Man, this is a tough post to make, but I am going to put this entire venture on hold.
I spent two nights at Colorado Bend State Park on a solo trip this past weekend and I had a lot of time to think out there.
The trip was great and I really got some gear and routines starting to dial in, but the time has come to step back and take myself out of the running for a thru hike this year.
A lot of factors went into this decision.
One of my main reasons for hiking the PCT was to better appreciate my off-trail life. I realized that the last year or so of my life that I’ve been planning for the thru hike has also been one of the best years of my marriage, career, and just life overall. I don’t see any reason to disrupt it right now.
Also, when I got back from Colorado Bend, I found out that my company was going through a massive transition and was laying off a sizeable portion of our employees. I am safe for now, but my work situation went from a great time to leave and hike to suddenly a horrible time to leave. I wasn’t going to have a leave of absence, so I would have had to quit and then come back and hope to get re-hired. Suddenly that seems like a much slimmer possibility.
There were other factors in play as well, but the bottom line is that now is just not the right time to attempt this.
I may decide to attempt a thru in the future or I may just section hike and take bites out of the trail over the years. There are tons of people who section hike the long trails over time and that also allows you to cherry pick sections during specific weather windows and times of year, which allows you to appreciate those parts of the trail at their best.
I’m still coming to grips with all of this, but for now, I’m staying put and continuing to visit national parks and hike as much as possible.
Thanks to anyone and everyone that supported me through the preparation for this crazy dream and I’m sorry that you won’t be able to follow along with the adventure. When and if I make further decisions, I’ll post it here.
Thanks again for believing in me.
6 thoughts on “Pulling the Plug”
Sorry to hear that. I know you must be broken up about it.
It was an incredibly tough decision, but I was able to be completely honest with myself and admit that this wasn’t necessarily what I actually want at this time in my life and then the job situation pretty much cemented it. Hopefully I’ll just have to shelve it for a bit.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I completely understand. I’m sad to not be able to live vicariously through your trip. Any ability to do a 2 or 3 week thru of a smaller trail?
Probably not this year. It’s still pretty raw in my mind. I was considering starting at the border as planned and only going up to Idyllwild, but I don’t know if I could have handled watching my trail mates continue on to Canada while I had to leave the trail. It’s going to take a while to process this, so I’m not making any plans for a while. Going to go to Colorado on a road trip with the wife and dogs this summer I think. Need to figure out what’s realistic for my hiking goals.
Sorry to hear it. Maybe the JMT would be more manageable given family/job commitments.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I had actually applied for JMT permits as a back up, but got denied. They are tougher to get than PCT permits, but I think it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future.