No work out today.

So no work out today but I managed to only eat 1,500 calories today! I was a very busy day at work with a staff meeting and then reorganizing my site! I love to reorganize and my site is tiny so its important to be organized and clutter free.  Every time I organize things I think why didn’t I do that before? I wish I could say the same for my house.  I got lights and a lock for my bike yesterday and I’m hoping to take it to work tomorrow.  :) I need to readjust the handle bars so that is on my to do list but otherwise it’s working out great! :)

Back Pain

  1. Get moving: Today I burned 963 calories.  I walked 2.40 miles working out, and made sure that I parked far away from all stores and such.
  2. Cutting Calories: I consumed 1,737 calories.  I’m working my way back down to 1,500
  3. Increase Water intake: 32 ounces.  Better than yesterday but still not great

Holly and I went for a walk this morning, we wanted to go further but my back hurts so much from walking more than a mile or two I can’t stand it.  I really need to get into the doctor but I hate doctors and well I can’t afford it until I pay off my previous medical debt, from the biopsy and getting sick on the A.T.  I don’t want to make excuses os my plan is to do a mile every morning and night at a minimum and try to do more throughout the day but not in big chunks.

Starting Over

  1. Get moving: Today I burned 541 calories.  I walked 0.5 miles on the treadmill and walked about 2 more miles.
  2. Cutting Calories: I consumed 2,051.  This number is not nearly as impressive as my past but it’s a start.
  3. Increase Water intake: None, I usually drink so much more than this I need to get back on track!

Lets cut to the chase, I got on the scale for the first time today since I’ve been back, I weighed in at 347 pounds, so since my lowest weight I have gained over 50 pounds.  To quote my wife “losing weight is easy, its keeping it off that’s hard.” I knew this put in practice it has been much harder.  I have let my self go because I have been prioritizing other things again.  For the past two weeks I have been waking up, going to work at 7:30AM, working all day, going home at 10PM, going to bed.  With that schedule who has time for anything else! That ends today, I need time for me, working out is what I NEED, not what I want.  I need to start being better to my body.  So I will be going back to blogging daily about my life, to keep myself accountable, no more coming home and going straight to bed!

Feeling Inspired Again, Let the Next Adventure Begin.

When I decided to take on the A.T. many people asked me what I would do after and I have to tell you I didn’t expect to get home and not want to do anything but go to work and be with my family.  I’ve gained weight because I stopped caring and I’m back to smoking at least ½ a pack a day.  Last night I was talking to Holly about this and how I can’t seem to find the motivation she said that I’m goal driven so I needed a new goal, she will probably regret saying that to me.  When people asked me I would say “oh maybe my triple crown or biking somewhere.” Well the triple crown of hiking is out, I have no desire to backpack at this point.  Maybe one day the backpacking bug will bite again someday, I haven’t ruled it out forever just for now.  The biking does peak my interest, I recently was given a bike by my dad that he purchased at my late aunts estate sale, it is a well taken care of cruising bike.  I finally worked up the courage today to ride it on the streets near my home and I’m in love! I joked around about biking the Mississippi River Trail and now I think I want to! I don’t want to do it in one shot but in sections starting this summer, it’s a great way to keep in shape and it will give me a goal to complete.  My goal this summer is to bike from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to St. Cloud.  This will be the first section, I don’t intend on doing it in one shot either but I do want to do it from north to south.  I don’t expect that people will jump on board with this adventure as quickly as they did my last but I am hopeful that I can continue to use my blog to keep myself accountable.  The goal is much smaller but the work will be much greater, I have never biked a long distance.  The max is probably 10 miles in one ride.  I also don’t know that it is wise to use cruising bike but I’m going to try.  My goal is to do this with minimal new gear.  I think most of my back packing stuff can be adapted and I would only need a few other things.  Maybe I’m being naive about what I will need but I haven’t done a ton of research yet.  There will people who will say that this is just another things for me to give up and maybe it is but the goal is to be healthy through a bigger goal!

