Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Appalachian Trail: The Adventure Ends ... In Failure

It's day seven and I am off the trail in Hiawassee, GA.  The last six days have not been good.  Except for the first day, the weather has been beautiful and the people are the friendliest but, frankly, my heart isn't in it.

The way to the end
The end of the trail for me.
The last six days has been like my worst day hiking, times six, back to back.  The days are unending.  What was once my favorite activity became an ordeal.   Everyone around me seemed to be having a wonderful time and enjoying everything​ about the experience.   I was exhausted and miserable.  I was not having fun.

I almost quit on day four but decided​ to try a few more days with a lighter pack but it just didn't get better despite meeting some awesome hiking partners that kept me going when the going was tough.  The thought of over one hundred sixty more days of this makes me cringe.  Therefore, I am ending my adventure and coming home.

Despite the wonderful people I met and the beautiful views along the trail, the physical challenge of the Appalachian Trail (AT) was stronger than my stubbornness.  Instead of spiritual healing, the AT broke my spirit.

I apologize to everyone who were planning to follow me along the trail.  I know I let some people down.  I surely let myself down.  I am embarrassed and ashamed I gave up so quickly.   I also must confess that I am a little bit relieved as well.  I am so sorry.

The Sun rises over the end
My last AT sunrise from Blue Mountain Shelter.
It's time to step away from Homer's Travels for a short while to regroup.

4 comments:

  1. No apologies, Bruce. The joy of following your adventures comes from your joy in experiencing them. I am so happy you gave it a fair shot, and happier that you are listening to your heart and going home.Take care of you for a while and find your joy again. This is not a failure-and I hope in time you see that too. Many hugs from afar! Love you, buddy!

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    1. Thank you Autumn! I will find joy again someday.

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  2. Wow. Kudos for having what it takes to try. And kudos for having what it takes to say no, ain't gonna do this. It really does take courage to admit that something (especially something big like this!) isn't right for you. It may be the time. It may just be that the AT ain't the right trail for you. So now...what's next on your to do list? Will miss getting to catch you up here but rather have you happy on whatever other trail than miserable on the AT.

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    1. KSam: Maybe I need to make a road trip to NJ. My summer schedule seems to have cleared itself.

      As for the next trail ... Time will tell but right now all trails are unattractive to me.

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