Moving on from Hitched Hike

Apologies for being upfront

Hitched Hike is no more. The videos still exist, but the part of what makes Hitched Hike tick is gone. Timber (that’s me) and Little Engine split. Are no longer together. Got divorced.

Did you know us as Hitched Hike?
Did you watch our video series for one-hundred and ninety-five days?

I was too.
And I’m sorry to have to break it to you.
I really am.Hitched Hike 2013

To be clear, our demise had nothing to do with thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail or hiking in any sense. It was a combination of major life events and a handful of bizarre choices like leaving your husband and your former life.


Psychological case study?

But I don’t care. This is not about her. This is about moving on.

But first…

Backing up

I’ll make some trail related analogical remarks referring to the seriousness of how difficult this was. Do not get me wrong. This was an intense struggle for me. I do not wish it on anyone.

I was lost in real life. Like lost on trail but if the trail had been destroyed, sabotaged by the hikers that loved it and removed from existence by what made it so great. Like if I stepped away in the soft duff between the mossy Maine granite for a quick poop and spent the rest of my foreseeable life wondering where I was going. Only, I never stepped off the trail. It walked away from me.

I questioned if my hiking experience was real at all. It’s an emptying feeling. Not only lost, but lost without any hope of finding the path again.

I paced in my apartment every waking hour unsure how to fill the time, unaware of my major depressive state. I wasn’t sad, just empty and lost, wandering hopelessly and falling into a pit, waiting to hit the bottom. It never came. Sleepless nights and endless days manifested themselves in constant joyless motion and no eating. I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t taste anything. My tongue was smooth.

I struggled with understanding that the trail I had been hiking for twelve years had ceased to exist. I had to accept my being lost in the emptiness. I had to walk away into nothing. It was terrifying.

I cried twice. Once kneeling in my tiny hallway pleading to God.

“Help me!” I said, over and over. What felt like a warm blanket covering me in response is what caused me to cry. I couldn’t help but sob out several times, “Thank you,” as my tears fell into the beige carpet. I didn’t feel helpless or hopeless anymore; I knew without a doubt that I would be okay walking out into the wilderness. It wasn’t any less terrifying.

The second time was the day we were officially divorced (August, 2015 for those time puzzlers). I sat down after returning from the courthouse and felt an overwhelming sense of grief. Mourning for death. Everything that we had created. So much had just died.

What of Hitched Hike?

I created Hitched Hike back in 2013. It turned into a minor hit for the time as it allowed folks to follow us through our on-trail video updates. It was unique in that it was both video and more than one person. There were two, married, and a third, a friend, Ambassador (don’t worry, he’s still around). Not to boast, but we were a lot of fun. And the videos are pretty damn good considering they were filmed, edited, and published all from a 2nd-generation Ipod Touch.poster

Hitched Hike was and is an inspiration to many people and I found myself surprisingly busy with correspondence between other prospective thru-hikers, many of them married or planning to be, and a few I was able to meet in person. I had made something and it was making a positive impact.

How then do I keep Hitched Hike when divorced? I thought. Well, it turns out, I don’t. And I can’t get another character to fill the roll either. I am remarried, but Hitched Hike 2 the United Kingdom with a new lead female is no good. For many reasons you can guess.

I was worried, still am worried, about the fallout that may possibly occur for those who have watched the videos. I am confident that time will bring about understanding, that life is what it is. The big trail analogy: It’s tough out there, but worth it.

Moving on

Much like my experience thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, I am not giving up on my passions for adventure, nor my passions for loving others and letting myself be loved. Nor should any of you.

My wife, Melanie (trail name pending) is a writer, an adventurer, brilliant, and beautiful in every kind of way. I could not have hoped for someone like her to pop into my life at such a strange time and fashion as she did. She may actually have the fernweh/wanderlust gene more severely than I do.


The Future

So what now? No Hitched Hike, but lots of budding momentum. I am about to finish my undergrad degree (Ambo and I both at the same time) after military service and thru-hiking the AT. Another long hike seems like a good graduation gift for myself. Mel and I talk about it every day.

Another hike then… And we’re pretty damn excited about it!

The Pennine Way and The Scottish National Trail, summer 2017.

Will we keep you updated? Sure!