Coming home


We’re bad at the AT…

So it’s rained almost everyday since we got here but during both thunderstorms we both go running. Example at the Cheese Factory we knew it was coming so we shared a tent. Tonight my tent is set up outside but because of my ankle I haven’t been sleeping so I’m sitting in the car avoiding the rain outside I see lightening and grab my stuff and resolve to sleep in the car. At the second lightning flash Fargo comes out of her tent and joins me in the car… Hike to Maine they said, no pain, no rain, no Maine they said… They never said thunder and lightening! :) I’m only kidding here! It’s been great with the car!
Fargo went back to her tent until 6:20am then we packed up camp and headed out. We drove up to Robinsville and Fargo made an appointment to get what appears to be poison ivy on her mouth looked at. We are currently drying out our stuff at the top of the dam. Then we will go back to Robinsville for Fargos appointment and hopefully her box will come and we will head to Gainesville to drop off the car. Then tomorrow it’s off to Damascus to hike out.
I have officially decided that backpacking over mountains isn’t for me, I make no apologizes for this what so ever. I came, I saw, I backpacked, I hiked (which I really enjoy) I did some trail magic, I drove The Dragon 3 times (mostly on accident) I hiked in the rain, I hike in the sun shine, I hiked with Fargo, I hiked with others, and I hiked alone. I have no regrets! Hiking has been a blast, I plan to continue to hike but no more long distance backpacking. I’m coming home, my bus ticket is purchased and I’m comfortable with my decision. I have applied for my job back and should get my exact job back once my background check clears. I wouldn’t change anything about my hike, I met some kick ass people and hiked over mountains carrying 35-42 pounds on my back. I’ve lost two toenails (1 more probably soon) my feet have swelled 2 whole sizes. I made the decision to go home when I felt incredibly mentally clear, it wasn’t a bad day, we hiked in sunshine and had an amazing view. I found a saying that I hear a lot it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey. My journey began on November 12th 2013, and will continue for a life time. I plan to continue to blog about hiking to healthy but without the AT. My next adventure to the AT will be to section or day hike further north a little bit, but not for a while, because after deciding to go home I carelessly picked up my back and messed up my back, everything below my knee is tingly so that needs to be taken care of as soon as I have insurance again. I have met the kindest people on the trail and I’ve also encountered my fair share of A-holes. I have been an emotional wreck at times, for those on the receiving end of that emotion thank you for listening and helping me process everything, I don’t think I could have done this much without your constant support. Even being here for a month has changed me, I realize how important the people in my life are and that work can no longer be my number one priority. I love my job but I need to be less involved when I’m not at work. Like I said earlier I have no regrets, when I went home in the beginning I wouldn’t have felt like that had I not come back, I’m not conventional in the way I did this and that’s ok with me! :)
I’m excited about my future and all that it will bring. I’m excited about being healthy with my wife and getting outside this summer with her! 


Missing toenails

Roan Mountain State Park

We set up our tents in the rain moments after we had finished drying them out in a bathroom. It was frustrating but seems to be what always happens to us. The rain persisted most of the day but we met some great section hikers the roundabouts! It didn’t rain overnight which is like a Christmas Miracle these days! We got up made breakfast had some coffee, two of my toenails finally fell off which is a relief and I hope with the new shoes the blisters don’t come back. After we broke camp and hiked out of Carver gap to just over Jane Bald. It was nothing but a cloud walk, windy and wet. Overall it was a great hike but no views to report! After hiking the balds we made our way to Fontana to stay for a couple of days. Fargo is waiting on a box from home and we plan to do some hiking in the Smokies tomorrow. We are looking to try to find a place to park the car for a couple of days so we can camp for free on the AT more.
Last night the Fast and the Furious took over Fontana, people racing on the opposite side of the river and filling parking lots with there cars with hoods open checking out what everyone had. This was annoying because we were trying to sleep while they were racing, and it was really loud. This mornings agenda is to make our final arrangements to get onto the AT on Tuesday and figure out where we are going to camp, tonight. I had a really weird and vivid dream last night that makes me thankful for all I have and want to go home. I won’t be going home! So we decided to stay at Fontana again tonight after checking out other places in the area, we will be moving campsites tomorrow. We went into Robinsville today to use an ATM and round out my food for getting back on trail. While there I picked up some cheap snickers bunnies, root beer, ice cream, and spoons, we had cups and we would be crossing the AT so we decided to do a little trail magic. We met several hikers and gave them root beer floats (who wouldn’t want that?) and the bunnies. It was good to talk to other hikers and give something back. Trail magic has been wonderful to me, I have been pulled out of two tight spots by people passing by and even gotten some much needed help from my fellow hikers. I will be forever thankful for all of them.
Adrenaline rush
Today I drove the dragons tail, it is a crazy road that is 11 miles long and has 318 curves in it… Back story, Fargo and I are at the general store in Fontana using the wifi when a hiker asks for a ride to the trail, about 2 miles away, we said of course. On the way we were talking about all the cars in the area and how they are loud and they clean there cars all the time. The hiker informs us that there is a road called the dragons tail and that we should go drive it. The way he explains it it sounds like a short climb up a mountain, 11 miles and 318 scary and really cool curves later I do some research and find out people come from all over the world to drive this beast because it doesn’t have any cross traffic the whole way because it runs along the Smoky Mountain National Park. Once down it with Fargo throughly scared we find out that the only way back is to either drive around the Smokies or back the way we came. We opted to go back the way we came this time knowing how far it was and how fun. Fargo took the second time much better, she was worried about gas the first time I guess. We’re driving a Ford Focus going through these curves with cars that have foreign license plates and little Mini Coopers and such! It was a blast, though I don’t know that I would do it again.

