Day 11-27 since my thru-hike started was spent mostly in a blur of sorts. I know I had a lot of followers worried and I am sorry about that! I will be back on the trail though =) My knee and ankle are fine. I spent Day 11 & 12 letting them rest. I did get 2 knee braces to carry with me just in case! For those that did not see the post in the “Community” section of my YouTube, you can read Day 14 on why I have been MIA.
Day 11 and Day 12 were both zero days for me after realizing I needed to rest my knee and ankle.
Day 13, 2 Cents and Ripley returned back to the hotel after continuing on to Dicks Creek. The plan was I would skip ahead with them on Tuesday (the following day) and just come back later to finish that portion.
Day 14, in the weeeee hours of the morning my life changed forever with one phone call from my husband telling me one of my best friends (also one of his) committed suicide just hours after I finished talking to him. The night before I got a text I was dreading…Bridge, I’m in a bad spot.
This man, our dear friend, had severe combat-related PTSD. He had struggled for many years and the past couple of months it was out of control. I spent hours and hours every time on the phone with him. A week before I left, after his last “episode” he promised to watch over my husband (who also has severe PTSD) and to take care of himself and continue therapy and that I just needed to worry about climbing mountains and making sure I was safe because he would be ok.
On March 2nd, something in him broke for good. I spent 3 hours trying to convince him life was worth living, that he was not alone. This time, I failed him. In the very weeee early hours of March 3rd, just hours after I finally went to bed, he killed himself.
My husband was breaking. I could tell it in his voice. The only other person in this area other than myself who he felt he could talk to just killed himself. I was headed home, temporarily. The trail could wait. I flew Jerry into Atlanta and I rented a car. Together we made the journey home, together. We needed that time alone.
Day 15, we made it home late and headed straight to bed. The anger we are feeling is overwhelming, for me at least.
Day 16. I decided to head to REI to find a new sleeping pad for when I head back out. I need to do something to take my mind off of everything. End up buying a new sleeping pad and pillow.
Day 17, find out Ripley is leaving the trail due to injuries. No word from 2 cents yet.
Day 18, get word from 2 Cents he is headed home too. So the rest of my Tramily has left the trail. The funeral was today, we didn’t go. I don’t care to talk about it.
Day 19, I make my travel arrangements to head back to the trail. Flying into Atlanta on March 17th and hitting the trail first thing the morning of March 18th. I’ll be starting back where I left off since my Tramily has left the trail.
Day 20-22, What a blur. I have no idea what went on these days. I’d like to blame alcohol, but I don’t drink. I spent most of it catching up on blog posts from Days 1-10 and now this one you are reading of day 11-27.
Day 23, Took my son for a short hike at our usual spot. I also filmed a quick update video (video below). Trying to figure out why everyone bought out all the toilet paper but plenty of OTC meds and food left on shelves. Also, Kleenex there’s no shortage of that. I’m so confused. Thankful I’m headed back to the trail soon…I don’t use TP out there anyway.
Day 24, All this mass hysteria about the Coronavirus, which has led to a shortage of toilet paper all of a sudden, did get me wondering about resupply of food while on the trail. Will everyone start clearing out food as well? To make sure I can stay on the trail as long as possible through this, I headed to Walmart to stock up on food items that Jerry can send me to resupply points along the trail.
Day 25 – 27, Spent tying up loose ends (again lol) and making sure I have everything packed (again). I decided to use an old piece of luggage that was falling apart to put my bag and gear in so I can check it and not worry about my pack getting torn up. Figure I will trash it once I arrive.
Due to the Coronavirus putting a halt to my plans. When I do get back on the trail, I will start on Day 14 (the day I left to come back home) and count from there. The ATC has revised its definition of a thru-hike for the Class of 2020. I will have a year to complete it once they give the all-clear to get back on the trail.