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Thread: I could cry

  1. #21

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    I am sorry to hear that. I can only imagine when or if my son tells me his dreams are not the same as mine(although i dont expect them to be). Perhaps something bigger is hapening here that u are not yet aware of. keep planing and the rest will work itself out.

  2. #22
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Wow I read the posts and all boys do this and so did I when I was a teen. Got tired of dad yelling from the back of the canoe and moved on to a kayak. So you still have not answered the golden question and without the answer we are wasting posts here. HOW OLD IS HE? and better yet is he starting to think about dating? So backpacking isn't his style for a while.... OK He may come full circle and get back to it later in life... No worries. Invite a nice girl that shares some interests ( Just walks ) Great distraction, oh I am heading out to the park with .... Well ? Lighten the load, and above all don't take it so personally. Boys could do worse things like elope.... Above all talk about the good times with him -- like the time he won a hand on the trail.. I was stunned once that my son said he hated fishing because he never caught anything decent.. then I pulled out my favorite picture where he is jumping up and down on the bank with a wonderful trout from three years prior, he was speechless as he did not remember. Give it time!
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  3. #23
    Registered User Reid's Avatar
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    That's definetly true. I'd of backed out on my own ma had she planned such an endevor a few years ago. I see a bit better these days, less trees and more forest if you know what I mean. He'll come back around too eventually but still though you should give him a hard time for a little while give him a few guilt trips about it.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Wow I read the posts and all boys do this and so did I when I was a teen. Got tired of dad yelling from the back of the canoe and moved on to a kayak. So you still have not answered the golden question and without the answer we are wasting posts here. HOW OLD IS HE? and better yet is he starting to think about dating? So backpacking isn't his style for a while.... OK He may come full circle and get back to it later in life... No worries. Invite a nice girl that shares some interests ( Just walks ) Great distraction, oh I am heading out to the park with .... Well ? Lighten the load, and above all don't take it so personally. Boys could do worse things like elope.... Above all talk about the good times with him -- like the time he won a hand on the trail.. I was stunned once that my son said he hated fishing because he never caught anything decent.. then I pulled out my favorite picture where he is jumping up and down on the bank with a wonderful trout from three years prior, he was speechless as he did not remember. Give it time!
    Post # 19 - He's 15.
    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

  5. #25
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    Wow. The teen is 15? No way is he backpacking with mama for six months. Be glad. He is a normal teen. Not a rejection of you, he is just growing up.
    Now you get to hike your own hike. Truly at your own rhythm. You will meet so many great people out there on the trail. Enjoy it1

  6. #26
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    I bet he'd hike 6 months with a 15 y/o girl.

  7. #27

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    My son will turn 16 in June. He would've been 16, turning 17 on the trail.
    I absolutely will not guilt him into going. He would go out of guilt. He's a Boy Scout with a Boy Scout's mentality. Loyal, honest, brave, kind, all that happy stuff is not just a motto for him, it's who he is. The reason he volunteered to go in the first place is that he heard me say that all my hiking buddies were deserting me and I didn't have anyone to go with, but that was when he was 12.
    I don't want him to go for any other reason than HE wants to go. Not for me, not for his dad. For him.
    I had imagined him going back to school Sep of '11 as a senior who had just thru-hiked. How cool would that have been?
    I really get that he's 15. (I was there at his birth.) I understand that spending 6 months with his mom may not be in his life plan right now. He may come back to hiking later. It'll be too late for this trip.
    I've completely rearranged my personal and professional life to do this. I have been telling clients for a year that if they want to use me for their next baby, they can't get pregnant between June & Dec of this year. I'm doing this now. I may not be able to carve out this amount of time in my life again while I am still physically able to undertake such a feat. Yes, we may do shorter hikes later, but we won't be able to do this.
    It's not about his burgeoning sexuality either. He is completely uninterested at this point.
    It may be about leaving his friends behind. Like most teens, he spends his entire day texting.
    I really appreciate all the replies. It's helping me to process this loss.
    thanks,
    Dee
    healthymom (chainsaw bait? too long, how about 'saw bait'?)

  8. #28

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    Sorry, I'm not sure how the last post got posted 3 times.
    Dee

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    If you could arrange to take one of his friends on the trip, that may revitalize his interest in the adventure.

    I loved to ride dirt bikes when I was 15. If my mother had been into dirt bikes at the time, it might not have been so appealing.
    Independence is a precious commodity to teen-aged males, and should be.
    He could very well be talking at face value. He's "been there, done that", "time to move on", also, as it should be.

