This is a long post. Lots to say! Lots to explain…CLICK HERE to skip to “So What Happens Next??”
After the stress of last night, I don’t think Buck-30 or I slept much. We both were up easily by 5am and packing; wondering if we would make it out of the village without any further interaction from the supposed guides we negotiated with last night. We went to sleep with the idea that a continuous GHT thru-hike was off the table. Before heading home, there was a section ahead that continuously strung together the areas of Makalu, Annapurna, and Dolpo that we wanted to do. As we packed up, Buck-30 told me he had crunched the numbers (he’s an accountant) overnight in his head on what it would entail to do the section we had in mind. Long story short, it would boil down to about $1000, quite a bit of logistics and travel out and back, and just about 16 days of hiking. We both agreed we weren’t feeling it.
For me, it was the combination of it all. I just couldn’t connect to this hike. Even before this guide incident, I just wasn’t connecting to this hike. A combination of sickness out here, the altitude to contend with, never feeling more than 70%, and personal things pulling me to want to be home this season. It just wasn’t a fit. Here is a link to Buck-30’s trail journal to read his view on all of this.
Yes, we could’ve put our heads down and gotten it done as a thru-hike likely going around on low route if we really pushed. We could have come out and jumped around to hit the places we wanted to see. We could just jump around Tashi Labsta and continue from there. However, the drive just wasn’t there. Some will say that we are Americans who are too caught up in connecting steps. It’s deeper than that, and behind each hiker is a human being with more than just hiking in their lives. There are a lot of factors.
I’ll come back to more of my thoughts on all this, and my personal motivations for making this choice, but I first want to continue on with how we handled the next few days. Being in Thame, We were conveniently just a two day hike from the Lukla Airport. Yes, we were in Lukla a week ago. Here’s a snapshot of the loop we did that overlapped the Three Passes Trek. Most commonly, hikers doing the Three Passes Trek just complete the whole loop starting and ending at the Lukla Airport. Our GHT route would have had us continuing west, and not closing the loop.
So we set off from Thame, and hiked less than three hours to Namche. Griggs was already there, having hiked there via another route yesterday when he got sick again and decided to fly home to figure out what this month-long sickness could be. It was a great view to see it in the morning before the clouds moved in.
We all planned to hike to Lukla the next day, which would take a solid day to hike. We booked early morning flights out of Lukla for the day following the hike there. The travel agent saw me later in the day and told me there was a morning helicopter flight from Namche to Lukla for $100 if we didn’t want to do the hike, which we had all already done the first time into Namche. I led the charge on this one. I was totally in “fuck it” mode. I was dealing with my period exhaustion, and just wanted something fun after the last few days of things not going our way. The guys decided to spring for it. It was a highlight of the trip for sure! Just a handful of minutes, but for sure a life list experience, and where would be a better place than surrounded by the Himalaya mountains?
I have to say that watching Griggs have this experience was worth the $100 alone. He really is obsessed with flying, and had never been in a helicopter. Of course, he got to sit up front. It was good to see him so happy with how terrible he’s been feeling for most of the last month. I think it made all of us wash away the feelings of the last few days.
We got a day to relax in Lukla, and Buck-30 got to enjoy getting nudged by one last mule train, haha;)
The strategy at Lukla Airport is to book flights to Kathmandu as early as possible because clouds move in early, and flights get cancelled quickly. Lukla only has morning flights for this reason.
Lukla Airport is known as the most dangerous airport in the world, and has a very short runway going off a cliff at an angle so the small planes can land quickly and take off faster. Weather had not been ideal and some people had been stranded in Lukla waiting for a flight for days. Notice how the runway is going downhill in the photo.
We were fortunate and made it out of Lukla on our scheduled morning. Apparently, the majority of flights the last 4-5 days hadn’t taken off. Good timing on our part, whew! Buck-30 got a flight out of Kathmandu that same day, and Griggs and I stayed two days. We played tourist and went to the Swayambhunath Stupa, aka “Monkey Temple.” One of the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
View looking out over Kathmandu.
Bouddha Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the world. I personally liked this one. Great light to go at the end of the day.
