New Adventures

Today, I caught a few busses and trains to NYC to visit my aunt. I’m writing this blog post from an Amtrak/bus station in Albany, on layover while I wait for my final bus to NYC.
One of the main things that I have figured out over the past ~2 months of hiking is that it’s very important to spend your time doing things that are fun and enjoyable. My hiking family would often change our plans to accommodate this: stopping to swim and jump off bridges, moving back our mileage in order to see something really cool. Because of this, I feel that our trail family was really getting the best experience out of the AT. This idea was confirmed by many a solo northbounder who warned us that we were only a few hundred miles from “hating hiking forever” and “just wanting it to be over.”
For the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed every last second of hanging out with Banner, Robin, Web MD, and Magic. But the times in between – the time spent hiking countless miles – really started to wear on my mind and my psyche. I found myself desperately wishing that I didn’t have to hike, and becoming frustrated with each and every hill or descent or bog or flat spot.
So it is with sadness that I made the decision to leave the trail. I’m not sure I’ll leave forever – I know for a fact that I am going to be visiting the Dirty Boys (and Magic) many times. I might rejoin them for the rest of the trip. The only thing I know for certain is that I saved up money and time to have a thoroughly enjoyable summer – making myself miserable hiking stopped fitting the bill, so I moved on to something else. After NYC I’ll return to Richmond – maybe just for a bit, maybe for the rest of the summer.
I want to continue loving hiking, and this course of action is the way I know I can achieve that goal.
Best of luck to Magic and the Dirty Boys! Regardless of whether or not I resume the trail, I know that I’ll see them again. Time on the trail truly magnifies and multiplies relationships – I’ve made friends that I hope to keep.
Onward to new adventures!

2 thoughts on “New Adventures”

  1. I think you’ve gained an insight about life and happiness that a lot of older adults could learn from. Rabbi’s are known for being wise like that….
    Good luck, Ian! A million thanks for sharing your insights and adventures – and photos!

  2. We are so proud of you and what you have accomplished. And even more so of your profound insight into this adventure and yourself. I’m glad you aren’t going to make yourself miserable by staying just because, and I’m happy that you are leaving your options open so that your last summer of freedom before joining us working stiffs can be whatever you want it to be.

    See you in a few days! Have a great time in NYC.

    (BTW – Rocco’s cannolis are the BEST! On Bleeker St south of Christopher St in the West Village. There might be a reward should some find their way back to Richmond 🙂 )

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