When northbounders exit the 100-Mile-Wilderness, they're confronted with a majestic view of Mount Katahdin, the end of the Appalachian Trail. They're also hit with two distinct emotions. "Yes!!! I'm almost done!" and "Oh, no! I'm almost done!!"
There are moments when the absence of focus, miles, and freedom to walk send you spiraling into despair and you must grieve the death of it. There is a churning in your stomach, and an ache in your soul.
Life feels empty when the trail is over, even if it's full. It is like a breakup that leaves you irreparably heartbroken. Only time, and perhaps another journey, can mend the wound.
Don't be afraid to stop and "bloom where you're planted" instead of obsessing on the next Trail. Enjoy life where you are and be thankful for where you were.
Few will understand the enormity of your journey. Everyone has a story. Listen to the journeys of others. You know how to persevere. Encourage others with what you've learned.
Long-distance hikers can tough it out. Apply that strength to other goals that can benefit others, not just yourself. You can do anything. Do good.
It's a mean world. Appreciate people who are kind and loving. If you need more loved ones, forgive and love others more. Take them on a Happy Trail!
Can't cope with PHD: Post-Hiking Depression? There's no dishonor in getting professional help.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Safety, Hikers, Hiking Safety, anish heather anderson post-hiking depression, phd post-hiking depression, coping with post-hiking depression, and robert sutherland post-hiking depression
Published Dec 3, 2015.
The best trail mix is healthy, tasty and beneficial. So is this Appalachian Trail advice that will inspire you and empower you to thrive the Trail.
Published May 9, 2012.
Thinking of attempting a thru-hike of the AT? Read Doctor Grumpy's Ten Tips for Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers before you hit the Trail.