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[pct-l] Readjustment blues

Karl Brandt wrote:
>>Fortunately for me, I hiked most of OR & WA with a partner. Finishing
alone would have been awfully depressing. Still, somewhere between
Stehekin and the border it hit me that it was about to end. Even though I
was tired of hiking, I didn't want everything to end. After all the
celebration at Monument 78, my partner and I hardly spoke a word during
the 7 miles in Canada....Within a few weeks, I was back at my same job. It
didn't take long for me to start feeling depressed. I was maddened by the
routine of every day life. On the trail, I got to see new sights every
single day. Suddenly, I was stuck getting up at the same time, driving the
same roads through traffic to the same job I'd had for years. I eventually
worked my way through the funk but there's still a nagging sense about me
that ordinary life just isn't satisfying any longer. I find myself longing
for adventures...<<

Well said Karl!  One difference for me: in 1996 I purposely hiked all of
Washington solo because it allowed me to reflect on the accomplishment more
objectively.  It seemed more adventurous, and I was at least several days
ahead of most of the other thru-hikers.  It worked well for me, and I really
enjoyed my times with fellow thru-hikers in California and Oregon.  I'm good
friends with some of them four years later!  I too have the same feelings
about ordinary life after the big hike.  The hike changed my world view, and
I see it now as opportunities to live life in a series of adventures rather
than increasing the square footage of my dwelling or the horsepower of my
vehicle.  You won't see me at Club Med, that's for sure!  I have not found
any easy answers to eliminate the tedium that comes with making a living.  I
plan every year to get out on a trail for at least two weeks.  It may be ten
years before I will do another thru-hike.  But it's a worthy goal and enough
incentive to work hard now so I can enjoy what I want to do when the time
Roger Carpenter
P.O. Box 651 
Vancouver, WA  98666
(360) 696-1746

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