving back home and what it would be like for my family if I didn't come home...

WingedMonkey
06-10-2011, 22:49
Glad you quit before you got out of the parking lot, saves others from listening to your unhappiness at the first over crowded trail crossing. So much better to go online and admit your failure than to take up space an an overpriced hut in the whites where the busboy had to carry your breakfast up a mountain.

Dogwood
06-11-2011, 03:20
Have you ever gone out to a trail head and realize your head or heart wasn't into it like you had thought? - Joker4ink

NO! Within a few miles, even after all the trail miles and different trips, that typical cadence of my legs kick in, my eyes widen, my brain functions more alertly, more aware, and the hike IS ON! It's no longer just about reading a book, studying maps, or engaging in talk, including internet chatter. Feet are touching the center of the Earth. Spirit is soaring among the stars. Adventure, exploratioin, self awareness, connection, health, appreciation, joy, love, faith, wisdom flows! EGO, pride, fear, hate, ignorance, anxiousness, impatience, human static diminishes! That inner voice fellowshipping with something greater than myself is more easily heard! More importantly, aside from the proccess of hiking, life takes on greater meaning a greater connection with the universe occurs, FOR ME.

The only way my mind and heart wouldn't be "IN IT" is for me to be totally unaware of this, ignoring this wonderous vehicle that has taken me beyond the status quo lifestyle, or lose my appreciation of it! FOR ME, it would entail a certain sense ingratitude. It would, FOR ME, mean that I sacrificed "THE GIFT" of fellowshipping in the garden again with the creator!

long island bob
06-11-2011, 04:30
I sometimes get whiny after a long drive to a trailhead, usually if it's a snow trip and I have gotten too late of a start and the sun is out making all of the snow mushy. Fortunately I'm stubborn, so I make myself go and end up having a neato time anyway.


Yeah I get that too.

Once on the trail I can be 6 hours ahead of schedule or six hours behind schedule and I don't care. But when driving to the trailhead if I'm 2 hours late I just hate it.


Hmm, maybe that's why hiking is good for me, cause one I get out there "it's all good."

hawkeye
06-11-2011, 06:37
It happen to me once on day 2 of a trip. The 1st day was fine. The morning of the 2nd day I lasted 2 hours and had this bad feeling to get off the trail. Went home and the next day I had major medical issues. Now 2 years later I am hitting the trail again and can't wait!

scooterdogma
06-11-2011, 06:40
Hike Your Own Hike ... Or Don't! You did the right thing for you. I always try to listen to the holy hiker trinity... head, heart and gut. The trail is always out there to enjoy another day :sun

10-K
06-11-2011, 08:40
I've never bailed before I started hiking but I've changed my route to shorten it after I started hiking.

For instance, I headed out to Hot Springs the other week with the plans of hiking back the next day. Rather than do that, I just hiked to Allen's Gap and turned around. Shortened the hike by about 20 miles but still got to stay out overnight.

10-K
06-11-2011, 08:41
I got some snowshoes last winter and hiked about a half mile in foot deep snow and thought, "Man, this is HARD." and quit... :)

jerseydave
06-11-2011, 08:41
May have been "fate" telling you not to go.....

A twisted ankle, snake bite, nasty fall, etc. etc. may have been waiting for you out there that day and "something" intervened to save you.

Thank your guardian angel and don't forget to take them with you next time as well.

Gotta have your head in the game.

jd

Joker4ink
06-11-2011, 12:22
I agree that everything happens for a reason...it can be frustrating when you dont know what that reason is, especially when I did a solo trip up there once before. as stated by scooter, the trail will still be there. I may just have to get back out there and lay some miles down to get my head back in the game!

bulldog49
06-11-2011, 14:50
Depends what you did instead.
If it was some TV show or video game, yeah, you screwed up.
Priorities are just plain messed up.
But if you went to look up and old girlfriend or play some great music with
a reggae band, yeah, you have days like that sometimes.

Dumb!

Doesn't matter what he did. If he did not feel like hiking why force yourself to do something you don't want to do, just for the sake of doing it? If he enjoyed a TV show or video game more than he would enjoy the hike, he made the right choice.

I've shortened trips when I wasn't enjoying them.

WILLIAM HAYES
06-11-2011, 16:14
I just go ahead and do it -after a mile or tow it feels right

sbhikes
06-11-2011, 16:15
I actually felt like calling it off before my second half of the PCT. It seemed hard to get back into modern life after the first half and I think I was just starting to get into the groove of modern life, even kind of wishing I had a job again. But then I left and within a day I was loving my hike so much! It was the best hike ever.

I have shortened hikes, too. I did the whole PCT by myself and afterwards it seemed like if I wanted to do any backpacking I would still have to do it by myself so I planned trips every now and then. I was surprised how much I didn't really feel into the whole solo thing on a couple of them. So I shortened one by catching a ride with someone and I shortened another by walking more each day. I still had a nice time, though.

hikerboy57
06-11-2011, 16:51
Ive cut trips short, simply because I wasnt enjoying myself. But I also believe in my instincts, and if that inner voice was telling me not to hike that day, I would probably listen.( so far my inner voice has told me to shut up and keep hiking).

Kernel
06-12-2011, 07:52
It could have been that you were tired after the 4.5 hrs drive. One option could have been to sleep/camp in the area then hike the next day when you are rested.

