Since I quit… what I do & don’t miss

26 Aug 2017

Its been two weeks since I left the trail. It has been refreshing and relaxing. However, I never thought I’d say this, BUT

…I miss it…trail life that is!

While I do miss the AT, here’s my short list of what I don’t miss.

I don’t miss…

  • the pain in my knees (they still hurt, but not an every step kind of hurt).
  • being dripping wet from sweat all day.
  • putting on wet clothes EVERY morning.
  • the hills (up & down).
  • the limited food or lack of food selection.
  • one hot meal a day.
  • the falling down so often.
  • the stench of my dirty unclean self.

And what I really miss.

I do miss…

  • the quiet time EVERY morning when I’m the only hiker for 2 to 3 hours.
  • the daily exercise and calorie consumption.
  • being outdoors…All Day Long.
  • the views. God’s handy work.
  • the fellow hikers like Chipotle, Joiner, Karl&Keith, Vista, Mantis (Maggie) and CindyLouWho, who made life on the trail bearable and even ENJOYABLE!

I miss the adventure

All in all, I do miss the hiking adventure, but I’ve replaced it with other, more important activities. First off, it was good – very good – to be back with myWife. Then there is always goodness when I get to see my daughter. But it was GREAT to be back with my Granddaughter…she really missed her LaLa!

It was good for me to love on theBee!

Additionally, I got to experience the Solar Eclipse TOTALITY with my family. It was tough to see through those dark glasses. We didn’t know which way to look…

up, down or around.

And to watch it with theBee, was PRICELESS.

Doctor Doctor give me the news

Now after a few weeks, I’m finally headed to the doctor (AGAIN) to get a checkup for the various issues incurred while on the trail. While my dislocated finger is healing well, a few other ailments need attention…

  • foot pain and numbness is still prevalent. It’s tough to get sleep with the nightly (all night) pain.
  • knee pain above and below the patella as well as a buckling of the knee going up&down steps. I’m thinking PFPS and/or quadriceps tendonitis, but that’s just WebMD talking.
  • ankle instability…I did twist/hurt my left ankle 8 times in Maine. This may need further investigation.
  • other miscellaneous issues. (Yeah, I’m falling apart, but still not down for the count).

Throw in the towel?

However, I don’t think I’m ready to thrown in the towel just yet. I still have lots of living to do. I’ve been trying to talk the wife into an RV roadtrip, but the doctor visits need to be completed first.

Many days on the trail I visualized spending time traveling to new and great destinations with myWife. She has been beside me for 31 years and supported me on this AT adventure. Now it’s time to take her with me on the next trip.

Where too?

Maybe a trip on a cruise ship. Or how about back to the UP (Michigan’s Upper Pennsula) for a fall foliage tour. But leading the ideas is an RV escapade on the Bourbon Trail with the fall foliage. Whatever it is, it will be great to be WITH myWife.

Chores have to be done

Since being home, I’ve had to do a little maintenance on the RV. Our Fan-Tastic Vent fan stopped working. The great people there sent us a new fan motor and I did a DIY installation. However, that didn’t fix the issue. Another call to this company and they are mailing us a new circuit board. BTW, the fan is one year out of warranty, but they are still standing behind their product and sending replacement parts for FREE!

Way to go Fan-Tastic Vent. My kind of customer service!

What’s in the future

I have contemplated a return to the AT, especially when I see ALL of the hikers summiting Mount Katahdin finishing their 2017 thru hike. I dream of being a FINISHER, not a Quitter!

So I contemplate…

How can I finish within the 1 year time limit?

I mean the clock is running and I have until 29 April to get from Pinkham Notch NH to Damascus VA. Or until 11 July to get from Pinkham Notch NH to Springer Mountain. The ATC gives a calendar year to complete a thru hike, but will I be able to do it?

It CAN be done, but I need to get healed before continuing on my trek.

As for now, I’ll continue to dream about hiking into Damascus greeted by friends and family holding up a big CONGRATULATIONS banner. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll find myself hiking the AT again. It’s just unfinished business at this point.


AT Thru Hiker Dreamer

Getting healed for future adventures

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Comments 4

  • Ralph McGreevy : Aug 27th

    Well, your body told you that it was time for an extended break from hiking and, wisely, you listened. However, your trail time, largely alone, seems to have sharpened you appreciation of life and things that really matter. Certainly, this is critical time in your grand-daughter’s life and it is great that you can be with her and the other family members. Just enjoy the highlights of each day as fully as possible, including the presence of loved ones. Hope your medical issues can be sorted out, so you can do more hiking.

    • Up-n-Ready : Aug 27th


      YES, the AT has helped me refocus on what’s important to me.

      Thanks for the encouragement….I look forward to getting back out on the trail, someday!


  • stealthblew : Aug 28th

    The PCT has a much easier tread than then AT. While both trails offer many physical differences each adventure shares many aspects of the trail life you mentioned above. The graded trails out west will be a blessing for your knees.

    Enjoy whatever life presents to you…

    • Up-n-Ready : Aug 28th


      That’s good news. PCT may be in the future.



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