Hello There, Old Friend

First Things First

Let me begin this article by apologizing for my lack of posts over the course of the summer and beginning of fall. As I have said to my many relatives commenting on the lack of updates, having the service/wifi to make a post and having the time to make a post are two things that rarely coincided on my hike.  That being said, I have returned home after completing 600 miles on the trail (more on that later) and now have all the wifi and time I could ask for!


Where To Begin….

I guess the natural place to start would be explain why I got off the trail 1400 miles short of my goal. I am not going to go into great detail; for it was a personal decision. That being said, there isn’t just one reason I got off the trail – there are a few: because I was running low on funds, because I had some family things to take care of,  and because I had been exhausted (mentally, physically and emotionally) for about two weeks, and felt that my reasons for being on the trail had changed. The latter is a reason I will go in to here.

Over the past three years of planning, my hike has taken on different meanings to me. It began simply as an adventurous dream of a teenage girl, then it became a challenge for me to overcome. Soon it became something a little more spiteful as the support for the hike was disappointingly low, next it turned into a way for me to mature and spread my wings. Finally, about three weeks before I got off, I realized that what I REALLY wanted from my hike was a chance to meet different people, learn about their lives and thoughts and dreams. A week after this realization, I pretty much stopped seeing people. You can see how this would be contradictory to my new purpose, right? I did see two or three south-bounders but those were in passing and I don’t really count them. In short, I am too damn extroverted for that kind of situation! After realizing that, I decided it was time for me to leave.  I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the trail, and honestly, I was depressed. I will probably go a little further into my thoughts and actions my last week later on, but I warn you, they aren’t pretty.

Despite my leaving the trail however, I do not regret my decision in any way. I hear that most people, when they leave, instantly feel some type of regret. I did not have that at all. My secret? I know I am not done with the trail and she is not done with me. I fully plan on coming back next spring and getting to Maine. Also, all the previous meanings I had applied to my hike had been completed in some way shape or form. I do not regret any of the decisions I made on the trail or any of the choices I have made since coming back.

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Comments 4

  • Melissa Zeph : Oct 2nd

    Hey Ruth! We met you in Tennessee at Roan Mountain (near the NC Border) – shared our barbecue sandwich and learned about your hike. Happy to hear you are safe. I admire your courage to hike alone, be alone for that long, and know you can jump in and out of this adventure at any point. It was a privilege to meet you! Melissa, Greg and son Sean.

    • Loosie : Oct 2nd

      Thank you so much! I still remember you guys (and that sandwich!). I hope you enjoyed you guys had a safe drive through all the rain that came down that day.

  • Zayde : Oct 2nd

    It would really be concerning if your goals had not changed during your trek. Proud of you for having undertaken the journey, and proud that you’ve matured so much in the process. Love, Zayde

    I know there is someone else who would be proud of you, too.

  • Brandy : Oct 5th

    I am very proud of you girl. I followed you and a few other solo ladies in the trail logs. I read your entry at Chestnut Knob and knew you would be stepping off trail for a bit. I too stopped hiking after 600 miles due to not being able to keep my head in the game. I plan to continue next year and hope to see your name and insight again. -2Gypsys


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