English Stu
06-17-2011, 10:02
Well each to their own, but as a retired Marathoner once you start charting DNF it gets harder to complete.Something I didn't start.
Anxiety at the start is normal but its easier to stop that keep going. If doubtful about continuing best advice recently on here was to hike 100miles, if still doubtful hike another 100miles.Then reconsider. I think you might be on your way by then.

skylar24
06-17-2011, 14:19
I totally agree with Mweinstone. The trail is a very personal for some people and we all attempt it for different reasons. For some people just getting to the trail head is a huge accomplishement. No one really knows what they are going to be feeling until they get out there and try. For you at least planning it out and doing the drive to get there is a lot more then most people, so don't beat yourself up over it. The trail will always be there waiting and will always be full of extremely supportive people that won't judge you for following your heart and your gut. We all have stuff we are dealing with and sometimes things don't end up the way we planned but stay positive and remember that bright side at least we are given the choice to hike on this extremely beautiful anytime we want free of question.

jeremiah j
06-17-2011, 15:07
you cant go hiking with baggage. the trail is like my god. it cant be around untruth. if you wanted a drink, or to go gambeling, or to have sex,......you wouldnt be hiking.if you have a girlfriend you hate or only moneys borrowed, ur trip is ruined. if you are lonely or scared or lacking confidence....sometimes a trip is ruined because you love someone so much.
I've had the hate GF who only borrows money and turned around a couple of times. Didn't know I could blame her.

Raul Perez
06-17-2011, 16:23
I got some snowshoes last winter and hiked about a half mile in foot deep snow and thought, "Man, this is HARD." and quit... :)

I know the feeling. Snowshoeing is hard work no doubt!

Shutterbug
06-17-2011, 18:47
...What did you do to get your head back in the game?

-Punchy

There have been many times I have cancelled a hike for one reason or another. The way I get my head back into the game is to immediately begin planning my next hike. Always having another hike on the schedule tends to keep my head in the game.

adamkrz
06-17-2011, 19:18
I've had a week long hike planed with a shuttle already paid for - and just stopped and turned around after the first night for no reason other than just not feeling it.

Did the same hike 2 years later and had a great time.

Pokey2006
06-18-2011, 01:40
Ha ha, I had to laugh -- I'd say a tiny bit of dread at the trailhead would be more likely in the Whites than elsewhere. Just knowing that your first few hours will be straight up, up, up. I feel ya. I've gotten downright nervous approaching trailheads of hikes that I know are going to be particularly difficult. I often approach a trailhead in NH with a little "ugh" rather than a "yay." Of course, that all changes once you break out above treeline :)

I have also, several times, gotten a bad vibe at a trailhead and turned around...but only to drive to another nearby trailhead and just change my itinerary. Sometimes, it was something obvious, like a drugged-out crazy dude in the parking lot at 6 a.m. Other times, it was just a weird feeling, for no reason at all. I am a firm believer in going with one's gut.

Next time, consider finding another, perhaps easier, trail in the area. A nice, easy day hike might have left you feeling better about your decision to bail.

Joker4ink
06-19-2011, 12:02
I am always up for challenging hikes and ones that I have never done before. Hiking in the Whites last year was tough but very rewarding during and at the end of my trip. This trip, I had no reason, other than my insides/instincts, that made me feel like I shouldn't do the trip. Regardless, when I got back home to CT I made sure to get out on the trail the following day.

Mags
06-19-2011, 16:35
I've modified hikes for various reasons (weather, feel like doing something different at the last minute, just wasn't as motivated as I thought), but don't think I've ever actually turned around at the TH.

I've been tempted at times,though. :) (See above about modifying!).

The ones I've tended to make shorter are usually in town hikes.

I get to the TH, realize my heart just isn't into it and hike for an hour vs the 3-4 hrs I had planned. Many times I am doing the in-town hikes more for exercise than for the sake of hiking as I have to be somewhere else later that day. And sometimes exercise for exercise is not enough motivation to do a longer hike. I admit it. :o

Having said all this, nothing wrong with turning around once in a while. The outdoors is what it is for you. Enjoy it how it works for you!

PennyPincher
06-19-2011, 18:10
Yes. Last time out. I was doing fine. 8 miles in before 10:30 and found myself at a shelter. Feet were starting to blister though. My choices were to stay there for the day and fight the black flies (boring and annoying) ,hike some more further in (and then have to hike back out the next day or two) or head out now while I could still manage my blisters. I headed out and at mile 3 on the way out ran into some very nice older couples who gave me a lift back to my car. So I did 11 miles in one day instead of 30-44 over 2-3. I need my feet every day. Ended up spending a good weekend with my son and husband instead. I don't regret it at all. It was the right decision for me at the time.

Though had I known it was going to be a day hike instead of 3 days I would have had a much lighter pack! ;)

stranger
06-20-2011, 07:17
I've never turned around at the trail head, but that doesn't mean I haven't had thoughts of turning around.

Probably the worst was in 2008, I was near panic as I was shuttled up to Springer Mountain, but I've experienced that before, and I knew it was just a anxiety attack, I knew it would pass and it did a few hours later.

In 2009 I went out hiking for the first time solo here in Australia, I was out for about 60 miles, I was very nervous about snakes, spiders, etc...but kept going anyway, a few days in I decided to bail.

I guess it depends on why you hike, for many people on here...hiking is life, so to not hike and to do something else would be a completely foreign concept. For others, hiking serves another purpose, and only you can define what that purpose is, why you do it and more importantly, why you do not go hiking.

I've quit short hikes, only to return and do 500 miles, the important thing is to try to figure out 'why' you think you might of turned around, analyse that, and go from there. Sometimes you just might not want to go hiking, that's cool, don't think too hard about it. But if it's something else, perhaps it's worth looking into so you don't develop a pattern.