Most importantly, we found a real milkshake place in Thamel (tourist district of Kathmandu). It was called Keventers. I went three times and got the Chocolate Oreo flavor each time. Yep, I was a happy tourist:)
It was a nice transition to take some time in Kathmandu before returning home. I didn’t really feel like I needed time to absorb this one all that much. I know we were out for a month, but comparatively, it wasn’t as long as I’m used to. I had no grand delusions about the GHT, and it was very much what I expected. I studied up enough to know I’d likely be sick, cold, uncomfortable, and tired much of the time. I knew this was one I’d struggle to connect with. I knew it would put me out of my comfort zone on many levels, which is something I can tolerate. Mostly, I thought it would be good for me to find some kind of acceptance and peace in an environment where very little was in my control. That’s always been a challenge for me. So much in Nepal is unpredictable and uncontrollable. It was good for me to have that experience and sit in it for an extended period of time.
All three of us are fortunate to have been thru-hiking for many years. This is definitely not our first or last rodeo. Having many trail years under our belts has given us a perspective of normality out here. This isn’t some wanderlust angsty hyperbolic dreamscape. We aren’t out here to impress anyone. We just like experiencing countries at a 1-3mi/hr pace. Our motivations are internal despite however many people are “following” through our respective trail journals or social media. We all are known for our real opinions, and aversion to hyperbole. We aren’t out there to give an illusion, garner accolades, or attain more followers. Contrary to popular belief, all that has little impact on our decisions.
We all three have the freedom and independent finances to pretty much hike wherever our whims take us. That wasn’t Nepal anymore. We all have things we are anxious to get to in the coming months, and are leaving this experience feeling like it was unique, surreal, and worth having. A month has shown us so many aspects of this diverse country, and I’m glad to have had that experience. Yes, there is a part of me that slightly yearns as I look at a map and see what all was left to be explored. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll return to pick up where I left off. I think I’ll need quite a bit of time to forget how uncomfortable it was to be out there first, ha! In the end, it boiled down to the fact that we didn’t feel the need to hike something just to say we did.
So What Happens Next??
The immediate question is always, “What’s next?!” Well, you all can follow Buck-30 and Griggs to see where they will be heading. Neither are big on announcements, so give it some transition time, and it will reveal itself eventually. Those two will likely always be hiking somewhere. As for me, it may be a bit of a surprise for everyone, but I’m very excited to go….HOME! I’m actually writing this on the plane as I fly home, and will post it as soon as I land. I realize it’s the prime hiking season, and I have the whole world to choose from. I have a suitcase, full of trail food, all new hardly used hiking gear, no professional obligations, and the money to hike the next 4-5 months…but I don’t want to. I’d planned to explain this after the GHT, but I’ve had a bit of a shift in the past year.
I want to explain this properly, as so many of you have come on this journey with me the past 8yrs. Many people ask me what motivates my travel and thru-hiking. I often respond by explaining that it’s where I feel most “in the pocket.” Those that have followed for years, know what I mean by that. “In the pocket” is the term I use for that feeling of being exactly where I’m supposed to be at exactly the right time. Everything flows, feels effortless, natural, and in-sync. I tend to give the analogies of that moment when you swish a basket or hit a golf ball just right. Everything seamlessly aligns in that moment to all come together, and for a split second, it all clicks. I’ve described thru-hiking as the place where I’ve felt that feeling most consistently for the most extended amount of time. It may not be every day all day, but that feeling comes, and I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
Now step back for a minute on the past 8yrs. For me, the true thru-hike is the thru-hike of life. Eight years are just a small section of that proverbial thru-hike (as I am approaching 40yrs old this year). It’s a significant section no doubt, but it isn’t what defines me. There’s a lot more going on than the 5-6 months I spend hiking each year. Over the years, the time on trail has been my vessel for internally figuring a lot of things out. It gave me that time to reflect while also addressing challenges on trail, sometimes intentionally, that I knew I wanted to figure out. Some I’ve been more open about than others in my journaling, but you all know it’s been quite the journey. There’s been a ton of growth and happiness as a result.
Last summer, while hiking in France, I took the intensity down a notch, and found an incredible levity and happiness I didn’t know I could feel. This past year, that feeling just grew. I’ve found that, at this current time, I’m more “in the pocket” at home than I’ve ever been anytime and anywhere in life. Both on the trail and off. It made leaving home more difficult than ever, and made the decision to cut this trip short a no-brainer in my mind. I want to be clear, this was not an epiphany brought on by hiking in Nepal. I knew this going in, and it was only further confirmed each day I was gone. Even before the hike, I mentioned that after the GHT, I’d be road tripping in the Pacific Northwest this July instead of traveling back to Europe to hike. This is not a new concept, and is one that’s been growing ever since I returned last September from Europe.
