I have decided not to continue with my thru hike. The decision was practically made for me with the realization that if I went back to the trail immediately after finishing physical therapy* in early July, and continued hiking an average of 12-15 miles per day (probably slower in the beginning as my tendinitis is STILL killing me, after almost a month of rest), I still wouldn’t make it to Maine until mid-November (and that doesn’t allow for any zero days).
* I ended up having a severely inflamed IT band, along with patellor tendinitis and a ruptured bakers cyst.. Oh, and Lyme Disease (which I’m taking medication for). So the good news is – no knee surgery. The bad news is – still in pain.
I did have several options available to me:
- I could flip flop (go to Maine and start hiking southbound), which is something I’ve been resistant to from the very beginning. I have in my mind that Katahdin is my end point, and it just doesn’t seem as fulfilling to think about jumping ahead & ending my hike in Virginia. I think it would be really hard to complete a thru hike this way. (No offense to those who are flipflopping, though! Hike your own hike!).
- I could hike north, knowing I would not be able to finish before Katahdin closed.