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  1. #1
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Default Anyone back on the trail after failed attempts?

    Hey, whats going on guys? I know there are a lot of first timers here and that's cool. However, I was wondering if there were OTHER people that will be BACK on the trail in order to thru-hike after failed attempts in the past. I actually failed TWICE last year due to injuries and real life (no excuses, just facts)...Anyone else trying to make a second run at it or even a third?
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

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    PCT SOBO starting early-mid July 2016 after doing ~900 miles NOBO this year. Doing the entire trail next year, not just the parts I haven't done.

  3. #3

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    I attempted my first thru (NOBO) of the AT this year as I was retiring from the military, life totally got in the way of my hike. Made it from Springer --> Fontana before the Veterans Affairs people were threatening to send a search party out after me (they're getting pretty intense about making sure injured vets transferring from active duty get into the VA health care system lickety split).

    I've got PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury from service. Being out on the trail really helps my conditions big time.

    Since then I've hiked over 500 miles of the trail as a section hiker, fine tuning and paring down my gear requirements. I was also selected for an charity walk taking place this fall - the Walking with the Wounded's Walk of Britain - so I've been using my time out on the trail to prepare for that as well.

    Currently planning to reattempt in 2016, without my service dog. It adds a lot of stress on me (surprisingly?) having to take care of him, plus I don't think it was really in it for the long haul (although he put up with it swimmingly).
    Last edited by bemental; 07-20-2015 at 15:43.

  4. #4

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    On the AT I ran out of money halfway through, got a hitch back home, went back to work and back on the trail only to get injured. I finished the following year. On the PCT I ran out of money halfway through, went home and back to work to finish the following year. On the CDT, I saved double what I thought I needed and completed the trail in one season.

  5. #5
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    PCT SOBO starting early-mid July 2016 after doing ~900 miles NOBO this year. Doing the entire trail next year, not just the parts I haven't done.
    Same here...gotta restart the entire thru....Congrats on your decision to return. Good luck with this hike!
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

  6. #6
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    Not thru related. However, my plan of doing the Vermont AT and The Long Trail this year failed after a 45 mike shakedown from NH to the Maine JCT. Instead, I am finishing the 48 4000' hills of NH. I do not view this fact as a failure. Do your best. It is all you can do. When that is done, that is a success regardless of the goal. Vermont will have to wait. I got 3 hills last weekend. I have 15 remaining that I will get over a 9 day vacation coming right up. I can hardly wait. Back to your walk. Given your signature and your history, I would bet you make it next year.
    Last edited by BirdBrain; 07-20-2015 at 15:45.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bemental View Post
    I attempted my first thru (NOBO) of the AT this year as I was retiring from the military, life totally got in the way of my hike. Made it from Springer --> Fontana before the Veterans Affairs people were threatening to send a search party out after me (they're getting pretty intense about making sure injured vets transferring from active duty get into the VA health care system lickety split).

    I've got PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury from service. Being out on the trail really helps my conditions big time.

    Since then I've hike over 500 miles of the trail as a section hiker, fine tuning and paring down my gear requirements.

    Currently planning to reattempt in 2016, without my service dog. It adds a lot of stress on me (surprisingly) having to take care of him, plus I don't think it was really in it for the long haul (although he put up with it swimmingly).
    First of all, thank you very much Patriot for your service. I appreciate it. Second, good luck on your plan to get back on the trail. I know the feeling of real life getting in the way. The key I have found is to have people outside of the trail handling real life and making it easier for you.
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

  8. #8
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    Not thru related. However, my plan of doing the Vermont AT and The Long Trail this year failed after a 45 mike shakedown from NH to the Maine JCT. Instead, I am finishing the 48 4000' hills if NH. I do not view this fact as a failure. Do your best. It is all you can do. When that is done, that is a success regardless of the goal. Vermont will have to wait. I got 3 hills last weekend. I have 15 remaining that I will get over a 9 day vacation coming right up. I can hardly wait. Back to your walk. Given your signature and your history, I would bet you make it next year.
    Thank you so much BB...I really appreciate it. I am definitely focused on making it next year. I picked up a lot of experience and knowledge this year. Good luck with this Vermont section. You have been around this thing for quite some time and I have NO DOUBT that you will accomplish your goal when you choose to.
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

  9. #9

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    Well it took me about 37 years (1970 to 2007) to link up sections of the AT to finish it so always remember its the journey not the destination I don't think I would ever swap my sectioning for an actual traditional thru hike. Of course HYOH

  10. #10

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    I'm on a 7 year plan to section the whole trail. I go out and fail on many trips. Mostly I think it is just burned out from the long drives and second is the weather. I hate to say but I have proven to not be as tough cold/ wet weather wise as I wish I was. I guess in the moment I always side with "better safe then sorry"

