I have mentioned in previous posts that the one thing the last two months has given me is a chance to think. And since I have been doing a lot of thinking, I find it kind of funny how one small and seemingly insignificant event can change plans, goals etc. For the longest time I have wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. My original plan was to retire and then soon after that start the trail on Springer Mountain in Georgia. That has changed just a wee bit since the end of June.
As I leaned against the slab of rock in Harriman waiting for the park rangers to carry me out, I knew that I was in for some time off from hiking. What I didn’t know at the time was the extent of how dehydrated I was and how that could possibly have an effect on future hiking. The ankle I can deal with. The surgery repaired it and the PT will help me get back on the trail.
The dehydration thing is a whole other story. After spending four days getting bags and bags of fluids pumped into me, I also knew that I was going to have to make some changes in regards to a thru hike.
After much deliberation, I don’t think that a thru hike is possible. Why you might ask? Even though the AT crosses many roads and you do have access to towns, the amount of time that you can be isolated in the woods is somewhat daunting. If something happens or access to water is limited, that could spell trouble.
Am I making to much of this? I don’t think so. At my tender age of 53, I have developed a healthy respect for staying alive. Watching videos of folks who have vlogged their thru hikes, although water is plentiful at times, at others it can be scarce. My doctor has said that I can not afford to have another episode of dehydration like this one.
So what to do? With all of the time to think and ponder that I have had, I believe that I have found a suitable alternative. One that makes me happy and one that makes my family happy (and less worried!)