I know it sounds crazy, but for the next month and a half, I know I’ll be happiest at home, going to work as a substitute teacher for the rest of the school year. Then I’ll road trip in the Pacific Northwest the month of July with no intention of journaling. As for August, I’ll wait to see what my gut says. Maybe I’ll be in the mood for some long distance hiking and journaling before the school year kicks in. At the moment, nothing is pulling me more than being home and nesting for a bit.
My hiking friends who know of my plans joke that I’m “retiring” from thru-hiking. I seriously doubt that. I just have nothing pulling me out there at the moment more than home. Things aren’t that black and white. Again, the thru-hiking doesn’t define me. It’s one part of me, and maybe that part just needs a bit of a break. I felt like this hiking season came too soon this year. I wasn’t ready to leave home. I wish I could say something more definitive, but it’s all I have. I’m incredibly happy at home, and in the pocket…and that’s where my gut is taking me.
I hope that’s an explanation everyone can understand in a way, and appreciate. Life is the true journey, and thru-hiking has been such a valuable section of it. I’ve grown immensely because of it, and have evolved into this new phase it seems. There’s a shift and transition happening, but to where, I’m not quite sure. It just needs some time, but I’m pretty excited to have found such a wonderful pocket. Yes, I’m a very happy camper:) Don’t worry, this isn’t a series finale, just a mid-season hiatus…I think…
One final note: I’ll be off the grid this weekend if anyone comments or emails me and I don’t respond.
Yes!!! Follow your heart.
One of my favorite sayings, appropriated from elsewhere: better to be good and over, than rotten and still going strong.
Yes, I’ve had a habit in the past of taking a perfectly good thing and doing it to such extreme that it’s unenjoyable. I’ve learned to find that sweet spot.
I ❤️ You Erin! You’ve touched a lot of emotional nerves & …no place like home. Your a true spirit lifter, keeping it real.
Aww, hi Denise. Yes, I’m sure this is one you could FEEL<3.
Wired, I’d like to say that I’m so happy you and Buck 30 are safe. I kept looking at your “Were is Wired” and there hadn’t been any changes for so many days, I was concern something bad had happened to you both. I guess over the years I’ve been sharing some of your posts with my husband. Yesterday I told him all about the troubles you found yourselves into. I was so surprise when he asked me this afternoon if there had been a new post yet. We were both relieved to know that it all turned out fine.
I will miss your posts my friend. Take care and have the time of your life this summer!
I wanted the story to evolve for everyone as it had for us without giving away the ending. I knew some of you would notice the spot not moving, but be relieved to know I was ok and sending posts out:)
Good for you Erin . I love that you are so honest . You have to do what makes you happy ,and everything will fall into place . As you say … life is the journey ,and it’s full of twists and winding roads . Best wishes for whatever comes about in the next “chapter ” of your “hike “. Thanks for taking me along with you in the adventure you’ve just had .
It’s so good to read you, Griggs, and Buck-30 are all safe. It’s also good to read that you’ve found your pocket off the trail and I wish you all the very best for whatever this next chapter in your life holds.
I believe that every day each of us is exactly where we are supposed to be in the evolution of our soul. Your post made me smile. It was so genuine it was palpable. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and digging deep. Sometimes, however, it felt like you somehow needed to defend your choice to leave; it wasn’t necessary. You are a woman of incredible courage. This trip was easily my favorite of all. Outstanding, Erin!
Yes, it’s strange that some would consider this a “failure” whereas I just see it as part of the overall journey. I think some only know me as Wired and don’t realized the Erin side of life that is just as fulfilling or even more so at this point:)
well done to all you guys. Gotta follow your heart and walk “your walk”. What you did was awesome and loved following it. It is true that Nepal, although incredibly beautiful, is also very hard due to altitude/sickness etc. so much of your posts brought back multiple memories….I too had a massive dose of the runs at Dzongla-though luckily just after crossing the Cho La from the west. That was 25 years ago when i did 2 of the 3 passes (Cho La and Kongma La). Went back 2-3 ago to do the 3 passes and had to be choppered out of Dingboche at the base of the Kongma La as my partner Val developed appendicitis……so yeah….choppers are amazing (Grigs!!!).
Look forward to whatever you decide to do next, whenever that is
All the best to all of you
Thank you Ray!
I have one word for you – Survivor. Time to get on that show :). Thanks for another adventure via your journals.