  10. #30
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Dee,

    When my daughter was ten, she couldn't wait to go hiking, even talked about doing a thru hike one day. When she was 12, we started doing long sections on the AT. Those went okay for the first year or so, then she just decided she didn't want to be out there, and that was that. Now she's 19 and she'll go for an overnight hike once or twice a year, to humor her old man, and it's fun but not the same.

    As I see it from this distance, there are two things to accomplish: (1) mentally re-adjust to doing a solo hike, and (2) get your husband completely on board with this idea. Neither of these will be easy. Adjusting to a solo hike is something a lot of people have done successfully, and you can too. It'll take some time and thought and several solo multiday hikes. (If you haven't soloed, it's very different from going in a small group.)

    Getting your husband on board may be more difficult. This is the long distance hiker's lament -- "my spouse doesn't like the outdoors." It's a common issue among hikers, and unfortunately there is no easy answer. However, it can be done -- hundreds of hikers prove this every year, with the at-home spouses providing support for their hikes. (And many others get off the trail because they find they don't want to be away from their families for that long.)

    The AT is safe for a solo female hiker. (As I have said in many threads on this subject, I worry far more about my daughter's safety at college than I would if she were thru-hiking.) One option would be for your son to start with you and plan to hike for the first week, then have your husband pick him up in Hiawassee or Franklin. That will give you a partner to start, which is sometimes the hardest part.

    Good luck in sorting all this out.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  11. #31
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    As far as the equipment already purchased, consider it an investment for future hikes with your son. This isn't your only opportunity. I have alot of equipment invested ranging from being alone to all 5 of us. He is only 15 and there will be seasons in his life. And since he is young, he may adjust again by next March.
    Sorry if I missed it, but why does he say he is not a backpacker? You may be able to focus on the reasons and compromise. For instance, if he doesn't prefer winter weather, delay your trip to April. Or, doesn't like to sleep on the ground, buy him a hammock. Oh wait, that's me.

  12. #32
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    while I enjoy my sons company, I would hope at 17 he would backpack the trail solo or with a group of his friends.

    With mom along how different will his experience be, no partying, no overnight friends, no/limited contact with friends at home. Sounds like a bit of a drag.

  13. #33
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    Dee, It sounds like your son has a good head on his shoulders. Consider proposing that he start at the same time but completely independant of you. He's young and strong and after a while would chafe at having to wait for you anyway. Get him his own full kit and give him his freedom, then watch as his wings unfold and he makes you proud. He will have an unforgettable adventure, and you'll still get to hike.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by healthymom View Post

    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.
    I wouldn't get rid of all the two person stuff so quickly. While he might not want to spend 6 months with mom, but his plans might included spending a week or two with mom, while she is hiking the AT.

    I would leave open the option of him meeting you along the trail and hiking with mom for a week and then a week later heading back home. That might involve him bring the two person tent and you bounce boxing the one person tent.

    And you never know...after a week he might decide he doesn't want to go home and you mail the 1 person tent home.
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  15. #35

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    You have backpacked with your son before. From what it sounds like, many times. You start planning to hike the A.T. together. Even go out and buy gear designed for two. Now your son tells you he is not a backpacker? OK that's the BS excuse hiding the real reason. Your son is 15? Hmmmmm. My completely unqualified psychological diagnosis is that your son does enjoy backpacking. Even has enjoyed many backpacking trips with mom. A chance to hike the A.T. is brought up and he is excited about the prospect. Of course the further one ventures into their teens, the less cool it is to be seen with your parents. The more he reads about the A.T. the more he realizes it will not just be him and mom and maybe a few older folk out there. There will be quite a few people out there just out of high school and college who might not think it's so cool hiking with your mom. I suspect your son still loves backpacking and would love to hike the A.T. but by himself, perhaps on a journey of self discovery. It's hard for a bird to leave the nest with the umbilical cord still attached. Yes I know I mixed my metaphors there. Birds lay eggs, hence no umbilical cord but you get the point.

  16. #36
    Registered User cowboy nichols's Avatar
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    I raised 10 kids 6 sons &none hike --They think I'm a "little" crazy. Go hike and enjoy every minute. If he decides to join you at times be prepared. Kids at that age change their minds by the minute. Happy hiking.

  17. #37

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    Healthymom, I dreamed of hiking the PCT since I was 10 years old. I was 44 when I finally hit the trail. I did it alone.

