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Thread: I could cry

  1. #1

    Default I could cry

    So, my son and I have been planning a thru-hike for next Mar for a couple of years.
    Last week he tells me he's not a backpacker.
    All my thoughts and fantasies about hiking the trail involve the 2 of us doing it together.
    My husband is very leary of me going alone. He's sure that the woods are full of bad things and people and I will die out there (or worse). He's OK with this crazy dream of mine because he thinks our son is going. We haven't told him differently yet.
    My son is great fun to hike with and I have come to rely on him to divy up the chores with. He gets water, I cook. I clean, he bearbags, etc. We divide weight. He carries the tent body and groundsheet, I carry the rainfly and poles. I carry the kitchen, he carries the steripen, etc. The loser of our nightly card games carries the cards the next day.
    My pack and my heart just got a lot heavier. Ever since he volunteered to do this with me, I have thought of little else other than what it will be like to do this with him. To have someone to look out for and to look out for me. Someone to share stories with. I have thought of us as team Pullen.
    He tells me he wants to do it for me. I don't want him there to take care of me. I want a partner to share the experience with.
    Thoughts?
    Dee
    healthymom

  2. #2

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    Your hiking buddy was your son and I know that has a special significance for you, but whether or not you hiking buddy/partner is related I think everyone would be better off if they decided to hike based on their own reasons, despite what their buddy/partner may or may not do. Now, after you get done with the ifs, ands, and buts, disappointment, sadness, and possibly being angry YOU have to ask yourself FOR WHAT REASONS DID I WANT TO HIKE FOR MYSELF IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    I know it can be hard. I've been there. But what do you want to do now? Just because things change doesn't automatically mean that your hiking experience wouldn't still be rewarding for yourself if you hike without your son. Perhaps, If you shared your enthusiasm and excitement while hiking he stilll may join you at some pt during your hike. You could still share your hike with him through pics, ph calls, your inspiration, etc. He may just realize in the the, end, "hey, what's got mom so excited being out hiking. Perhaps, I should have gone with her. Where are those bus scedules?" Even if he doesn't ever hike with you get to share your hiking experiences with him. That can be very rewarding in itself.

  3. #3
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Sad for you on one hand. But be glad you found out now before starting....

    Go anyway. Have fun. It is only hiking.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

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  4. #4

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    If it's still your dream, maybe the men in your life will find a way to support you, visit you for sections - hike with you here and there? Just thinkin. . .

  5. #5

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    Whoa! Bummer! Splitting the load and the chores would be gone but is there any way that your husband could take off for the first few days to go with you just so he can see how safe it is and how much the hiking community watch over each other? He can see that there will be other women out there hiking also and that they also feel safe. It may ease his mind enough and also interest him enough to want to also be part of the trip and the trail and meet you on weekends while you are still down south. By the time that you get up north, he will miss you but realize that you are safe.
    Also, ask your son to join you just for the first week to get you acclimated and once out there with all of the others (besides Mom) he may decide that a 6 month vacation is exactly what he needs and will continue. Just some thoughts. OTOH, don't end your dreams for others reasons...you may find that it is totally your world out there even if your son doesn't go.

    geek

  6. #6
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    Maybe he can start with you for a short period of time, and then later meet you in different states. My son is willing to hike periodically, but no more than once a year. I cherish it, and thoroughly enjoy it when he does. You still have a year to work something out. My partner bailed on my at the last moment and I went anyway.

  7. #7
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    It sounds like there's 2 things you need to do.
    1. Convince your husband that you'll be fine, just as the thousands of woman who have gone before you were. Check out the female forum here at Whiteblaze.
    2. Lighten your load so that you can carry everything. That may mean buying new, lighter gear,...or not, depending on what you have. Or just not carrying as many things.

    If you don't try the hike you'll always be sorry you didn't and may even become bitter and and resentful of your husband. Now he doesn't want to chance that, does he? And no, he'll never understand your desire to do the hike, so don't expect him to. The best you can hope for is that he'll come around and be supportive of something that's this important to you.
    Happy Hiking.

  8. #8
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    Go. You will adopt a lot of new kids and make some really great pals.


    It sucks, but do not 'make' him go, or make him feel guilty about not going, the only thing worse then him backing out in an honest conversation is him going and then being miserable and making you miserable.

    Its tough, but you'll be fine.

  9. #9

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    That's a real bummer healthymom.
    I too am hoping my boy will be able to hike a long trail with me someday.
    But I have my doubts so many times as he seems quite lazy sometimes and stubborn.
    So, I share your dream and only can hope that my boy will be into it like his daddy. (he's only 4 1/2 now)
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  10. #10
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    how old is your son?

  11. #11
    Wild at Heart J5man's Avatar
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    Cut him out of your will.

  12. #12
    Registered User thelowend's Avatar
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    as a son who has a nonbackpacking mother, i wish your son would rethink his nonbackpacking status.. what did he say changed his mind? i wish my mom would be down to do some long trails.

  13. #13

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    Better that he change his mind now rather than a week or a month into the hike. You'll get over this and be fine. Maybe (as someone suggested) your son or husband or both could hike with you for the first few days and then your husband will be fine with you being out there alone--which is of course a complete misconception, there will be crowds of people all over the place.