 No pictures today they will come when I have better service  



All over the place.

The Hampton’s Campground

Today we stayed in the Hampton’s Campground, in Hampton TN, it is right on a major highway but everyone here is super friendly. We had our first fire since the Cheese Factory and it is lovely. We made hotdogs we purchased at Dollar General and then Spanish rice on our cook stove. We saw the historic downtown Elizabethton and I fell in love with a duck that I named Hank who had a broken wing. Silly I know but I spent 45 minutes watching him before I realized that Katey had left. We drove up to the dam and sat for a little while and tomorrow we plan to day hike a bit and have lunch on the AT, I’m a little worried about bears because there are posting everywhere that bears are very active in the area and that some idiot has fed them so they know hikers and campers equal food. 
Things I miss:
1) my wife
2) chairs 
3) temperature controlled environments
4) my wife
5) my cat and the comfort she brings me
6) clean clothes 
7) cotton (silly I know but it breathes better and feels better on your skin)
8) my job
9) my family
10) a schedule, most people come out here looking to get away from the schedules of life, I do not!


Still unsure on the AT
I’m still not sure what to do about my hike. We hiked up part of the AT today in Hampton and it was nice but I don’t like the fight my body puts up. I’m use to my body working with me since I started to prepare for this hike and now I feel like it’s working against me. I expected to feel like I did when I started working out, sore but in a really good way, out here I feel like I’m fighting with my body to get from point a to point b. Right now I haven’t spent any more money then expected to this point except on a bill that came from my biopsy right before we left, which is being paid off in payments monthly. I could hike on and make it all the way from Damascus to Maine but I’m still unsure that’s what I want to do. I’m not particularly home sick or even sore at the end of the day just exhausted. The thing that I keep thinking is there was nothing wrong with my life pre AT why would I come out here and screw it all up? 
In my preparation for the AT not once did it cross my mind that I could fail, not once did I think I would go home before Maine, not once did I doubt that my body was capable of doing this. The shock was getting here and finding out that I can fail and that is overwhelming.
I found myself on the AT sitting on a rock half way up a climb just admiring the view 30 minutes later I realized I should keep hiking on, that’s something to try and get your head around, yes hike at your own pace but remember the next resupplying is 50 miles away so you better do it before you run out of food. Hike at your own pace but you can’t stop until you’re on flat ground to set up your tent. Hike at your own pace but better make sure you make it to the next water source. When I read the book A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson the first time I was mad and I was mad because I thought I was reading a book by a man who had hike the entire AT turns out he ended up in the same spot we’re in right now, in a car hiking sections. Now we are listening to his book again when we are going from trail head to trailhead and he puts it all so well about what it is like to slog up a mountain with a pack on your back.


Roan Mountain State Park
After being on the AT for a bit Katey and I talked a lot about what it means to be here and how I backed off of the AT in December long before I ever left. After our conversation I saw two posts my brother made on Facebook one that made me want to run into the mountains for as long as I can and the other made me want to run home and hold my wife tight forever. I texted him about this and he responded by saying (I’m paraphrasing) hike on this is your dream but if you truly don’t want to be there then come home, he’ll support me either way. It was nice to hear that so I decided I have to remember my body has done some really amazing things and I have done some pretty terrible things to it but it always gets me through. This will be my mantra until I feel like I have accomplished something on the AT and that it hasn’t beaten me down. Once I feel that way I will either continue hiking or come home once I feel like the AT hasn’t had the last laugh I will make that decision. Damascus or bust at this point. 
Thank you everyone to putting up with my up and down emotions throughout this hike, it has been a heck of a ride so far.
Roan Mountain pictures