[at-l] Post Trail Sadness Disorder

hopeful_2003 at comcast.net hopeful_2003 at comcast.net
Sun Feb 28 18:19:05 CST 2010

It was right about this time, 7 years ago, that I got the call telling me I was being laid off. For me this was wonderful news. Wonderful for several reasons; for one I was tired of my old job. It had changed and it was my opinion the change was for the worse. A second reason was that I was presented with the time and the money (from my severance) to do a thruhike. 

Few have been the days in these last 7 years that I have not thought back on that wonderful adventure. At times, the trek was glory, at others it was oppression. In the end it was the bad just as much as the good that forged friendships that have lasted and are dearer today than on that fateful October afternoon when out of the gloom, sleet, snow, rain and biting windchill the end of our journey came into view. 

Each spring, I get Springer Fever to the point where I have to travel to Amicalola and walk north for a week. What a mixed blessing, what a subtle curse, how wonderful that some things never change for the worse. I love to get into camp and just sit and listen to all the chatter and banter, to feel all the excitement in the voices of the new class. What an honor when it finally comes out that I am an '03er and suddenly bombarded with a thousands questions. How sad it is to hitch into Hiawassee, knowing that I'll be going home instead of continuing on with the new friends. How wonderful all of this is!! How wonderful indeed.   Hopeful 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "EHamilton" <imagainst_the_wind at yahoo.com> 
To: at-l at backcountry.net 
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 10:41:47 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: [at-l] Post Trail Sadness Disorder 

When it's the time of year that, last year, you were making your last preparations for starting your thru, when it's that time of year again and you're NOT starting another thru (and only did half of the one you intended to do)..... do you get sad? Do you buy trinkets that improve on the ones you actually took on the trail? A lighter penlight, instead of a headlamp? Do you spend hours on websites becoming familiar with gear you'll never get to use, at least not in the next few years? Do you decide at last that you can at least take your 7-yr-old granddaughter out on an overnight once in a while and wonder if that will do it for you, hiking and tenting a couple miles from home? 

My friend Patti "Jessie's Girl" from the AT is on a bus now headed for the Florida Trail. I'm so envious. I would have loved to go with her. I want to go hiking. We have 4+ feet of snow and I have no snoshoes but I want to go hiking. I want to hang up a hammock so it won't touch the snow, put a quilt under it so it won't touch the cold air, pitch a tarp over it so sleet won't cut my face, and sleep in the woods. I think I will. Make myself a hammock, traipse through the woods out back with my dog, set up my hammock, cook on the snow, and sleep out in the cold. I'll carry a warm bed for the dog. Or make her carry it. 

I want to go hiking. 


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