February, in terms of fitness preparation was a complete washout. I spent my time perfecting my homemade cozy fabrication. And, the online videos made it look so easy!
However, the second course of antibiotics appeared to be ridding me of the maladies which had plagued me for well over a month. As I was starting to feel better, I had been doing some shorter hikes, 5 miles with about 24 pounds in the pack. I thought it was time to crank it up a bit.
The other day, my daughter Danielle and I headed up to the Delaware Water Gap. The plan was to hike the AT to Sunfish Pond, loop around Sunfish Pond and return on the Dunnfield Creek trail. Mileage for the day would be 9 miles. I was fully geared and rationed up, tipping the scales at 34 pounds. We completed the hike in just over four hours, including a very nice stop for lunch on a rock outcrop overlooking Sunfish Pond.
I realized on the trail that day, that parts of my body don’t enjoy hiking as much as I enjoy hiking. Maybe it had been building as I worked to restore my fitness, or maybe as the date of my departure approached, reality set in. Regardless, the message was very clear and I’ve abandoned my Appalachian Trail thru hike. And, I won’t even get into the plethora of other medical issues that arose in my attempt to receive a clean bill of health prior to leaving for the hike! Ignorance is bliss is a credible cliché, or so it seems right now.
Thanks again to all who offered words of support and encouragement. If my choice disappoints you, I apologize. I have to admit though, I’m less stressed and for now comfortable with my decision.