Will there be videos? There better be!

What’s the name? Haven’t figure that out yet. But it’s not Hitched Hike.

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Comments 14

  • Anishemaya : Jan 1st

    Hey mate sorry to hear of your troubles ….glad you have been able to move on! I really enjoyed your videos and look forward to many more with your new wife! And Ambassador

  • Nicole Chavez : Jan 1st

    So great to hear you are lacing up your boots again Jeremy! Get to it and don’t look back…you aren’t going that way:)

  • Jim Henegar : Jan 1st

    Wow just wow. I don’t have words, I got nothing. Thanks for the update buddy, I hope life gives you many more adventures.

  • Fresh Ground : Jan 1st

    Missed you Brother. You all are in my prayers. Keep on with the passions of your heart. May we cross trails again someday.

    • Coffee : Jan 1st

      Man, I felt like you were talking about me! Things will get better and sound like they already have. Keep on ruckin’!. Semper fi, brother.

  • Austin Matthews : Jan 1st

    Hitched Hike is the only AT vlog series I’ve watched every episode of twice. This is an unexpected announcement, but I’m so happy for you and your new wife. Can’t wait to see the videos in 2017!

  • Charlotte : Jan 1st

    Wow–absolutely didn’t see that one coming. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles and thank you for sharing your story. I know it must have been difficult. For whatever it’s worth, your videos are still encouraging me to complete a thru with my husband beginning in just a few short months. Your journey, then and now, is inspiring. Best wishes to you and Melanie going forward! I can’t wait to follow your adventure!

  • COMMANDO : Jan 2nd

    Sorry to hear you went through some hard times. But it sounds like you may be in a better place now. I followed Hitched Hike and you inspired me to finally follow my dreans and hike the AT and I am now a 2016 Thru-Hiker! I look forward to hearing about your future adventures!

  • Sunshine : Jan 2nd

    I’m happy so much good came from a not so good situation. So psyched you’re heading off on another walk, Timber. Hike your own hike!
    -Sunshine (NOBO ’13)

  • BigTex : Jan 2nd

    You moved to the UK? My son and I did the start of Pennine Way last year and the weather was terrible! I’d love to hike the whole thing. Maybe its time to move back to UK! Keep moving forward!

    • Booboo2013 : Jan 2nd

      I met you at the thousand mile mark near the roller coaster and I’ve been enjoying the Hitchhike blog ever since. I’m looking forward to your new blog.
      Until then, Happy trails!


  • br : Jan 3rd

    Just read your story. So decided to watch your videos. You are right. They were very entertaining. I truly enjoyed them. I marathoned thru them in about 2 days. Our son thru hiked the AT this past year. We had a great time following him along the way, from the comforts of home. So my wife and I would love to do this in a couple of years. Decision still pending. And very sorry to hear about the big “D”. Having gone thru what sounds like a similar one myself about 36 yrs ago, I can sympathize with you. Sounds like you are moving on and that is great. If you want some fatherly advise from an old guy who ain’t your father, commit your marriage to the Lord. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord. And he shall give you the desires of your heart. It’s worked for us. Happy days to you.

  • Mark : Jan 5th

    What a great article. You are a natural writter. The article was beautifully written. Im not sure if you remember me but when my wife and I created ATCONQUERED when we hiked the AT in 2014, you help me decide on editing software and what camera to use. I was very grateful for your kindness then. You seem to be getting through this tough time well, and I have to say I can’t wait to see your new videos. I haven’t even heard of those trails so that alone is very exciting!!! Good luck in all your adventures to come, you look great and have a beautiful wife with an adventure spirit, so I know you will venture far. Happy trails Timber

    -Coolhand AT 2014-

  • J Clare : Jan 12th

    I followed your AT hike as closely as I could back in 2013. We have a vacation cabin about 30 minutes north of Blood Mountain and find the AT fascinating (but am in no shape to hike more than short/easy hikes in the area) so watching your hike let me enjoy the trail. I have been wondering about why you’ve provided no updates, now it makes sense! I was just thinking I need to fix you up with my single/adventurous/beautiful daughter in Colorado but then I read the last few paragraphs!!! LOL 🙂 Happy for you! Congrats and lucky Melanie…keep us updated and Good Luck to you both. JAC


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