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Thread: Should I???

  1. #1

    Default Should I???

    I am a recent widower. I lost my wife about 1 year ago. I've come far in a year, but would like to accomplish my goal of hiking the entire AT. The catch is this.... I have three little boys (5, 4 and 2 years old). They wouldn't be able to join me. It's just too hard. I might be able to convince family members to watch them for a few months.
    I have saved the money to do it. I have a good job that I would NOT want to lose, but I feel like an AT hike would provide a lot of healing for me. (not to mention that it could provide opportunities to network and gain friends)

    If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

    Thanks,
    Cameron

  2. #2
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    wait til your youngest is 18 or so then do it. the boys need you now

  3. #3

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    Based on limited info I would say section hike it over 3 to 6 years. If you can get 1 or 2 months off each summer you can still keep your job and your friends/family could help with the kids while they are out of school and by sectioning you would not have to spend as much time away from them. Sorry for your loss and good luck with your dream.

  4. #4
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    Going to go with LW on this one. I have 3 kids and if something were to happen to my wife I dont think I could leave them at a young age. The trail is not going any where. Your kids will grow up and then maybe they would want to go with you. At the ages that they are they probably need all the love they can get right now. If you left for 6 month they might be a little confussed and think that you are not coming back. All that to say just wait. It would be better. I think but HYOH

  5. #5
    AT NOBO2010 / SOBO2011 Maddog's Avatar
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    yep, i agree with lw. your kids are too young!

  6. #6
    Registered User Speer Carrier's Avatar
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    I agree with LW. Wait until the boys grow up or are old enough to perhaps hike with you. In the mean time, if they show an interest, take them camping, or on some overnighters. As folks on this website have said many, many times, the trail ain't going anywhere.

  7. #7
    Trail miscreant Bearpaw's Avatar
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    Take your boys hiking on short trips for now. There's healing to be found there as well.
    If people spent less time being offended and more time actually living, we'd all be a whole lot happier!

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    Try doing it in sections - when you can take a few weeks here and there and still have the time with your kids. Waiting til they're 18 is no guarantee they'll be ready for you to leave for 6 months. We tried a thru-hike when our youngest, a son, was 19, living in an apartment on his own and going to tech school. We still worried every day and it became a case of "thank God we got off the trail early" because there were issues that we had to take care of, that we could not have taken care of from the trail. It just wasn't the right time for us to go. He's 22 now and there are still issues that keep us near by. 18 is NOT an age when they are suddenly self sufficient in spite of what the childless would like to believe. Our daughter is 27, financially very independent, but now she's getting married and we have to be here to help, and pay for, the arrangements. Now if you're kids join the military right out of high school and make a success out of it immediately then you're freer to take off. But being enrolled in, and living at, school is NO guarantee that they are now on their own no matter how much, or others, wish it to be so.
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

  9. #9
    Registered User Cannibal's Avatar
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    Agreed, those are the cool years for little boys. I know I wouldn't want to miss them. The AT was great, but no comparison to that; not even close.
    Tomorrow might just be too late and today is just beginning.

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    Section hike, bring the kids along - they will like, hopefully !

    Keep them involved and when they get older, who knows, maybe they will join you!

  11. #11
    Section Hiking Knucklehead Hooch's Avatar
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    Cameron, first off, let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your beloved wife. I can not imagine that pain and loss that you must feel. Were I in your shoes, I'd follow the excellent advice that others here have given. Wait until your boys are older to hike the trail. Right now, your sons need their father probably more than they ever will and being apart from them, IMO, wouldn't be a good idea. For now, take the kids camping, go on short hikes and in general spend as much time with them as you possibly can. The trail will be there later on when you're ready.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

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    Registered User traildust's Avatar
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    thru hike later - section hike with your boys now. weekend hike if family can watch the boys -

  13. #13

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    I can't imagine your loss, may God offer you comfort. I'd say to heck with the AT for now. Go to the Wind Rivers or some similar place withing driving distance to you that makes the AT pale in comparison.

  14. #14
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    Stay home with your boys. Teach them your love of the outdoors and do the big hike later. They miss her too.

    I wager you won't regret it.
    Skids

    Insanity: Asking about inseams over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)

  15. #15
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I'd do a short section and when you can and they are old enough, let your boys experience it with you.







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  16. #16
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    Don't leave the kids.

  17. #17
    Registered User Ladytrekker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameronjreed View Post
    I am a recent widower. I lost my wife about 1 year ago. I've come far in a year, but would like to accomplish my goal of hiking the entire AT. The catch is this.... I have three little boys (5, 4 and 2 years old). They wouldn't be able to join me. It's just too hard. I might be able to convince family members to watch them for a few months.
    I have saved the money to do it. I have a good job that I would NOT want to lose, but I feel like an AT hike would provide a lot of healing for me. (not to mention that it could provide opportunities to network and gain friends)

    If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

    Thanks,
    Cameron
    This message is from a Mom: My answer to this question is NO. I know that you have had a traumatic loss but this is not about you right now, these children have also had a traumatic loss and if you leave what are they going to think and the timing to leave them right now is not right they are too little to understand. And to honor your wife's memory take care and love her children. YOUR CHILDREN ARE WORTH EVERY SACRIFICE YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE.

    Suggestion: Teach them, take them walking even if it is a park even if your pushing a baby carriage show them wildlife, flowers, the birds, as they age take them camping, take longer walks share this experience and growth and recovery with them.

    Just love them and everything will work out.

  18. #18
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Good advice from others. Family first, trail later. Help them to appreciate & love the outdoors; and to love you too.

    Sorry for your loss
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameronjreed View Post
    I am a recent widower. I lost my wife about 1 year ago. I've come far in a year, but would like to accomplish my goal of hiking the entire AT. The catch is this.... I have three little boys (5, 4 and 2 years old). They wouldn't be able to join me. It's just too hard. I might be able to convince family members to watch them for a few months.
    I have saved the money to do it. I have a good job that I would NOT want to lose, but I feel like an AT hike would provide a lot of healing for me. (not to mention that it could provide opportunities to network and gain friends)

    If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

    Thanks,
    Cameron
    Sorry to hear of your loss. I think if it weren't for your boys and your job then an AT thru-hike would most likely be a wise choice to help with your grieving process, it would give you time for reflection on your life, as to where you were and where you eventually want to be. I was planning an AT thru-hike for this year with other's, bought all the gear, etc... however I am also raising a 4 year old son, fixing up a new home, and experiencing the economic turmoil which the collapsing economy has inflicted upon the people. I chose to not go this year as I felt my family needs me more, and the time just wasn't right. You don't state your age, but the only problem with waiting, as other's have suggested, is the physical demands imposed on the body by a thru-hike, and ones ability to overcome this once one has aged.

  20. #20

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    Don't leave your kids.Take them on short hiking trips with you now and thru-hike when they are grown

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