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Thread: After Katahdin

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post

    I do know how you feel though. As a minimalist myself (getting close to completing the 100 things challenge)
    I don't think being a minimalist means limiting yourself to a certain number of things. I know I have less than 100 things, I don't bother counting, but I really don't have much. I did simplify everything, and I own very little. I did this because everything you own has to be fixed and cared for. If you own less things, you have more time for yourself. You also don't feel stuck in one area when you can throw your crap in your car and be gone in 20 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    It's funny: I spent five months on the trail thinking about how wonderful all the comforts of the non-hiking life would be after finishing, and now that I'm done all I can think about is how much I want to be back on the trail.
    I know exactly how you feel. I looked forward to having a few beers and playing computer games when I got home, it was fun for about 3 days. Fortunately, I can frequently go hiking where I live, it is short trails and not really the same, but it is something at least. I think about the AT a lot.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrumbSnatcher View Post
    you'll see street names or signs with words or partial words of places on the trail, that will take you back to certain times or places on your journey.
    I pass Andover Street in my hometown everyday, so right before I get to work I am reminded of the trail. Any guesses on what I think about most of my work day?

    I heard once that you'll never be worth a $h!t to another employer after you hike the trail. Let's just say I'm on my second job since I came home last september.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    I pass Andover Street in my hometown everyday, so right before I get to work I am reminded of the trail. Any guesses on what I think about most of my work day?

    I heard once that you'll never be worth a $h!t to another employer after you hike the trail. Let's just say I'm on my second job since I came home last september.
    had to start my own company :-)

  4. #24
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    Default After Katahdin

    I thru hiked way back in 1980, started April 2nd completed Sept. 16th. To this very day smoke in the air, a place name, or a hundred other things can bring my memory back. I was 25 years old and I was living my dream. For a year or 2 I quit hiking, the weekend trips just weren't enough I was once again a "Weekend Warrior" and not a thru hiker. Then I got smart, I realized that I'd had the chance to do what a lot of guys never did. Now, all these years later I'm okay with the 2-3 day hikes (I manage to do about 15-25 hikes or multi day Mt Bike rides a year) with no complaint from my wife. In fact my wife usually does the rides with me. The wonder lust is still strong, and I still seek out the wild places that were my home during that brief 5 1/2 months that still shapes who I am.

    One side note, when I got home, within 3-4 days I got a ticket for driving with no current tag on my license plate (it had expired that Sept. I had it, just hadn't put it on! That was a real awakening that I was back! When I explained he just looked at me like I was a space Martian "No excuse kid!"

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    Yo Clean Shave - we met early in our hikes at Kincora, and I think you summitted with my bud Pigeon Pot Pot. Congrats on your success, man. All the best. I had to get off at Harpers and all I can think about it getting back out there. Depressing for a while, but the thought of getting back out on the trail gives you something to look forward to I suppose..

  6. #26
    The Local Johnny Reb
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    That's such a good read! Thank you for posting it! I've got to search around on your site now!
    -Jason

  7. #27
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    Whatup Cleanshave, its Portable G. I met you in southern Maine when we were on the 'nearo the north' croo. I sumitted Katahdin last sunday. Thankfully I've still got the 1000 miles south of Harper's Ferry to hike before I finish my thru-hike. Although I'm not even close to finishing, the trail has already changed me so substantially that I don't think I'll ever get over it. I'll either be on a long distance hike or planning my next long distance hike for quite some time. here's a sweet video to help you out with the jones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=5ZlyZE0cKtA
    Congrats and best wishes.

    PS: Are you still planning to do a thru-bike next season?

  8. #28
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    I can certainly relate as well. I did my 1st thru last year and never really did readjust to normal life. I went back out this year and did my 2nd thruhike. I just summitted on 9/20. I'm slowly working my way back south to my 5 X 7 storage unit in SC but have no real desire to re-enter the work-a-day world.
    Unfortunately I did not meet any rich heiresses who could fund my continued wanderings on the trail so I'll have to do something to put a roof over my head and food on the table but I don't know what yet. I'm hoping to find some sort of work that is related to the trail.
    I suppose it's unrealistic to think of doing the trail again yet I'm already thinking about it. The time I spent on my thruhikes has been the most magnificent, enjoyable, rewarding time I've ever spent in my 54 years of existence and I think of it every day.
    I'll find some sort of employment. I have to, the money's all gone, and then I'll start planning the next hike. I'd really like to get the PCT and CDT done before I depart this veil of tears. They say doing a thruhike ruins a few of us because we are never able to readjust to normal life. I think I'm probably in that category but I'm not complaining. We've gotten the opportunity to experience something that very few on this planet get to experience and for that I'm eternally grateful.
    Good luck to you and maybe we'll see you up the trail.

    Hasta la proxima,
    El Flaco - Hiker Trash Tour 2011 4/03/2011 - 9/20/2011 GA-ME
    Death March 2010 4/21/2010 - 9/15/2010 GA-ME

  9. #29

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    Hi Cleanshave! I see that you are located in Pawtucket, RI, just up the road from me in Providence. To reenter RI life after the AT is a shock that no one should have to endure! Congratulations on your successful thru hike!
    "Adam & Eve are the first two persons who failed to read the Apple Permissions & Exclusions."