Hahaha! In my seclusion this weekend, there is a survivor binging on the agenda:)
Please apply! Would love to see you on Survivor! Also thank you for sharing your journey. Please continue to shave your travel s as you see fit/want to. I can’t say I’m surprised at the shifts and you are correct I think some of us long term readers have sensed a shift over the past year.
Yes, I feel like I’ve communicated this evolution and shift fairly well for those who are close followers over the years. It’s been subtle slight changes over the years that has led to this and it’s all thanks to the hiking!
Thanks for sharing this journey, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m glad you all decided to cut it short and come home. It just didn’t sound like your kind of hike. Whatever you decide to do next, enjoy it!
I loved this post!!! There were so many “Erin” statements that made me remember (as if I could forget) how much I adore your intellect, analysis and ability to perfectly capture and articulate the intelligence and emotion of a moment…in just one sentence.
As always, I loved this adventure and appreciated all your insight and experiences. You will never regret this trip but rest assured, you are exactly where you’re meant to be. What do I always tell y’all?….onward and upward!
I love you to pieces, dear friend, and wish you the most joyous summer! Carry on….
Thank you Jennifer<3!
This makes me happy! So Happy for you. ❤️ Can’t wait to come hit a trail with you. Too bad it won’t be during the PDX marathon. Maybe I can convince you to come down for the CIM in December. All the best Erin!
I’m sure our paths are destined to continue crossing Chandra. I’m thinking of you<3!
So well-said…welcome home Wired!
…almost perfectly said some might say;)
I have followed your trail adventures since the PCT (though I rarely commented), and I’ve always admired your dedication to both hiking and sharing your hikes through blogging. Well done, all three of you, for taking on such a challenging hike, and for knowing when it was time to stop and go home.
Also: “in the pocket” reminds me of the concept of “flow”, which psychologists have been using for a few decades to describe a particularly focused mental state (some might also call it “in the zone”). I really like your phrase, as it seems to expand the concept of flow to being in the right place in your life and having all the pieces working together in exactly the right way, mentally and emotionally. Such an interesting concept, I think I’ll have to borrow it! ?
On to your next adventure, whether it is another hike or creating more space in your life for things closer to home!
I like your comment of allowing for more space for things at home. Yes, sometimes you just have to give things space to allow them to grow. It’s good to be HOME:)
So very glad you are home safe and sound. You were wearing me out just reading about the problems all three of you were having and was truly worried about your safety the last couple of days. Enjoy your time at home (I know you will) and I will enjoy knowing you are doing what you truly want to be doing. Until we hear from you again stay well.
Although nothing will likely be on the blog. I’ll be throwing some things up on Instagram and Facebook from time to time.
Erin your not going to like car camping. I spent two months car camping around Washington state and the Oregon coast. People bring large screen TV’s sound systems and attack dogs to campgrounds these days 🙁
Taking the ferry to Stehekin and camping there for a few nights in
late August early September talking with the thru hikers as they pass
through is pretty fun though 🙂
Yes, I’m not a car camper in those group sites. I like to find the little known spots where I can get some seclusion. Even just walking in a bit to get away from sight. Definitely avoiding the real campgrounds.
I have loved following your travels. And it’s so refreshing to read an account that honestly has ‘warts & all’! I’ve only recently ‘discovered’ your blog (I am hoping to walk across the Pyrenees next summer so your European travels were a great read) and have enjoyed it very much.
Life takes us through it in waves, and I hope your next wave is a wonderful ride.
Thank you, it’s funny because I’ve said these last years that I was just “riding the wave” on this thru-hiking. I’m not saying it’s gone…just spending some quality time on the beach at the moment and soaking up the warmth:)
At 73 I have decided the meaning (purpose) of life is a series of adventures, which you have had, but now you have burn out and loneliness.
I had to quit the South West Coastal Path last year because I could hike only 1 mph and was getting weaker; so I drove around England and Scotland for 10 days camping in the rental car. I sent you 3 books but they fell out of the resealed envelope. (Sorry).
It is disappointing to quit, but discretion is the better part of valor.
Good luck, I admire you.
Ah, so that’s what happened to the books, darn. We may have different views on the “purpose” of life. It’s always been for me to find where I’m most content and be in that pocket. Right now, that’s at home, and that’s a very calming and peaceful thought right now. I never say never, but right now, it’s HOME.
