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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    08-29-2015
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    Savannah, GA
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    46
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    29

    Default Regret not finishing...

    I made the decision to get off the trail last year and it still bugs me. Have any of you gotten off the trail then started back, years down the road? I made it to Damascus, VA.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    11-04-2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs CO
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    Injury took me off last year just past Damascus at Grayson Highlands State Park. I sat under a tree halfway down to the park cursing for a good 15 minutes. Less than a day later I told my wife I couldn't let it go. I will be starting at that stopping place a month from now. It has eaten at me all year. So yes, but being retired I don't have to wait for years. I enjoyed the hike too much to pass on finishing.

  3. #3

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    I was forced off by a major illness in 2015. Started section hiking last year from where I got off. One day I will try another thru but for now section hiking is enough for me. Doesn't mean I don't think about it though.

  4. #4

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    There are alot of trails and alot of days in the year and alot of weekends (or weeks) to go backpacking in any area of your choosing. We all "get off the trail" at the end of our trips and then we "get back on the trail" a few weeks later. No sweat.

  5. #5

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    Yes. I did 649 miles last year before getting off trail. I immediately went to work and tried to keep myself occupied. About a month after being off trail I began to have nightmares and sunk into a massive state of depression. I resolved I would be back in 2017.

    Here's the kicker- up until 5 days ago I was all set to start at Springer on March 31. I told my fiends the only way I wouldn't hike is if my dream job called (knowing it wouldn't happen). Well...wouldn't you know it, I get a call from my dream job asking me to submit my resume. My heart is with the trail but job opportunities like this only come so often. As of now I'm still hiking the trail until something concrete happens with the potential job.

  6. #6

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    If regret not finishing the trail has got ya down...may I suggest 12 step group

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-04-2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs CO
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    55

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    There are alot of trails and alot of days in the year and alot of weekends (or weeks) to go backpacking in any area of your choosing. We all "get off the trail" at the end of our trips and then we "get back on the trail" a few weeks later. No sweat.
    You are absolutely right. Which is why as soon as I healed up I was out hiking in my own neighborhood mountains as soon as possible. But the old competitive runner in me won't let the AT go. So I will get back on that trail this spring. Like races that didn't go well and needed to be competed in again, this is unfinished business. Thank god this is fun unfinished business. Sometimes the races were just business!

  8. #8
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    07-10-2009
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
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    2,591
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    Default

    2012 - "once in a lifetime" hike. Broke my right ankle at mile 498 - just past Thomas Knob Shelter, Grayson Highlands. Decided a year later to try again in 2016.

    Took 7 months, 4 days to complete the second time. Still hurting, but at least I'm a "thru-hiker".

    Try again - keep going.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    06-10-2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA
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    I quit with the Virginia blues, but committed to finishing "some day." Started doing section hikes a few years later. Worked my way south, finished at the same desolate road crossing where I'd jumped off seventeen years earlier. At this point I'm on my second section hike of the AT, though there's no real plan to do it all over again. I spend at least a few days on the AT every year, and other (more local) trails as well.

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    03-12-2014
    Location
    San Diego
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    47
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    267

    Default

    I had several friends go down with injuries late in the trail, and it was really troubling for me to see them go home. I hope that all of you make it back to the trail again some day and finish what you started...your story will be better than the average thru-hiker.

  11. #11
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    10-13-2010
    Location
    Kingsville, Texas
    Age
    74
    Posts
    2,333

    Default

    Came down with anaplasmoisis in Pennsylvania in '11. Came back in '12 and started over and finished.

  12. #12

    Default

    Came off the trail in 2015. It was a long winter wondering if there was anyway I could have plowed through the injury and knowing I missed the opportunity of being a thru hiker. Completed the trail the following year in a different way with slower and lower mileage days being the norm. For me, removing the timeline made the completion fun. No regrets.

  13. #13
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    02-18-2015
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
    Age
    48
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    750 miles in and I pulled off trail for losing 46 pounds in 43 days, a few things that all went wrong back home at the same time, and my hiking partner ended up getting so sick he went to the hospital. This got me thinking way too much and I stopped. This year I'm attempting another thru though and I'm starting at the Falls again and using what I learned the first time around.
    - Trail name: Thumper

  14. #14

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    If you can't complete the trail the way you dreamed of doing it the first time, there is no shame in completing the trail any way you can do it. The trail presents challenges to everyone, every year. The trick is to work with the challenges and figure out how to finish. If you have to start over, finish it in sections, finish it taking more than one year, or whatever - you still have done what most people never do!

    I wish i could could do a thru hike. I can't do it for several reasons, so I decided to just do what I can do, when I can do it. I do sit at home in between trips dreaming and planning and looking at my photos, reading other's trailjoutnals, but it helps pass the time between trips. And - occasionally I get to meet someone on the trail I've read about here!

  15. #15

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    You may find this thread of some help However it seems most people here speak of not finishing due to injury, the emotional endurance weighs just as heavy.

    Throwing In The Towel : By Gambit McCrae
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  16. #16
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    02-18-2015
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
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    48
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    596

    Default

    Personally, I don't look as me pulling off the trail on a thru attempt as a "fail" or "regret". Other than the fact I had a blast and everyone thought I was crazy for taking on such a challenge, I'm using it as a learning tool so the my attempt (33 days to go!) will be even more enjoyable and (hopefully) able to complete end to end. Lighter pack, in better shape to start with, and not only myself but family and friends know what to expect. Even if I'm not able to complete a thru this time around, I wont look at it as fail either. I will then just start sectioning and complete it that way.
    - Trail name: Thumper

  17. #17
    Registered User
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    03-11-2014
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    ocala fl
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    54
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    this is the best answer. I cant do a thru right now but i get out there every chance i get

  18. #18
    Registered User
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    03-11-2014
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    ocala fl
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    54
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    Default

    that was in reply to tipi's answer

  19. #19
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    08-28-2007
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    Georgia and Hawaii
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    18,092

    Default

    Regret is living in the past. Regret arises out of a negative mindset. Live in the now. Plan for the future. Take it forward from here. Soulsearch. It's your life. Determine your destiny. Make a LIFE plan.Set goals. Follow up on it. Keep yourself regularly accountable. Note the progress. Enlist others to help. Smile. Be grateful for what you have experienced.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by capehiker View Post
    Yes. I did 649 miles last year before getting off trail. I immediately went to work and tried to keep myself occupied. About a month after being off trail I began to have nightmares and sunk into a massive state of depression. I resolved I would be back in 2017.

    Here's the kicker- up until 5 days ago I was all set to start at Springer on March 31. I told my fiends the only way I wouldn't hike is if my dream job called (knowing it wouldn't happen). Well...wouldn't you know it, I get a call from my dream job asking me to submit my resume. My heart is with the trail but job opportunities like this only come so often. As of now I'm still hiking the trail until something concrete happens with the potential job.
    If they asked you to submit your resume then proceed with the process of getting the job but let them know your "start date" will be "7 months from now."
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

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