  10. #30
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    Merry Christmas all and congrats to 2011 thru-hikers. After summitting Katahdin Sept. 14 I was excited to get back home to see family and friends. I also got my old job back. Now just over 3 months after completion I've answered the same questions about food, bears,guns, what happens when it rains, or did I read a walk a woods more times than when I was on trail. Noone understands what trail life is like. I'm bored with my now normal daily routine and miss the simplicity of the trail most of all. Eat, walk, eat, see something awesome, eat,walk, chill at a viewpoint, walk, set up camp, eat, sleep, repeat. I still use my sleeping bag, scan the sky for weather patterns to determine how the day will be, and laugh when I see people wearing expensive high-tech hiking gear for fashion who will never use it for it for its intended purposes. Life at home is not what I expected when I was on trail but the AT has opened the door for more long distance hikes. Their are tons of trails to explore. My strategy is to work until I can afford to hike again. Looking forward to seeing everyone on trail. Happy holidays. Happy Holidays

    -Mtn Dew GA/ME on 11

  11. #31
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    Although (only) a section hiker, someone said to me years ago, "be careful the AT can really get into your blood".

    Get that now and am happy about it...............in this crazy screwed up world there is always backpacking.

  12. #32

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    Only made it to Fontana in Feb-March 2011. But it changed me.

  13. #33
    Registered User Fireweed's Avatar
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    I hopscotched all over the trail this fall and finally quit in VA the week before Thanksgiving. All I can think about is getting back on again. I'm planning for March this time going GAME. I've been a Sobo so far. But the restlessness is hard to contain. Even though I had to leave VT and go to ME after Irene, then jump to MASS and Conn. skip NY after the big snow/blow down and leave VA for the holidays, I feel like I hiked more than 320 miles. But then, it's cold and dark up here in Alaska. It's been snowing since early November and shows no signs of stopping. And where else can a body yearn for something and find mostly supportive ears. Thanks........

  14. #34
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    Well I was, and pretty much still am, in that position. Longing to get back in the woods, to just walk. Something very enticing about it. Placing one foot in front of the other, wandering about through the valleys and over the ridges. There certainly was a "grass is greener" side that I saw, and force myself to remember - even if briefly, while I was thru-hiking in 2009;
    - a light switch is an amazing thing to extend the 'day' - helping with activities after dark and moving "hikers midnight" deep into the night.
    - hot water on call is one of the most amazing things to have, turn a handle and have heated water; no need to burn a bit of fuel for washing.
    - a car can travel a days worth of walking in less than 30 minutes, carry much heavier food loads.
    - a four walled shelter, with no leaking roof or openings, with heat keeping you completely dry is amazing.

    From the trail all these, and much more seemed so amazing to me. But two years later, and only a few weekend trips, and I feel the grass was much greener on the other side
    - Lights, while extending the night need to be monitored carefully. They have a tendency to push the rush-rush of the real-world upon us.
    - Cars, and other forms of transportation are over used, including by me. I have been 1.5 miles from from work for the passed year, and this summer I couldn't take the time to walk or ride a bike. I completely blame my brain for desiring to save every minute of my precious time...
    - hot water on tap is still amazing, I'll never take it for granted.

    Sensei made a great point about thinking about home while on the trail, then thinking about the trail afterwards. Although I read it while researching my plans, I never expected I'd hike another long distance trail in my life after the AT. I was foolish, and wrong. If I have my way I will hike many trails in the future - I'm just foolishly? dedicating the next 5 years to paying off my debt to college. If only I hiked before college... Ha.

    I haven't decided what is next; PCT or CDT... But I have a few years to pick. For now I'll try sneaking out on weekends when possible. Thanks for reading my rants that are likely un-comprehensive.

  15. #35
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the trail you learned to love didn't just appear magically. It evolved over the decades from the efforts of thousands of volunteers. When you get bored with everyday life, seek out a trail that needs help, or one that needs building. Nineteen years after my long walk, I still miss the AT. But I draw some solace from the work I've done, not only on the AT, but on the 31 miles of trail that have been built and maintained in my small coastal Maine town, some on land owned by others. Some on the 800 acres acquired by our tiny town land trust -- mostly after I left the trail in 1993. I've been amazed at what a small group of dedicated people can achieve.
    Last edited by weary; 12-26-2011 at 11:26.

  16. #36

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    Become a farmer

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Adams View Post
    Beware...March will be a TOTAL bitch!

    geek
    I'm already getting Springer Fever BAD and it's not even January yet. It's been 4 months, 10 days, 6 hours since Katahdin, and I'm jonesin. I've been looking at all my pics from this summer, scanning youtube for familiar faces and places, and gearing myself for Spring. The JMT is calling me next...then hopefully the PCT, either in sections or as a thruhike. Then it's just a matter of time before the AT pulls me back home.

    For now I'm working part time and applying to grad school to become a teacher. Hitting the books again is hard...but I need a job with lengthy summer vacations!

  18. #38

    Thumbs down Too late now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    I'm from Rhode Island originally as well. The first 25 yrs to of my lived there.

    Like you, I had trouble being back.

    I got the hell out and moved to Colorado.

    http://www.pmags.com/after-the-trail--post-trail-re-adjustment

    I need to write a postscript to the above essay. Still working on the balance, but I did find someone to share m life with (getting married next year).
    I was born in Ohio and got transplanted here in RI when I was about 3 weeks old! I should have got out a lo-o-o-o-ng time ago! The state is circling the drain with a clueless Governor and a corrupt legislature.
    "Adam & Eve are the first two persons who failed to read the Apple Permissions & Exclusions."

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