Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Trails Slim Jim

I talked to Zac yesterday from the Whitehouse Landing Wilderness Camp. This is a small place where you can get a bite and a dry place to sleep. It was about a mile off the trail along side a lake. He had to sound an air horn at the dock and the owner came and picked him up in his boat and took him back across the lake to the lodge. There was no electricity there except in the kitchen. That was supplied by a wind turbine generator. It was a nice change considering the night before he was in a lean to playing host to a herd of mice that were after the food in his pack. He said that there were mice everywhere. He could hear and feel them dancing around on his sleeping bag in the pitch dark all through the night. Hard way to end a long day of walking in the rain with a swollen ankle and sore knees. The next day his ankle was hurting more and he was finding it harder than ever to walk the shortest of distances. This part of the trail is covered with large roots and deep ruts. Zac said it was like doing a tire drill in football practice only with smaller tires and deeper holes. He needs to average about 20 to 25 miles a day to beat the snows in the White Mountains and make it back to Georgia by Christmas. The pain he was having caused him to make a decision that he struggled with for days. Not being able to walk as far each day meant he was not going to make the miles he needed to beat the coming snows in New Hampshire. He told me that he was going to call it quits for now and try it again next year. He is catching a flight home tomorrow and will be arriving in Atlanta around 11:30 P.M. I could tell he was tearing up some when he was telling me he could not go on anymore. He said that he felt like he was letting everyone down and asked me to tell people following his blog that he was sorry. He was very depressed and feeling defeated. I told him that he has not let anyone down and he needs to concentrate on his great accomplishments. Hiking the PCT was a fantastic adventure and he took all of us along with him. I told him it was not a defeat, it was only a postponement. I think he understood what I was trying to tell him but he still feels awful about it. Thank you again for all of your support and letters. There are still videos to come as well and updates on Zac's plans.


Anonymous said...

Slim Jim,
I sympathize with you; I felt the same way at Sonora Pass - that I had failed. Everybody told me that I had made the right decision, and logically I knew I had. But thru-hiking is not a logical endeavor, it's emotional, and emotionally I was discouraged. Folks kept telling me that the Trail would be there next year, so I'll tell you - the AT will be there next year. You accomplished something on the PCT that most of us thru-wannabes couldn't do, so take some solace in that. I hope your ankle heals quickly and completely.
P.S. No chicken cordon bleu for you!

Uncle Tom said...

Don't beat yourself up. What you did out on the PCT is huge. The AT in Maine is a killer. You are a hero. Megatex is blown away that you even tried to walk the AT. ALL our best.

Unknown said...

Yo Slim Jim,

You really touched David and I. You rock, no doubt about it. It's OK not to conquer everything at once. Heal your ankle. Then , when you take on the AT next year, you can really compare the two trails and your own growth. We look forward to hearing about it. With much warmth ...

HotMess said...

Slim Jim,

You are a savage -- props for setting such a huge goal and going after it. You'll tackle the AT next year after completing "only" one thru-hike on one of the hardest PCT years ever =) Hope you feel better soon, bro.


p.s. Hope you don't mind, but I'd like to add your sweet blog to the blogroll at my site, pctforpeace.wordpress.com

Unknown said...

Hi, I met Zac on the road to Yosemite last July, before an epic storm. I lost my cell in the AK tundra recently -and lost Zac's cell number. Is there any way someone could give it to me? Thanks