Just Another Statistic…

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.

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10 thoughts on “Just Another Statistic…

  1. Being a father is something you can never get back. Your daughter will need you a lot less in her college years and then maybe your wife may join you on the trail also.
    In your search for “home” if your ever in the Wisconsin area let me know. We have a few good hikes around here.
    I will continue to follow your blog and be anxious to find out what you find in your daily explorations.

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  2. Family first is always a good idea. Plenty of other trails out there you can take them along on. Taking kids out there is hard work, but very rewarding. Get them started young in a way they fall in love with nature and you’ve given them a lifetime gift they will always thank you for.
    Sorry this big trip didn’t go as planned. Now its time to make some new plans 🙂

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  3. Boomer, you sir are not just another statistic. You went out there and did something few only dream about. Yes you didn’t finish but it sounds to me like you accomplished what you wanted to do and that’s find that person within that knows what’s important in life. Family is everything and these next few years will slip away before you know it. Nine years ago my daughter would greet me at the door every day after work and her smile and admiration for me made whatever bad day I was having a good day. Now she is 15 and only wants my credit card😁. Enjoy this time. You did great buddy. I look forward to following along as you start your new adventures.

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  4. Selfishly, I’m sorry to hear that your trip has come to an end. I have really enjoyed every post and the opportunity to hike along vicariously. You are NOT the worst blogger ever (I own that one) — you are funny, insightful, and informative. You have a great eye for detail, and a talent for telling a good story. I’m glad to hear that you plan to keep blogging, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

    My own AT attempt was aborted early on last year due to a knee injury, so I understand the feeling of being “just another statistic”…but it sounds like you made the right decision for the best of reasons. Parenthood is a long, tough trail too — but the rewards dwarf any view from any mountain!

    I look forward to the next chapter.

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  5. You have nothing to apologize for, and you should never apologize for doing the right thing for you and your family.

    Best of luck on your next adventure and if you should find yourself in West Texas we would love to have your family over!

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  6. Will miss the updates – really enjoyed your blog, fantastic writing skills dude!
    Of course, your family is more important than any hike or blog. Making a respectable adult decision, requires no apology.

    Proud of ya. Enjoy that child, they grow up too quick.
    Savor every moment together…. the trail will still be there later.

    Hats off to ya pal!

    T.

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  7. Good luck in your future endeavors. I really enjoyed following along on your hike through your blog. It was always very interesting and I’ll miss the updates, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing. Hang in there.

    Ed

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  8. Best of luck to you, Boomer. Really enjoyed the great photos and day-to-day account of your journey. Loved your writing style, as well. Blew Coke (the soft drink…not the drug) out of my nose when I saw the “Rocky Dennis” trail name photo / entry. Wish you and your family the best in your search for that special place.

    Mike

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  9. Hope the search for a new home goes well. I will miss following along and hiking the AT vicariously through you. But I am glad you have found what is important to you in life.

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