I questioned my decision to take on the CDT, to hike in desert – a novelty that I soon tired of -having to deal with the volatile weather, the heat, the cold, the wet. The logistics and resupply were annoying me. I wasn’t feeling it, and even now, sitting back at home, I don’t know why. Maybe my days of pulling in 3,000-mile hikes aren’t interesting me anymore.
I’ve never been one to ignore feelings, as strange and illogical as they may seem at the time, and I’ve always said that if I wasn’t enjoying a hike then I’d get off trail. Now, back in England, I have no issues and it’s great to be back in this amazing country in the middle of the summer.
I had a check-up when I returned as the antibiotics didn’t work. At first they thought it may have been a blood clot, but after spending a day in hospital, both bronchitis and a clot were ruled out. The diagnosis was pneumonia. Three weeks after leaving the trail I’m still fighting it although I believe I’m on the finishing straight. If I’d carried on after the recommended two weeks then I would have been straight back in the same position, caught out in the wild. This validated my reasons to come home.
Mt Rainier Hiking Trails Map Photo Gallery
As for the next step – well, once back to 100% – I’m eying up a hike in these fair isles. I have ideas for possible routes but I don’t want to plan it too much because I need to get away from ‘routes for the time being. This is one aspect of hiking I struggle with, a defined path laid out in front of me, sometimes for thousands of miles. Of course I need an idea or direction, which I have; but I’m afer more of a wander, to be free to take a left turn, despite any plans dictating I turn right.
And I have realised that sometimes we need not travel thousands of miles to hike, or take part in an activity we love. We believe sometimes that the best stuff has to be in other countries, but it’s not always the case. Great Britain is an amazing country that begs to be discovered, and is right up there with the best of them I want to explore it.