I’m so glad you’re home, where you want to be. Honestly, I feel privileged to have been able to live vicariously through you over these years as you hiked the world. You do you. You don’t owe anyone any explanations. What you’ve given to all of us and passed on to others is enough. If you decide to carry on thru hiking, great. If not, we’ll ask be excited to hear about where your gut takes you next! I hope you OD on milkshakes this weekend!!!
Thank you:) Yes, it’s been quite the journey none of us could have predicted, and I’m sure there’s much more ahead. It’s just morphing into a new phase that’s all. However, I do believe milkshakes should always be integral to wherever I head;)
“Life is the true journey” you write. These are such wise words! You are still thru-hiking … on the trail of life!
That’s right! And I feel like I’ve truly hit my stride!
Enjoy the next phase of your life. Your posts have been a bit like being there during a “home” phase of my own. Thank you for being genuine.
Aw, thank you. I knew many would be able to relate.
Somebody told me once that home is where you put your spear in the ground. It’s been fun following you as you traveled the world. Nothing like seeing the world from the slow pace of walking and being “in the pocket.” You have lots of friends on the west coast, so it would be fun to take a day hike with you someday, and have a meal.
We did the “easy” bit a few years ago, from Lukla to Base Camp, and had a wonderful time, but it was still challenging with elevation, cold, and those pesky uncomfortable toilets. We made it and it was the best hike we’ve ever done.
I’m sorry you had a bad time with guides. Our guide, Ambar Tamang, was really good. If you decide to go back, maybe get in touch with him.
Yes, that would be nice:)
Happy for closure that all three of you are safely out and I had to smile at the image in my mind of Griggs on his first helicopter ? ride, in such a spectacular setting!
Milkshakes and a mini tourist trip with Griggs seem like a perfect ending. Now I hope he can get the health issues solved and be even more of his bouncy self.
As for this truncated trip, what you all accomplished was beyond the wildest dreams of most of us and now you get to enjoy a different experience, which happens to be home!
Thanks for taking us along, and getting us back safely.
Thank you, yes, watching Griggs on that helicopter was a highlight for sure!
Good for Griggs, riding shotgun! I especially loved this one: “This isn’t some wanderlust angsty hyperbolic dreamscape.”
I saw this (“fuck it”) attitude long ago Erin. You climbed in that truck bed with Rockin’ and others when you coulda completed the Lost Coast. tsk tsk 🙂 Brings to mind a few novice thru hikers over the years.
On retirement. First Swami, now Wired, what are all us arm chairs supposed to do for adventure now?? And don’t think you’ll be able to down 3 Oreo milkshakes while sub-ing in Portland!
You’ve provided an immense amount of enjoyment for me and mine over the years and I’m hoping you’ll come to your senses after a few weeks of herding urban children. 😉 Either way, Namaste!
Oh wow, you read the details with that hitch on the LCT. Good eye and memory, haha. That one was actually a tough one for me to swallow, ha! We’ll see how long it takes for these kids to drive me back into the wilderness!
Your honesty and insight make it clear to me that you made the right choice, Erin. Your thoughts are very well-said. Life is full of adventures, and I have no doubt that there will be many more for you. Heck, I’m 75 and although my adventures aren’t as intense as they once were, I’m still having (and loving) ’em. Best to you.
And that’s exactly how I want it to be for me. Adventures take on so many forms, and I’m excited for all of it.
All I can say is , “don’t take me off your email”. Life is made up of lots of chapters. I have enjoyed soooo much following you and know you will many more adventures. I am waiting for your book to come out. Follow your gut and you will be happy. Do keep in touch as I know there are many many people watching you. We picked up 7 PCT hikers last week and took them to town. One with his dog. Always think of you when they come through. Wishing you all the best life has to offer. Love, Jan
Aw, thank you Jan. It’s always comforting to see you still out there!
“At the moment, nothing is pulling me more than being home and nesting for a bit.” So glad that with the unexpected but well-thought through exit, you are now home and safe. Give yourself time to see what the next phase is and let it go wherever it goes. I’m not judging or saying this is you, but I’ve found that when something I really love to do becomes less fun or even tedious, step way back and let it pass. You should never have to tell yourself that you are enjoying whatever it is you are doing if you don’t. I remember that happening with cycling. I just hit the wall and no matter how much I told myself it was fun, it just wasn’t anymore. I got near that with surfing after better than 20 years and so I just go now and again and I still enjoy it when I go and it feels fun. And when I’m “in the pocket” on a good wave, I know it and it feels like home. That’s where we all yearn to be.
