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Thread: Bowing out

  1. #1
    formerly amazonwoman
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    Default Bowing out

    After lots of consideration and numbers crunching I have decided to postpone my thru. In order to do it I would basically have to sell everything, pick up a part-time job in addition to my full time job and live really poor until June.

    I'm not afraid of sacrifice but I have begun to realize that all of that will keep me from hiking much at all between now and my June start date. Preparing for the trail is keeping me off the trail and that doesn't make sense. I have decided to instead hike weekends and my two weeks worth of vacation on the AT until I can comfortably take off and thru.

    I just think that it would be rather depressing to come home from a thru, hopefully one of the best experiences of my life, just to dive back into a struggle to start my life over from scratch.

    Am I selling out or does this make sense? I still want to thru, I'm going to tenatively plan for 2008. I just think that if I do it the right way I'll have better memories and an easier transition back into the real world.

    I'll still frequent Whiteblaze to learn from y'all and I'm going to the SORUCK. Looking forward to making new friends and joining in weekend hikes and events. Good luck to all 2007 thruhikers with their prep and hikes.

    Amazonwoman

  2. #2
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    While I am sad to see this, I must praise your thoughtful consideration of when and how to do your hike. You have my full support

  3. #3
    Hug a Trail volunteer StarLyte's Avatar
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    Just PM'd you.

    Let's talk at the Southern Ruck.

    You must do what you feel is best in your heart.

    Hike your own hike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by amazonwoman View Post
    Am I selling out or does this make sense? I still want to thru, I'm going to tenatively plan for 2008. I just think that if I do it the right way I'll have better memories and an easier transition back into the real world.
    Thru hiking is overrated. Try your hand at some major sections and see how it goes. Seriously, people invest so much emotional energy into thru hikes, and then slink away, ashamed and disappointed. So plan for a long section, take a month or two or whatever. If, at the end of that hike, you're craving more, then yes, you're thru-hiker material. If not, you've just saved yourself a lot of grief.

  5. #5
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    You can get a lot out of a major section hike (think 500 miles). You're out long enough to get into a rhythm and much better shape. Sure, you will have to leave the friends you've made behind, but maybe you can time a short vacation to meet a bunch of them in Baxter Park when they're finishing?
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  6. #6
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    [quote=amazonwoman;285573]After lots of consideration and numbers crunching I have decided to postpone my thru. In order to do it I would basically have to sell everything, pick up a part-time job in addition to my full time job and live really poor until June.

    =======================================

    The trail isn't going anywhere. The hike itself isn't as complicated as putting your life on hold. If it's in your heart to hike the AT it will happen ...and you'll know when the time is right !!

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  7. #7

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    The Trail will wait for you. Take your time, you'll know when you're ready. C'mon up to Maine and get the Baxter > Monson section done, we'll hook you up with rides to and from the Trail.
    keep having fun planning!
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    C'mon up to Maine and get the Baxter > Monson section done
    Quite seriously.... if that glorious piece of trail doesn't hook you for life, nothing will.

  9. #9
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    It seems to me you've made the best decision. The trail is just one little part of life and you wouldn't get the most out of your hike if you had doubts in the back of your mind about finding a job, finding a place to stay, and making ends meet when you get back. I can't enjoy a hike if I'm concerned about an upcoming deadline or family problems back at home. Timing is everything and your time will come.

    In the mean time look at the bright side, a quick drive on I-40 will take you to long sections of the AT in NC, TN, and VA. Go hike Mount Rogers, Roan Mtn., and the Smokies next year. Section hiking will either prepare you for a thru hike and fuel the fire or help you realize you don't want to hike for 180 days straight.

  10. #10
    formerly amazonwoman
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    Thank you everyone for your encouragement. I know that I'm going to thru-hike one day.

    From the time I could walk good I tagged along with my brother and sisters into the woods. Behind my home in rural NC there was the most amazing stream and swampy area. I spent every spare waking moment of my time exploring the swamp and following the trails left by our cows along the stream. I tramped through fields and cow pastures (barefoot! watch your step!). My greatest regret of growing up was losing this way of life.

    When I was in high school I read about that AT and realized I could reclaim my love. I've dreamed about it ever since. Over the years I've suffered from depression and have been afraid to get out and live my life, much less hike.