    Although hiking with another person had never been part of my dream, I felt like I was with my loved ones as I hiked anyway. I shared my story on my blog and had my family following me and cheering me on. As I wrote in my paper and pencil journal each night it was like I was having a conversation with them. I carried a picture of me and my boyfriend together and would set it up in my tent. I often had this strange feeling as I looked out over some amazing view that I wished my boyfriend could be here all alone just like me to share this with me. I didn't want him with me, I just wanted him to know what it felt like.

    I hope you do go. It's a wonderful enriching experience and although you won't have the thing you were dreaming of, it'll be wonderful anyway. There are so many nice people on the trail you'll never really be alone and you might just come to enjoy your solitude more than you expect.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  18. #38

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    You seem to have a good grasp of the situation:

    The reason he volunteered to go in the first place is that he heard me say that all my hiking buddies were deserting me and I didn't have anyone to go with, but that was when he was 12.
    Try to look at your son's present reluctance to thru-hike as something positive rather than a "loss."

    You'll be much more inclined to meet, hike with, and probably make friends with new people who share your passion for hiking. Your son (and maybe your husband) may see you in a new light if you go forward HAPPILY with your plans.

    As other parents have said, it's time to let your son go his own route for a while. Maybe the hike is just the event that's making this clear, and that's why you're sad. But who knows? You may have other hikes together in the future.

    Now we must consult Dr. Phil about your husband.

  19. #39
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    It's super hard. I have two kids (ages 10 and 12) who go hike with me because they're crazy about their Dad. I've always dreamed (since they were born) that one or both of them would do a thru with me. It's obvious to me right now, that neither one will ever be doing a thru.

    The thing is, I don't want them to go unless they have their own reasons. 6 months on the trail doing what SOMEBODY ELSE wants is no way to spend time when you're young.

    They go with me now and end up just doing a night or two and then getting somebody (grandparents) to pick them up and they knock around and car camp in the general area. Then they meet me in three or four more days and do another night or two, but it's obvious that backpacking is Dad's thing and they do it just to please me.

    I have lots of other ways to bond with them without it having to be out in the woods. So I'll just let the through be something I plan to do alone, but I sure would love it if one of kids suddenly got the thru hike fever and begged me to let them take a little time off of school in a few years to do a thru together.

    My wife does not believe in going to bed without a shower so the odds of her joining me are very slim.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  20. #40
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Don't let what he says today ruin tomorrow.

    This is from a mom who hiked with her 16 yr old son the whole trail (you can e-mail me too about this) Unless one has done it or has kids that have hiked long distance with you, opinions are a dime a dozen. Of course every child is different, too.

    My son did NOT want to go on day one. He was not a backpacker. Didn't like backpacking, really. Kind of tolerated it. We went anyway because I had planned for it and needed him to go to make it work. I really didn't give him a choice, honestly. We made a commitment to do this together and planned for a number of years (and that's the key, too. Commitment. If he made a commitment to do it, esp as a Boy Scout and learning to be a man of his word he needs to fulfill it). And I knew it would be good for my son to be out there. And he had fun getting to know about hiking beforehand (we did weekends together). Met people here on WB. He started to get a vision, really.

    And so we did. But on day one he slogged his way up Springer. Fell far behind. Hated every step. I really thought this was the end. But one needs determination. To not think everything is going to go bad. Then he met some hikers who treated him like one of the gang. He had the time of his life after that. Life was an adventure. Only talked of quitting once, in PA. Then had ice cream and a day off. I gave him the decision to leave if he wanted. He did not (to his credit). He finished the whole trail. And this day he still lives the trail life, not by hiking but in other ways. He really loved the AT life and really can't escape it to this day, it seems.

    There are other things we did trail wise too to make it work and so that it was his own hike. He rarely hiked with me except near towns (I had the money, ha ha) or in the Whites or ME (I demanded it for safety sake). We rarely slept in the tent together (maybe six or seven times the whole hike). I gave him his space. I did not lord it over him. I let him arrive at shelters and leave in the AM when he wanted (I just told him where we were going for the day). He kind of ran around towns doing what he wanted (we even left him overnight in Damascus while my hubby and I took a trip to WVA). Etc etc But we did share gear. He had a few chores to do (he always got the water - sometimes he had to go far for it too, hung the bear bag and cleaned out the cook pot). But he hung out with others and hiked with others. And it worked well.







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