Yep, you get it. I found I tend to go through phases that progress from one thing to the next. I marathoned for my 20s, and still enjoy a run from time to time. I have thru-hiked in my 30s, and will likely still get out on plenty more long trips. Now it’s just evolved into something else. I like the shifts and phases. Keeps things fresh and brings on more self improvement.
Good luck for the future. For some of us ‘through hiking’ for more than a couple of weeks only became a realistic option after retirement. You should have many years to enjoy a balanced life spiced with the occasional adventure like the ones I’ve enjoyed reading on your blog about your recent travels in Europe (which is richly endowed with a multitude of opportunities) and Nepal.
Yeah, I’ve kinda done it intentionally backwards. I wanted to get my full in case it wouldn’t be possible to do this stuff later in life. I feel very content and complete with it all, and knowing I can easily come in and out of it with my lifestyle makes it that much better. I may not go for months on end, but a few weeks here or a couple months there is totally not out of the question. Still, more time than most ever take and just where my comfort lies at this point.
Great – enjoy the next adventure when the moment arrives…
Congratulation Erin for all you have done, the way you have done it and how you give it to us.
You are a nice and simple (in french it is a big quality) lady.
All which arrive is perfect !
In this case ‘simple’ can be translated as ‘down to earth’
Aw, thank you Philippe:)
Always best to know when to pull the plug and say enough. Plans are good, a necessity, but you know when you experienced what you came for. It was a magnificent adventure and journey that makes you better for having done it. Kudos for taking home time…you have been pushing hard. The wanderlust will be back, it’s a part of your soul, but let it return when it will. Time to absorb and consolidate all you have learned. Yes, life is the big thruhike.
Yes, I agree. It may return. It will be interesting to see what form it takes. The key for me seems to be just knowing I have the freedom to shift things like this and just ebb and flow. Nothing major had to shift in my life to be home more and that’s the same if I choose to go out. It’s nice to have the choice.
Wow, Erin! Your adventure had me on the edge of my seat. I was going to say “sorry that it turned out this way,” but you obviously don’t feel that way about it. In fact, there is such a satisfaction and “knowing” in everything you’ve written. And in the end, isn’t that journey what we all seek?
Also, I couldn’t help noticing that your last two days of hiking (before the bad guide experience) were ones that you described as so pleasant, so enjoyable, and so beautiful. Like a little gift at the end…
Can’t wait to see you in time when you’re able to. Your photos are stunning and your experiences are, of course, unforgettable. You continue to inspire through WHO you are, not just WHAT you do.
Aw, thank you Erica. Yes, you came in on quite a different experience than the rest have been, but you put it best. There’s a lot more to me than just the hiking, and it’s time to nurture that more.
So very well said Erin.. I have a lot to say but maybe some other day. Good to hear your home and you feel thats where you need to be. Enjoy your Summer and Thank you very much for sharing.
Thank you Bruce:)
Love your honesty! Thanks for showing us a bit of Nepal — quite a place! — and enjoy your summer! I bet it feels good to be home!!!
Knowing when you’re asking too much of a given situation, and changing your mind, is such a valuable thing. I also kept rolling my eyes when you’d talk about being passed by two dudes hiking with SEVEN PORTERS. Y’all are tough humans. As someone who will never thru-hike, thank you for taking me with you.
Heck, maybe if we used porters, we would have had more fun…so many had them out there. I was a strange adjustment.
I’m proud of you for allowing yourself to not finish the thruhike. I’m sure that was a decision you had to really wrestle with. I hope your nesting lives up to your expectations and you enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest summer!
Hope to see you in the fall!
Glad there was no further ‘business’ with those ‘guides’, good thinking to leave the tea house bright and early. Hope Griggs checks in with a good doctor/hospital, he could have a secondary intestinal infection, E. coli, food poisoning etc, all of you should also get checked for parasites after you get settled, especially if you’re living or staying with others, you don’t want to transmit anything to children, roommates, friends, family etc. The climber Ed Viestures was sitting in a cafe in Kathmandu once with a fellow female climber, and while they were talking he unexpectedly saw a tiny parasitic worm go from one of her nostrils to the other. This was years ago, but I can imagine that kind of thing is still possible to contract. So definitely see a physician post hike, just in case. ( I hope that’s not the case with you guys, and that you left those kinds of friends behind too.) You all made a good, hard decision, so glad you’re going home, now’s the time to be with friends and family. It’s been a pleasure to read your blog and share in your adventures-Thank You! – I hope you have a fantastic summer, resting, relaxing, having fun and doing exactly what you want!