    Things are different now and I'm ready to live. I know that I just have to pack the pack and start walking. I'll start with weekends and vacations or afternoons at a state park. One day I will live the dream that has kept me going, the one bright spot in so many years of despair and loneliness. I will thruhike.

    Again, thanks to you all for your fellowship.

    Amazonwoman

  11. #11
    Donating Member Cuffs's Avatar
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    While Im not "glad" to hear of you making such a difficult decision, I want you to know you are not alone. Because of my work situation, I too may (not sure yet) have to postpone til '08. While Im doing my darn'dest to make it happen this summer, reality says to delay it.

    See you at SORUCK! How to talk with you about this whole thing!
    ~If you cant do it with one bullet, dont do it at all.
    ~Well behaved women rarely make history.

  12. #12
    Registered User JJB's Avatar
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    I realy can't forsee a thru in the near future but god I love the trail in the little bits that I can do. Soul saving to say the least. HYOH and enjoy.
    Peace. JJB.
    Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who mind donít matter, and those that matter donít mind. - Dr. Seuss<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

  13. #13
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    Your plan and reasons sound eminently sensible to me. Who would want to come off such a spectacular physical and mental undertaking, only to return to "the world" so insecure? You are 33... still a grasshopper (relatively speaking) ... and have so many years of fun and hiking still ahead of you. Like my pal says, the trail will be there next year.

    I have also made the decision not to thru-hike, although it's a long-term dream, until my children are substantially older (my youngest is now 8). Some people call that copping or chickening out, I call it being a responsible parent... but what counts isn't what people think, it's what you know in your heart is the right thing to do.

    Blessings and grace to you, in this and all you do,

    Jane in CT

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsingjane View Post
    Your plan and reasons sound eminently sensible to me. Who would want to come off such a spectacular physical and mental undertaking, only to return to "the world" so insecure?
    Most thru-hikers don't come back to "the world" insecure. Even if they have no job and no money, they'll figure a way.

    Amazonwoman, you're coming to the SORUCK? Can I make you a personalized nametag?

    I started twice thinking I had enough money to finish both times. Stuff happened and I could only make it about halfway. I came back both times to finish the following year. These were great hikes and I met twice as many as I normally would have, with many still good friends to this day. Third time was a charm, as I made sure I had enough money to carry me through. For me being able to stay out 6 months at a time, instead of 3 or 4, was that much better.

    Regardless of how you feel now, bring your gear to the SORUCK, talk to the others in person, hear their stories, take their advice and then make a final decision.

  15. #15
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    2008 ain't so far away.....

    See ya at the Ruck, gemini.

  16. #16
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    I know how you feel AW. I've had to put my next hike off for the last 4 years. Things happen. As others have pointed out, the trail will be there when the time is right for you. Best wishes

  17. #17
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    Don't worry about having to push your hike back. I wanted to start SOBO this June. I had to puch it back until NOBO in March-ish.

    In retrospect it was a good thing. I had the chance to change a lot of the gear I was originally going to use. I also had the chance to do more overnight and build up hikes.

    You will get there.

  18. #18
    Registered User d2m's Avatar
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    good choice. it can be very difficult to readjust to things after a thru hike. and having no money when you get back makes it even harder.
    long haul '06

  19. #19
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Belive it or not, it takes a lot of strength to make the decision you have made. Baised solely on section hiking, I have to say that: Thru hiking the AT (or PCT or CDT, or _____ ) is quite a commitment, as said several times here at Whiteblaze & at trailplace, do be succesful on a thru, it must be the most important thing in your life (or at least near the top).

    A good point you brought up, "Preparing for the trail is keeping me off the trail and that doesn't make sense." is right on. This decision too is part of preparing to hike the AT. You have just learned to chill

    Go next year, or not.

    Go in 2009, or not.

    Section hike with friends, or solo, or whatever.

    Or, Hook up with Hammock Engineer (or any of the others) on the start of his Thru in March. Trust me, it will be a great experience. That is what I did my first section, I hooked up with Sly & 2 friends, I learned SOOOO much that 2 weeks, and that section is still my favorite.


    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  20. #20
    formerly amazonwoman
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    I've been off-line for a few days and it was great to come back to all your encouragment. Thanks.

    Sly, I would love a personalized name tag for the SORUCK. I don't think I want to get my gear Tucked yet I know I have problems in that department.

    Thank you all for making me feel welcome. I'm looking forward to seeing you all soon.

    Amazonwoman (Julie)

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