Here I Go Again

I’m back!

It has been over ten months since I left the trail. A friend drove me to Nashville on Thursday, April 5, then another friend drove me to the trailhead on Friday. I decided I wanted to hike that day and hike past the place where I fell last year and broke my ankle. Just to get it over and done with. My wonderful, thoughtful friend offered to hike with me a few miles past the place, which helped distract me. I was a bit anxious and scared going back to that narrow ridge. I survived without falling. My friend hiked back to the car and I hiked forward. There was some light rain for the last couple of miles but not bad.

My friend stayed with me for several days to help me slack pack (that’s where you only have to hike with a day pack and you are dropped off and picked up farther down the trail). I thought it would be a good way to test my ankle. I hiked over seven miles.

The second day turned out cold with sleet. I was met at the end of the day with some hot chocolate. I also passed the 600-mile mark (that includes the mileage from last year’s hike). I hiked eight miles.

Well, the next day was even colder, with snow all around us. It was beautiful. I arranged for my friend to bring me a hot chocolate halfway, which definitely helped keep me motivated. I hiked over 11 miles. The day did warm up and snow slowly melted. The trail was not too muddy, which definitely helped the hiking.  Had to ford Dismal Falls to get to the road so I could get picked up. The water was up to my knees but at least it was at the end of my hike. That night we stayed at Woods Hole, which is a hostel but way more than that. You can get a home cooked dinner and breakfast as well as massage if you want.

Plans have a habit of changing and it’s always good to go with the flow. I was supposed to hike on Sunday but Mother Nature had other plans. It had snowed again overnight and there were several inches of snow on the ground so I decided the massage was the way to go. I have to say Neville knows exactly where we hikers have sore muscles. It was wonderful. No miles hiked that day.

The next day, my friend left and I decided to hike southbound (SOBO for short) since there was less uphill. Even though I hiked over 13 miles that day it was pretty easy. It’s what one of the hikers (Texas) calls dessert hiking. Soft ground and flat. I did end up falling for the first time, twice that is, but always on soft ground so no damage except to my pride.

On Wednesday, April 11, I went NOBO again. Longest day so far. Over 16 miles, up mountains and over rocks and more rocks. Rocks slow me down since I have to adjust my gait. I also don’t want to trip over them. Snow was still around in spots, which was good since I forgot to bring water. I fed snow to Yankee until we reached a creek where I was able to filter water and he was able to drink his fill. The only good thing right now regarding climbing mountains is the views. Can’t wait until my lungs catch up.

Week two to follow.



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Comments 5

  • Gary : Apr 25th

    Hey Nadine! So sorry that your hike ended badly last year. I empathize with you! I was on Arden Mtn. just before the Lemon Squeezer and fell, twice, breaking and really just mangling my left shoulder. I had reconstructive surgery last August and for the most part it’s healed. However, there’s residual pain at times that just infuriates me! I’m just like that, not mad at anyone in particular, except maybe myself. Anyway, of course I’ve thought about, sat and planned and dreamed about getting back to the trail and finishing what I started. I’m kind of a perfectionist so to leave anything undone is torture. However, my mind has entered a very peaceful place and I’m not constantly bombarded mentally about finishing the AT. I’ve even had thoughts about taking to the Western most of the Triple Crown. I went to the Cali desert with my oldest daughter and her family this past February, near the Salton Sea. Of course that’s just a hop skip and a jump away from the PCT. The itch started and now I find myself looking at maps, watching PCT thru hike videos, that sort of stuff. Time will tell what the outcome will be. So, enough about me, I pray that your return is a great one and that you have a safe trip and extremely Happy Trails. I will follow you to Katahdin!

    • Nadine : May 4th

      Hi One Way. Thank you so much for your response. I totally get the frustration regarding your injury. My orthopedist told me I would be good as new in 4 months but it took about 9 months and I still have occasional pain. I hope your plan for the PCT works out.

  • Mona : May 4th

    This is my test of how good a teacher you are. We already know what a good hiker you have become.

  • Melanie : May 6th

    Hey Nadine,
    It’s your old dentist!!! Was thinking about you and talking about your story while we were hiking and now i see you did start back. Best of luck and sending you strength

    • Nadine Symons : Jun 6th

      Hi Melanie,
      Hope you are enjoying living in your new city. Keep in touch!


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