First off, and most important, I want to thank all of you who began to follow me on this journey. I also want to say how much I appreciate the comments. I may have been a bit hard on myself calling myself a failure. I was angry at myself for giving up, but I knew at the time after a long descent down Sassafras Mountain that I couldn’t go on. A hiking adage rang true: listen to your body.
When I think back at what went wrong, I can narrow it to be unprepared. I joked around in hiking groups online that I would get my trail legs while hiking. Well, I was dead wrong. Physically, I was maybe 5% prepared. I know if I had hiked more, stretched more and had built up my calf muscles, no doubt my joints wouldn’t have been so sore.
I know I didn’t drink near enough water. Another hiker said you should be drinking a litre of water about every couple miles. Day 1, I drank only 1 litre over 9.1 miles. This of course led to leg cramps.
So, I know what I did wrong. Now comes the decision do I attempt again? Before I decide, I’m going to commit to doing some things differently.
First off, we’re getting a non-electric exercise bike. The bike will be perfect for us as it uses no electricity as we’re off-grid. And, with icy/snow conditions that run from November to June, the bike will give me a way to make sure I don’t lose muscle mass during the winter.
Once the weather gets a bit better, I plan on a few 4-5 day backcountry hikes at Algonquin Park. I’ve done these trails before and will give me at least some elevation change. Nothing even remotely close to the Appalachian Trail, but better than where live. I may even try challenge myself and hike the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior. This trail is 120km and takes about 6-7 days.
I’m not committing yet to trying the Appalachian Trail in 2020, but it’s in the back of my mind. Do I need to do this? I don’t know.
For now, looking forward to Spring/Summer back home. Really looking forward to close friends who’ll be visiting us. That puts a smile on my face.
Thanks again everyone.