    I have really beat myself up on the ride home from quitting prematurely
    Trail Miles: 4,317.5 - AT Trips: 72
    AT Map 1: 2193.1 Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 270.2
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 148.0
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TearDrop1776 View Post
    Hey, whats going on guys? I know there are a lot of first timers here and that's cool. However, I was wondering if there were OTHER people that will be BACK on the trail in order to thru-hike after failed attempts in the past. I actually failed TWICE last year due to injuries and real life (no excuses, just facts)...Anyone else trying to make a second run at it or even a third?
    My wife and I attempted our our much anticipated thru last season starting on April 8, we made it to Erwin before the pain of nagging injuries took us off. We actually returned twice to resume the hike but the recurring agonies and the lack of water finally forced us to throw in the towel. At our ages 64 and 65 we realize that this was probably our only shot at a real thru hike and are officially section hikers from now on. She has a hip replacement surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks and I've discovered an erratic heart valve but our overall health is still quite good so you can bet we'll be back. We're sad but not discouraged, for five glorious weeks we were thru hiking and will always have those memories, we also met some of the nicest people on the planet and are forever grateful for the privilege!
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

  12. #12
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Well it took me about 37 years (1970 to 2007) to link up sections of the AT to finish it so always remember its the journey not the destination I don't think I would ever swap my sectioning for an actual traditional thru hike. Of course HYOH
    I have definitely considered sectioning if I cannot finish my thru-hiking dreams. I think sectioning would still be just as amazing and I have heard that some people truly like it better because they can start FRESH with every section and not starve to death in order to get there...
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

  13. #13
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I'm on a 7 year plan to section the whole trail. I go out and fail on many trips. Mostly I think it is just burned out from the long drives and second is the weather. I hate to say but I have proven to not be as tough cold/ wet weather wise as I wish I was. I guess in the moment I always side with "better safe then sorry"

    I have really beat myself up on the ride home from quitting prematurely
    You didn't quit bro! You still have a plan to hike the whole thing and see EVERYTHING that a thru-hiker would see. I envy that dedication.
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    Not thru related. However, my plan of doing the Vermont AT and The Long Trail this year failed after a 45 mike shakedown from NH to the Maine JCT. Instead, I am finishing the 48 4000' hills of NH. I do not view this fact as a failure. Do your best. It is all you can do. When that is done, that is a success regardless of the goal. Vermont will have to wait. I got 3 hills last weekend. I have 15 remaining that I will get over a 9 day vacation coming right up. I can hardly wait. Back to your walk. Given your signature and your history, I would bet you make it next year.
    I'm curious, because I haven't been over that way very much in a few decades. How many of the NH 4000-footers are trail-less?

    With the Catskill 3500-footers, I've got 33 climbs down and six to go - all six are trail-less. I hope to finish those this year, but I'm kind of stalled at the moment. At least I have eight of the trail-less ones out of the way, plus the four out of the way that you have to do in winter. I've hardly started on the ADK 46.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  15. #15
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    O yes - 2014 - Fractured the R shin and small fracture in R knee in Smokeys. Healed and went back to Clingman's. Then.... just B4 DWGap in PA - fell and broke the R wrist. With the temp cast walked to Jersey line. After that healed it was time for hike & leaf peep in VT. It all kind of screwed up the linear feel of hiking 'thru'. I love being in the woods. But this year, hikers are flipping directions all over to avoid big crowds. I am packing for NH/ME now. Do I want to go back and begin again? in a heart beat.

    CAKE

  16. #16
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elray View Post
    My wife and I attempted our our much anticipated thru last season starting on April 8, we made it to Erwin before the pain of nagging injuries took us off. We actually returned twice to resume the hike but the recurring agonies and the lack of water finally forced us to throw in the towel. At our ages 64 and 65 we realize that this was probably our only shot at a real thru hike and are officially section hikers from now on. She has a hip replacement surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks and I've discovered an erratic heart valve but our overall health is still quite good so you can bet we'll be back. We're sad but not discouraged, for five glorious weeks we were thru hiking and will always have those memories, we also met some of the nicest people on the planet and are forever grateful for the privilege!
    You guys WENT FOR IT!!!! 5 weeks in the wilderness is a long time man and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You guys' health has to come first. There is nothing wrong with section hiking this thing...It is a hard thru-hike. I am 34 and had to come off TWICE this year. I did start my first one in December tho, which was kinda crazy. I ended up going to the Florida Trail and had to come off of there too. Then back to the AT in February where I thought I was gonna make it all the way. Of course, injuries and real life happened. I got off as well. I figure that I am gonna give this thing ONE FINAL PUSH and if I don't make it, I just gotta accept that I am not mentally strong enough for the entire 6 month hike. If that happens, I will switch to sections. It is hard to disable real life for six months and dedicate yourself to this thing. I also originally went with someone else and I believe that was my mistake. When they decided to get off the trail, I also then just followed. That was my mistake. I am not saying that couples cant make it because PLENTY do! (Congrats to Boots and Backpacks whom started ALSO in the Winter last year)...

