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Wow - before I checked my mail this morning I posted something that
reads a lot like what you wrote. Is there a message here someplace?
Welcome to the club - it's the season for Springer fever. A lot of us
go through it every year. We found that we need some really strong
distractions around this time of year to offset the depression. What
we've done is to hike as much as possible (weekend trips) and get
involved in trail maintenance. The KTA can always use help on the PA
trails - almost any hiking club that does maintenance is in need of
volunteers. Hey - remember Tennessee? You KNOW TERC needs help!!
In any case, welcome to the Springer fever ward.
>Hi all of you 96 thruh and long distance hikers not yet on their way !
>Just some final thoughts from me. These days I'm really down, constantly
>thinking about hiking the AT, wishing to start with you (as probably
>everybody on this list).
>You will have the experience of a lifetime. It doesn't matter if you make it
>all the way or not. You tried it and that's worth a lot. But there's not only
>glory being a long distance hiker. There is also alot of PAIN.
>I'm sure everybody done it agrees with me, you very easily forget all the
>pain you went thru during these many weeks/months out there. But there are
>many times you wish you were anywhere else but in the wilderness. Rainy days
>without an end, bitter cold nights (!) and days, sweating, being hungry,
>But that is part of the experience, it makes the wonderful moments even more
>special. You really have to be an optimist. All these countless knobs, where
>you have to hike up to and then theres only trees, no view at all ... it
>seems senseless, but they taught me to really enjoy the great views on other
>The greatest trail magic occured to me right after days which almost made me
>gave up. And I learned that is was worth fighting thru tough times, otherwise
>you miss so much - wonderful people, great nature, the trail community, the
>feeling of being a thru-hiker (yeah, I know I only hiked half way, but for me
>it was the same).
>And you are not alone, there are so many others connected with you between
>Georgia and Maine, going thru the same tough days, wearing the same wet
>clothes, having the same pain and enjoying similar great times.
>Really important is to take some time off the trail. When my feed were so
>sore and almost bleeding, I had to stop in towns to take a rest. It may be
>hard to leave a nice hostel, a motel room with a shower or even places like
>Rustys, but I found it even harder to stay there for long. The Trail was
>pulling me. The time off the trail helped me physically recover and taught me
>where I really belonged, on the AT.
>It becomes your real home and family for the time being out there. And it
>never lets you go, even years after you went away from it. Actually you can
>never get away from the AT. It sometimes hard (like right now when so many
>head out to Springer), but it's great to be connected with the Trail and all
>the wonderful people who are also part of it.
>I guess what I wanted to say was, just try to make it thru the pain, it's
>worth it. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel. There'll be always
>sunny days after weeks of rain. Believe me, it's worth the pain !