[at-l] 11 years ago today... a non-dreamer started hiking the

nightwalker.at at gmail.com nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Wed Mar 17 21:31:53 CDT 2010

 trail	- and a question for others.
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I had been hiking for seven years. I only heard about the AT six months prior to stepping on it. Almost from the first day I knew about it, I was thinking of it as the next logical step. A whole six months. Heh.

Actually trying to finish it has been more of a torment than a dream. Two years, I got off homesick. Three years, my feet gave out in two different ways. Twice, my wife got really sick. I'm just too dumb to know when to stop trying. :-)

My wife is pushing me to go again. Says she doesn't want me moping around the house all Summer. I don't have a lot of confidence in her ability to take care of herself while loaded up on Lortab. But she says I owe myself and her both a shot at it. Dad's healthy again. Who knows how many more years that will last? I've been putting back a little money. I'll probably take off on the weekend of April 3rd. Insanity. 

But I'm less insane than I have been, and I'm tired of the "if only" nonsense. I'm just not ready to give up on this silly thing. And silly is what it sounds like, if you haven't had the sickness yourself. It's just something that won't let go. 

If I was content with section-hiking, I probably wouldn't have walked throu GA enough times to lose count (six or seven. Really not sure.)

Sometimes all I can do is shake my head. :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Felix J <AThiker at smithville.net>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:55 PM
Cc: at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>
Subject: Re: [at-l] 11 years ago today... a non-dreamer started hiking the
 trail	- and a question for others.

Mara Factor wrote:
> I started my own thruhike of the AT that day.  Unlike most other 
> hikers, I wasn't a dreamer before I started.  I had known about the 
> trail and thruhiking for years but it was only the fall before my hike 
> that I even considered doing a thruhike.
> Is there anyone else here on the list that wasn't a long-standing 
> dreamer before hitting the trail for a thruhike?  What's your story?
> I came to my hike not because I had a long standing wish to thruhike 
> the trail, but because four areas of my life conspired to converge and 
> make it a perfect time to thruhike. 

I don't think I was a 'long-standing dreamer'.  I don't recall ever 
really considering a thru-hike (until I considered it). I was always a 
section-hiker...on the 25 year plan...and, was happy with that.  And, 
now I have right at 400 miles to go to complete the section hiking. 

The first time I ever considered it seriously was on the trip home from 
Trailfest in 1998.   We'd just spent the weekend hanging out in Hot 
Springs. We were on that curvy highway leading back to I-40 (at 
newport?) and Stoat, whose divorce was final a few days before mine 
about 2 months previous...says "I'm gonna thru-hike next year, Felix". 
And, Pokey says "Oh yeah, I can see living in the woods for 6 months!" 
So, having a best friend and a girlfriend both wanting to thru-hike got 
my wheels to turning. I thought it over the next few days...and, called 
Stoat and said "Let's go this year. We can go southbound this fall".   
As it turned out, he couldn't get away from town (had to sell his house 
as part of his divorce settlement) in time to start a thru-hike. So, he 
joined us in Gorham.  but....I really don't recall ever having thought 
much about a thru-hike before that truck ride home from Hot Springs. 

Felix J. McGillicuddy
ME-->GA '98
"Your Move"
ALT '03 KT '03

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