Buck-30 ended up going to the doc a week after we returned when he still had stomach issues and they gave him antibiotics to clear his gut once again. I’m still not feeling 100% strength-wise, but at least my stomach is good.
Glad to hear it Erin, good luck with your future endeavors, I wish you the best, and a happy life. I think Erica said it best, “you inspire thru who you are and not just what you do”, and that goes beyond the trail too, and it shows. Thanks for sharing your life with us, & for all the work you put into this blog (you should get a book deal, your writing and photos take us right with you on the trail as if we are walking and talking side by side.) I feel privileged to have been taken along in your journeys all these years. Glad you’re following your gut, and doing what’s good for you. Take care.
Thank you so much Dee!
I’ll always be your fan Erin. On your Oregon road trip, know you are welcome to overnight with Laura and I. I found campgrounds impossible to deal with after being a backpacker and tenting away from the crowds, but found a book I recommend “The best in tent camping-A guide for car campers who hate RVs, concrete slabs and loud portable stereos”. As far as I know there is one published for every state. On to the next adventure life holds! Amazing how one’s lust for living in the wilds can flip so rapidly to lust for home. It always happened to me, much to my surprise.
I may be getting that book, haha! I’ll for sure reach out if I’m headed your way this summer:) Yes, you know there are many adventures to be had both in travel and at HOME!
I’m so glad that you got back apparently healthy. It seemed that Buck 30 was not so fortunate.
Hey! Thanks so much for sharing about all your hikes (which are a wealth of resources for prospective hikers). Travelling in other countries adds yet another hurdle to the already tough job of trekking. The only thing constant is change, it’s about embracing it which you are doing! Tho I hope you continue to write when you feel like it, I really enjoy it.
Okay, well to be sure I will still be reading your page a whole lot in preparing for the SHR! PS as a side note I got a nice hitch from Michael to the Grand Canyon on my AZT hike last month (I had already done Flagstaff-GC couple months before). He was the guy you guys were with in Mammoth on your SHR. He and his sons were super cool and got me some trail magic! I told him I’d say hi.
Wow, small world! I hope you enjoy the SHR. Beware of our pacing on that one. I suggest a much more relaxed pace than that for most. Enjoy:)
Hi Erin, still following you from australia. Sorry to hear you have had to bail out, but that is life, and in a way, after your incredible 2017 year of walking I am not surprised that home is calling. Making this decision shows great wisdom. Have been enjoying posts and fantastic pics.
Yes, I’m still experiencing the 2017 hangover I think, haha.
To thy own self be true. I always appreciate that your are so real. Wishing you all the best on life’s journey.
Thank you Ray:)
Kudos on making some tough decisions, that I’m sure were absolutely the right decisions. Sounds like a bit of a nightmare dealing with those possibly disreputable “guides.” And wonderful to see your “pocket” making a shift too. You’re one great hiker, and one great human, without regard to your hiking. After 6 months in NZ, which was a wonderful time for me, I’m so glad to be hiking the hills of home this summer, the first summer I’ll be around home base in quite a while. So enjoy having home be your “in the pocket” place for now. Hell, we have no idea where it’ll be next. That’s just the nature of us thrus. Kudos Wired!
Thanks Shroomer! I know you can appreciate all the depths that life can delve into, and know it’s more than just hiking:)
Thank you for all your posts. Really enjoy your views on hiking, planning and the world. Your GR5 series inspired me to hike Geneva to Nice next year when I turn 60. As a former AT thru-hiker (SoBo class of ’86) I can confirm that you never get it out of your system entirely! Enjoy the next phase.
Oh you’ll love it! Such a great balance of so many things out there, enjoy:)
hope to see you one day on the cast of a survivor season.please consider giving a shot to audition
Haha, ok Jeff:)
I smiled when I saw this, knowing how much you like the show, and also knowing that you would have the strategic acumen, physical and mental makeup to endure the 39 days (together with a personal invite from “jeff”). Then I realized your achilles heel; to succeed would probably mean you would have to lie, cheat, deceive, and go behind someones back to further your own interests. That is not you! I think you would do much better on “The Amazing Race”, where you could put your friendly smile, positive outlook, and “Wired” skills to your advantage (you and Drop ‘n Roll or Rockin’ would make a great team…)
I really do wonder how I’d fare. That social stuff gives me a stomach ache and the actual diet out there would give me an even worse one. I’d wither away, ha!