    I hope you guys's health improves and you can accomplish your dream. I wouldn't say this was your only shot tho. You never know where life can take you....It took you to the trail THREE times this year. That's saying alot!
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    I'm curious, because I haven't been over that way very much in a few decades. How many of the NH 4000-footers are trail-less?

    With the Catskill 3500-footers, I've got 33 climbs down and six to go - all six are trail-less. I hope to finish those this year, but I'm kind of stalled at the moment. At least I have eight of the trail-less ones out of the way, plus the four out of the way that you have to do in winter. I've hardly started on the ADK 46.
    The Whites are very popular. Owls Head is supposedly trailless. It has a great trail that is very clear. I doubt any are really trailless. The White Mountains trail map that I have shows trails to all of them.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  18. #18
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnette View Post
    O yes - 2014 - Fractured the R shin and small fracture in R knee in Smokeys. Healed and went back to Clingman's. Then.... just B4 DWGap in PA - fell and broke the R wrist. With the temp cast walked to Jersey line. After that healed it was time for hike & leaf peep in VT. It all kind of screwed up the linear feel of hiking 'thru'. I love being in the woods. But this year, hikers are flipping directions all over to avoid big crowds. I am packing for NH/ME now. Do I want to go back and begin again? in a heart beat.

    CAKE
    Starting over actually is an amazing feeling to me. When I did the Approach Trail and Springer for the second time this year, I felt like it was MUCH EASIER. I felt like I already knew what to expect and I hiked faster. I loved the idea that I was getting a fresh start. I got pics and footage that I missed the first time. I feel like I could start over and do the same areas 100x if I needed to. I am excited about going back and seeing the things that I remember like Amicalola, Springer, Neels Gap, Suches, etc... I HATE big crowds, but I think I am gonna go with them this next year. Both of my attempts were in the winter so I didn't get to hike with many people NOR experience trail magic. I kinda wanna see those things this year.
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

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  19. #19
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    Oh, and back on topic: I'll never make a thru-hiker. I just can't see ever being able to walk away from my life and responsibilities for half a year at a whack. The longest thru-hike I've attempted is the Northville-Placid Trail (135 miles), and I bailed on that because of an illness. I'm finishing in sections. One more long weekend should do it. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that I didn't do it as a thru. I just divided the length of the trail by my available vacation time, said, "that looks like a reasonable daily mileage" and planned it as a thru-hike. If it were a longer trail I'd have planned a section to begin with. It's a great trail and I want to see the rest of it.

    I don't have a goal to hike the entirety of any major trail, but it might happen if I live long enough. I like seeing new places, and a major trail (or for that matter, a peakbagging list) is kind of a catalogue of new places to see.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  20. #20
    TearDrop1776 TearDrop1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    On the AT I ran out of money halfway through, got a hitch back home, went back to work and back on the trail only to get injured. I finished the following year. On the PCT I ran out of money halfway through, went home and back to work to finish the following year. On the CDT, I saved double what I thought I needed and completed the trail in one season.
    You know what? That says it all! I think that money is a HUGE reason that most people get off the trail. They do not realize how much they are gonna spend in the beginning. It's hard to stay away from the Pizza and Wings in Suches. It's hard to not stay at Neels Gap a couple of days. If you go to Helen, you are gonna spend some serious dough. It's all about discipline sure, but after just starting the trail, our systems are going through a shock. We immediately want that Pizza and comfort because we are NOT USED to hiking and camping every day. Money gets spent EARLY in my opinion and if you are not careful, you can end up spending $1000 your first few weeks or month. The key....budget well and save that money...I think your CDT trip showed you that.

    I have come up with a method...I am NOT taking thousands of dollars at all. I am taking a card that my wife will deposit money to monthly to keep me from going over. I will get a lot of food drops and try to work within a strict budget. For instance, even with a few hotels and hostels, my first month, I only intend on spending $250. So, that is all I am gonna take....OF COURSE, if I need more, it will be available, but I also got a home to upkeep as well. $250 for month #1 (through the Smokies) is well within reason for me (Especially with food being dropped)...

    I refuse to take more than I am gonna need. Helen isn't gonna get me THIS TIME!!! LOL! Either is Hiawassee! LOL!
    Tear Drop 2016 - This thing will NOT beat Me!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyc...rhn5dwBltHGUxw

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