Glamper is off the trail….but happy!!

I have gotten off the trail.  I heard so many stories of why folks leave the trail before finishing the entire thing.  If I had to point to one thing that finally took me off the trail it would be the cold nights.  Plus the fact that I feel I got what I need from the trail.  I think I am more of a section or day hiker and hope to still see some other parts of the trail once it is warmer.

The actual goal of hiking the whole trail is something I feel I do not need to achieve.  I have been an achiever my whole life, and I don’t have to attain every goal I set anymore.  The reason I chose a thru-hike is that for an older woman going solo the Appalachian Thru-hiker season is perfect for assuring that I am not alone.  This worked out great, I had company from the very start!

But it’s more than that.  I heard so many folks stories of why they wanted to do the trail, and I had my own reasons.  Many of my reasons can be accomplished in other ways.  Less addiction to the internet, my phone, television, news, politics.  Less complexity in my life.  Removing myself from the noise was really really nice.  Just the woods, and people on a common mission.

The Hikers!

The people were neck and neck with the peace and views as the best part of the experience.  Walkabout, Kahoda, Water Squatter, Diane and Michael, Mornin’ Wood, Dragonfly, Spade, F*** It, others!  What a great group of people the hikers are!  As I exited the trail to return to real life, I had to walk back 5.5 miles to get to the closest road, and I ran into so many hikers who said, come on with us, join us, we’ll hike together.

The Work!

It was hard but satisfying.  Suddenly I went from every other day hikes with long rest days in between to hiking every single day, six days straight, one day off then another 4 days straight.  It is hard and the muscles complain.  I felt it in my thighs, my glutes, my calves, my feet, my hands (gripping the poles), my upper arms.  But it was definitely doable, the body was getting used to the hiking itself.  I do wish I had prepared harder; I wish I had hiked multiple days in a row, 6-8 mile hikes, rather than rest days between every hike while training.  I think my body would have been more adjusted to days of hiking without rest days.

I’ll miss those amazing views! This is from view between Tesnatee Gap and HopPen Gap

I have great respect for those who do the whole thing.  Great respect!

The Simplicity!

The simplicity of dressing was something I loved.  I knew every day what I would wear, what layers I could put on, what layers I could remove.  I had one outfit for day and one outfit for night. It makes me want to donate 3/4’s of my clothes to simplify my life and I was moving toward more wool and less laundering as I was preparing for this hike.  This simplicity of dressing is something I hope to take with me.  How great to always have with you everything you need to survive and nothing more.

I gotta say something for the P-Style.  I have never had such an easy time of going to the bathroom in the woods, in the privies, without having to sit or squat.  Please women, check it out, it is a game changer.  I am likely to use these going forward for any nasty place where I have to go.

I also loved such a simple life.  Check out FarOut, figure out the goal for the day, for the week, check, know where you will sleep each night.  Just a few decisions to make and then just hike, stop for views, stop for chats with other hikers, stop for snacking.  Life was simple.

We wrote this in the dirt when we hit 40 miles!

Going Forward!

Will I hike some more? Of course!  Will it be the Appalachian Trail? Probably, among other trails, but I may go for section hikes that go more with my name, Glamper.  I am for sure into my luxuries, most especially warmth at night!  I feel more confident about hiking, my gear, my abilities than I did before this adventure for sure.

Thanks everyone for all the support and hope to see you out on a trail somewhere, sometime in the future!

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Comments 11

  • Toni : Mar 18th

    Great job. I am proud to be your lil sis.

    • Suzi : Mar 19th

      Thanks Toni!!

  • Wanda Hale : Mar 18th

    I also yearn to hike it all but my husband and I figure a few nights of it will wean us of that notion. We day hike alot and last year started camping in campgrounds, using different tents, supplies to see what worked best for us, and we had extra items we could retrieve from the car if needed. We have yet to tent in the backcountry but maybe this year. We always have fun and have been increasing miles on our day hikes. Best wishes to you and happy hiking.

    • Suzi : Mar 19th

      Thanks! Smart way to ease in!

  • Ellen macht : Mar 18th

    I am so proud of you and envious of your grit, tenacity and courage. Great job Glamper.

  • Gina Foil : Mar 18th

    Great Job Suzi!

    • Suzi : Mar 19th

      Thanks Gina! I will definitely never forget it, as short as it ended up!

  • Desert Camper : Mar 18th

    Congratulations on your decision to hike the AT!
    And commendations for realizing you had a taste of the through-hiker life and it wasn’t quite what you expected or wanted.
    You certainly haven’t failed! You just had to make a mature decision to do what was right for you.

    • Suzi : Mar 19th

      Thanks…yes, that is exactly it, the hiking part was great, sleeping in the cold not so much….my trail name Glamper is actually quite a fitting one for me!

  • Jennifer Reed : Mar 23rd

    Very nice post and thanks for the observations.
    Great Job! I head out myself next week.

  • DavidM : Mar 23rd

    Hey, a thru-hike isn’t for everyone. People leave the trail for different reasons. I realized after 700 miles of my thru-hike that I really couldn’t be away from my family for months at a time. Homesickness took me off the trail after 45 days. People leave the trail for different reasons. Enjoy doing it your way! Gizmo, 2018 LASHer


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