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RE: [pct-l] Was the thruhike a dream?

I hope this thread thrives.  It's a subject that doesn't get much attention
on this list; What happens when you get home from "The Big Hike?"

In '97 I came home expecting to be physically and spiritually energized,
just as I had been on the trail.  I expected that the energy would carry
over into my "other" life and lead to great accomplishments there as well.
And in the longer run that has been true, but my immediate feelings were
confusion and depression over the gulf that Joanne describes.  For me, the
job made the adventure possible, but the adventure made the job seem less
real and less satisfying.  And yet I KNOW the job IS real and that makes the
adventure less real and less satisfying.  ("job" refers to life in general
off the trail and "adventure" refers to life on the trail.)

The net effect for me was I spent the winter of '97-'98 mostly indoors.  I
didn't do all the local hikes that could have been so easy.  I didn't even
do much running.  And work was out of focus too.  Dreams of the trail
interfered with it.

My advice for the class of '99 is this.  Expect some problems.  As you did
on the trail, you'll overcome them and achieve a balance.  When spring '98
arrived, I was rested and whole again.  The discipline I learned on the
trail HAS carried me through tough times off the trail.  I got back into
running and hiking and even got back on the PCT for 830 miles this summer.

Does anyone else care to share their post-trail experience?


-----Original Message-----
From: Joanne Lennox [mailto:goforth@cio.net]
Sent: Monday, October 18, 1999 8:19 PM
To: pct-mailing list
Subject: [pct-l] Was the thruhike a dream?

One of the problems that I am having  now that I am home, is that my whole
life of the past 6 months seems completely like a dream.  It seems to have
no reality at all.  I don't have any real sense that I walked all that way
at all.  I can not anchor it into my home, my reality with my husband, with
my life that isn't the trail.  They are like two separate realities, both
diminishing the other, like having two lovers that can not, can never know
about each other.

I suspect that this is why people do yo-yos, why a recent PCT thruhiker
mentioned that"maybe I should just find the nearest trailhead", why another
has started a 500 mile journey on the AT.

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