Oh, and my twin sister and I did apply to amazing race back in season 2. How were we not selected!?
I don’t understand that one, but now that you’ve had an invite from Jeff Probst, can Phil Keoghan be far behind?
Be true to yourself, Erin! Always love reading your posts!
Well, Erin,was we all know, you are a class act, and once again you proved it with all these replies.
I smile thinking of you in your home picket, with milkshakes easily obtainable, comfy bed and oversized hoodies and lots of shows to binge watch!
I just say that as your future unfolds, at any time you feel the urge to blog and the urge to share, you certainly will have a ready made audience that will include me.
Of course you may not feel that urge, but you really have a great talent for writing and illustration via photos.
So I thank you for sharing backpacking mules, cavorting pigs, leaping kangaroos and ibex (,ibexes?), a row of chickens and ibex and of course the guilty wallaby.
And all the other natural wonders and practical information.
I can think of three adorable nephews who may end up sharing in future adventures.
Thanks for keepng me entertained these past few years while I had a baby in my arms. You allowed me to travel with you, and I was grateful for that, especially during the long boring days! Lol. Best of luck in all your future endeavours! I’ll miss seeing your adventures, but totally understand where you are coming from! Best wishes always Erin! X
Wow, I have so much respect for y’all! That takes a lot of courage to come to the conclusion that y’all did. The emphasis on being out there for yourself and NOT for other people is especially important in a culture where thru-hiking is used to build ego.
I especially love this: “Mostly, I thought it would be good for me to find some kind of acceptance and peace in an environment where very little was in my control.”
You are a beautiful soul, and I am happy that y’all got to experience that and are safe and sound now.
Sending lengths of love! <3
Yes, you know that well Virginia. I think that many that blog or share publicly feel an obligation to follow through even when they aren’t enjoying what they are doing. I like that I don’t feel that and that everyone knows that I make choices for myself rather than for show or for what others would think or say:) Miss you!
Your posts of all the many hikes you have been on have been a source of encouragement, inspiration even, not to mention entertaining. Your extensive planning dazzles me – I’m a goer, not a planner. Your plans for a good walk in the Himalaya were really impressive. Equally impressive was the wisdom you and B-30 demonstrated when you recognized this good walk turned “not good.” A demonstration that it often is the journey, not the destination. Keep on keepin’ on.
BTW, there’e more than backpacking in life. My wife and I are trying something new to us this summer. We’ll ride horseback with an outfitter into a wilderness area and then float downriver via packrafts for a few days before hiking back out.
Aw, thank you Steve. I am learning to enjoy a more relaxed backpacking experience at the moment. I just bought a camp chair last night!!
Sorry your trip didn’t work out as planned. Nepal can be like that , sketch “guides” and all. Will you be reviewing your gear, especially the new items you got for this trip? Thanks,
I’ll do my yearly review likely at the end of this year in November or December.
Read your first blog posts on the PCT and have been “hooked” ever since. I enjoy your stark honesty and meticulous planning. When planning our adventures, I check to see if you’ve “been there, done that”, for “insider” tips. Your decision to go home “early” , brilliant! …the very essence of HYOH. Your life is yours to live, what you’ve shared with us thus far are meerly “snapshots”. Being in the “pocket” is what it’s all about. The balance of mind, body and soul. I look forward to any other snapshots you choose to share.
I really enjoyed reading your blog. I read it today on my last day of work, I retire tomorrow and dream of foreign travel. I understand you’re slowing things down now so I wish you the very best with your future; whatever that may be.
I found your blog while researching the TeAraroa. Unfortunately I only discovered the joy of through walking a year ago when I did the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) in south east Australia. I’ve done lots of hiking over the last 30+ years, but I wasn’t at all drawn to through hiking until a couple of years ago. And now I’m already 76 years old, so I’ve left it a bit late. 🙁
I did the AAWT solo, so that I could choose my own speed, and it worked well for me. I absolutely loved the solitude and most days I didn’t see any other hikers. I noted that you enjoyed the relative lack of other hikers on the Western Arthurs, so I thought you might enjoy the AAWT one day. If you think you might be interested take a look at John Chapman’s guide book.
Thank you for that tip. I have a friend who also hiked it about 5yrs ago.