Day 84-86, May 25-27

Miles from Springer Mountain: 1320.2

Miles to Mount Katahdin: 871.8

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend! My weekend was wonderfully restful, a peaceful getaway from the trail, and a new restart to kick off the final portion of my Appalachian Trail adventure.

This blog has been a great way to show you all what my experience is, the amazing sights I’ve seen, the crazy people I’ve met, and how the trail has impacted me. Through it all I’ve showcased a lot of good and positivity with only a few glimpses into some of the tougher parts on trail. I think it would be dishonest of me to whitewash the trials of the trail; hiding the tough times would be a disservice to those who want to know what the trail is really like.

In light of that, last weekend I told Haley that I was giving myself one more week on trail – if things didn’t change then I was ready to be done and I was coming home. I was so physically tired, every day my legs would move a little slower, my feet were waterlogged for days on end, I hadn’t been completely dry in over a week. I had gone almost two weeks without seeing anyone I knew, all my trail friends were either off trail or days ahead. Mentally I was already thinking about college in the fall, ready to get started, ready to go home and start the next phase of life. I was missing Haley and my family, it was emotionally punishing thinking I was out here leaving them behind. I don’t think Haley could count how many times I called this trail a “stupid goal”.

Mid-week Haley decided to drive out to Eastern Pennsylvania to see me, she had one stipulation: if she was going to come see me I wouldn’t be able to ride with her back home, I have to finish. I quickly agreed to her demands, not thinking fully I just wanted to see her. Haley’s visit this weekend saved my hike. We relaxed, I recharged my body and my mind, we watched racing all day on Sunday, and my attitude changed. It’s been only two weeks since I was off trail in Indiana, but in those weeks my hike was nearly lost for good. I’ve been looking backwards for so many days all I could only see what was behind me, now I am looking forward, onward towards the mighty goal of finishing.

Instead of deciding to quit this past weekend I set off on Monday crossing into New Jersey and stepping forward into a new mindset. The trail provides as it always does – Memorial Day was the best day on trail I have had so far. My body felt great, the weather was beautiful, once again I’m seeing wonderful sights constantly, so many people were out enjoying nature on the holiday, the trail was tough but conquerable, and I knew after yesterday that I was going to finish this damn trail.

It hasn’t been easy, it won’t be easy, in the shape of the trail it’s going to get a lot harder, but courageously and confidently I’m ready to conquer the task ahead.

13 comments

  1. You’ll have plenty of time when you’re much older than you are now, to look back at life and count your “shoulda’s”, I’m happy this won’t be one of them!
    Get it Ty!

  2. Thankful for your new outlook and mindset! I’m confident you’re going to look back and say, “I’m glad I finished and achieved my goal! “. Proud of you Tyler!

  3. Tyler… quit making your momma cry! I love you and I am so proud of you! Thankful you are refreshed and prepared to conquer. Keep on keeping on.

  4. Keep on keeping on! Plenty of beers, racing and good times to be had when you finish in Maine!!

    “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott

  5. I can’t tell you how much these posts have inspired me! Your persistence and grit is so admirable

  6. I think it’s so neat you’re doing this trail!! Good Luck on the rest!! 🍀 You got this!!!

  7. March on!! You are strong and confident. We will all be waiting for you when you return.

  8. So many wonderful things in your future and this experience will serve you well in all to come! Praying for your positive outlook to continue on. You’re rocking it!

  9. Yukon, thank you for your honesty and openness in this post. I love reading the way you process. Focus on your ‘why’ (reason you wanted to do this in the first place). Praying for new friends, physical rejuvenation, and safety along the rest of the trail. Congrats on New Jersey and hike on! We are all rooting for you.

  10. Hang in there Tyler, you can beat the AT. And just think of all the new beers you would miss if you came home! You can get Busch Lattes and Natty Light anywhere. Uncle Tony

  11. No no Yukon I like the second decision better you can do this in the years to come you will say WOW I really did this take care of yourself keep on trucking good luck and be safe YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS, good luck. Nancy

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