  14. #14

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    A hike usually doesn't go exactly as planned. You've had a disappointing setback, but put yourself in a hiking frame of mind--improvise! Is there a trail club you can join to help you get used to hiking with a group of people you don't know? Your son might change his mind--but if the enthusiasm to do a long hike isn't there, it isn't there. If thru-hiking the Trail is your dream, you can make it happen.

  15. #15

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    Dogwood said:Your hiking buddy was your son and I know that has a special significance for you, but whether or not you hiking buddy/partner is related I think everyone would be better off if they decided to hike based on their own reasons, despite what their buddy/partner may or may not do. Now, after you get done with the ifs, ands, and buts, disappointment, sadness, and possibly being angry YOU have to ask yourself FOR WHAT REASONS DID I WANT TO HIKE FOR MYSELF IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    Yes! Absolutely! When we had the conversation about this, one of the things I told him is that I don't want him to hike for me.
    I'm still planning to hike. This had been my dream since I was in high school, more than 30 years ago. I have had the date set for this hike since about 2001.
    It's just that it's been both a great fantasy and reality to hike with my son. We've been buying gear specifically for a 2-person trip (tent, stove, cookware, etc.).
    We've done several hikes together. This is how he discovered he's not a backpacker. I love hiking with my son. He's a great person to be around. I can honestly say that he's a good friend.
    As for my beloved husband, it's not reasonable to expect that he would hike any distance. We are a classic case of opposites attract. For him, outdoors exists between the door of the car and the door of the house. He and I hiked a tiny portion of the AT on our honeymoon. He didn't throw his backpack off Watauga (sp?) Dam, but nearly did. He can't begin to understand my love of the outdoors in general and passion for the AT in particular. He's tried.
    My husband grew up on horror movies. Part because of that and partly for other reasons, he has a HUGE fear of death. Especially of loved ones' deaths.
    He was not OK with half his family traipsing off for 6 months in the woods. He was willing to be mildly tolerant because our son is an Eagle Scout and future Navy Seal.
    Really, as others have said, I'm glad I heard this now so that we all can make appropriate plans.
    On the upside, The sum I have put away so the 2 of us would have an average to reasonably comfortable trip is now a luxurious trip for one.
    Thanks,
    Dee
    healthymom

  16. #16

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    Since your husband watches too many horror movies you should use "Chainsaw Bait" as a trail name.

  17. #17
    Registered User sasquatch2014's Avatar
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    Men are motivated by Food or Sex.

    Tell your son he gets to eat everything he wants and as much as he wants and he will still loose weight.

    Tell your husband that if he thinks 6 months with out sex is a long time stand in your way and he will learn what a long time really is.

    Ok now for my more mundane answer. Ditto what others have said set it up for you to do it solo ie no gear sharing and then have your family learn what the trail is about. Maybe make some of the hiker get together like a ruck. Who knows they may get involved again or at least lighten up.

    if not we can stage your kidnapping and send periodic ransom demands equal to what you need for resupply. Really I know some people who know some people who knows this guy.
    Often Accused, Often Guilty but Seldom Guilty of What I am Accused.

  18. #18

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    Healthymom, I can sympathize with you. My son, who has been my best hiking buddy (though not the most frequent one) told me a couple of years ago that hiking, though nice once in a while, really wasn't his "thing". I had visions of the two of us doing long sections together, enjoying the toil of the hike and the relaxing companionship of the campsite. Unfortunately, it is not to be. I've made many friends doing sections, however, and have no shortage of folks who are more than willing to help me complete the trail in sections. I'm sure you will find at least as much support from other hopeful thruhikers. Still, I hope your son reconsiders, and if he does decide to do it for you, that it becomes something that he can reflect upon the rest of his life as an act of kindness which more than repaid him in the lesson that, when you give selflessly to others you reap so much more than you sow.
    God bless you, and have a wonderful hike.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  19. #19

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    My son is 15 and could be a model for muscle magazines. Seriously, he child has cleavage. The weird part is that it's all real, not steriods. He's a parkour fanatic and works out because he's bored (several hours a day).

    I truly appreciate the humorous replies I need some smiles right now.

    My son and I have been part of the FTA for about a year. We've done everything from an hour stroll with the chatty Cathys to 6 day hikes with just the 2 of us. I guess one of the most disappointing parts is that we've been planning and preparing to do this together for so long that talking about doing the trail together has become as natural and habitual as breathing. Now I have to totally readjust my thinking and planning.

    I guess I need to get started researching one person gear. I'll wait for awhile to see if this decision is final and then start getting rid of some of the 2-person stuff we won't be needing.

  20. #20
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    You didn't say how old your son is but I'm assuming in a teenager. I've raised 7 children and it comes as no surprise to me that he doesn't won't to go backpacking with his Mom for 5 months. He says he's not a backpacker but that may not be the whole truth. I'm guessing here of course but he probably is a normal teenager that just can't see himself leaving his current life and going on the trail. I was an avid packpacker and Hiker as a teenager and there is no way I would have left my friends for and extended trip. My uncle Sam of course had a different view of that in 1966.
    I wish you both luck and hope you get what you want. And that is to hike the AT.
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