I want to apologize to everyone who was following along. My hike is officially over.
I made it to Clingman’s Dome and the weather was awful. I decided to come home for a few days to wait out the weather (and watch The Masters).
While I was home, I had a candid discussion with my wife about the current state of affairs after a month on the trail. To my surprise, she was still very supportive of me trying to finish the hike.
However, she did tell me that the stress was growing and my daughter was getting increasingly upset with my absence.
After talking about it for a few hours, we decided it would be best for our family for me to table the hike and come back home. My daughter was particularly excited upon hearing this news.
I already miss the trail. I was having a great time and starting to get in the groove of walking every day. Fortunately, I was out there long enough to have spent some quality time with myself. Most of the time, all I could think about was not being able to get this part of my daughter’s childhood back.
I realized what is most important to me while I was out there. It wasn’t finishing the trail, although that was up there. It was becoming a better father and husband. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life being pretty selfish. The trail, although I had spousal support, was another example. It was MY dream. It wasn’t my daughter’s dream; it wasn’t my wife’s dream. It was mine.
I still plan to hike the trail. However, it looks as though it’ll have to wait until retirement. My daughter isn’t getting any younger and she needs me at home more than I need to be on the trail.
I’ve enjoyed keeping this blog going and have delayed disclosure of this information as long as possible because I honestly feel like I’m letting you guys down. I sincerely apologize to those who have been following along; but, this is the right choice for my family and I at this time.
I’ll be keeping the blog going, I think. It obviously won’t be about the Appalachian Trail, much longer. But, I usually lead a fairly interesting life so why not take some folks along.
As it stands, my wife and I have decided to tour the country looking for a city to call home. Starting tomorrow morning, we’ll begin a 6,000+ mile tour of the U.S., visiting cities we feel have promise. Our plan is to check out a dozen cities, or so, that we have pre-screened in our own way. Upon completion of the trek, we’re hoping to find a place to finally set roots and have a functioning family.
I’d like to apologize once more for throwing in the towel. They say people hike the trail to find themselves. I feel I’ve done the same thing, albeit in a different manner. I’m not entirely thrilled about giving up this opportunity to hike the trail; however, I’m glad to finally be with my family. I’m excited about our future together. I’m excited to finally be a part of my daughter’s life. I’m excited to finally feel like I’m genuinely trying to be a better husband and father.
Hike your own hike.