A Weary Feeling

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MVS

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Feb 17, 2015
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Just recently I was in Utah and took three days to do the White Rim Trail, After the mid-point of the journey, I started to get a little tired of it, of bumping over the rugged road and being jostled about in my Jeep, of being surprised by one more unexpected hairpin turn and another narrow cliffhanger with a deep canyon drop-off just a few feet from where I sat in the driver's seat. This was surprising to me, having wanted badly to make this trip, and not having been able to travel to Utah for over two years due to unemployment and health challenges. I wouldn't have expected anything but excitement over this second trip on the White Rim after such a long delay, and being prone to self-criticism, I attributed my reaction to a personal failing to appreciate the experience and an innate laziness that resisted accepting such a challenge. I imagine that everyone else goes on happily and never ha the impulse to turn back.

But now I question that. When you are out on a long hike or back country adventure, do you ever feel a weariness or just wish to be back in an easy comfortable place? Isn't that just part of the experience that happens but which you overcome, just pushing on to your goal? That is what I have done before when I was on a long hike and was hot or dirty or got tired or had some chafing. Momentarily it didn't seem worth it, but it didn't cause me to stop and I finished what I set out to do.

What has it been like for you?
 

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LarryBoy

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I think that anyone who claims that they never wish for a nice comfy couch is lying. Everybody wishes for easier times when the going gets tough.

On a thru hike, I often wish for a town day when I've been in the backcountry for a while. But when I actually get into town, I always get antsy after about 3pm. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In general though, I find I'm more content when I'm in the backcountry, at least as a way of life.
 

Udink

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This exact thing happens to me once or maybe twice a year, and pretty much always when I'm hiking solo. I've never really figured out why--perhaps boredom or laziness--but I'm just not engaged in being outdoors when it hits. It's a strange feeling to have driven a couple of hours, then hiked a few more, and then suddenly I'm questioning why I'm out there and wishing I was just at home.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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A few times long ago. Sort of a conflicted feeling, I guess. But that was when I spent 200+ days out per year, now I appreciate every day I can be out there.

These days, I joke about pizza, ice cream, cheeseburgers, but everyone laughs at the understood humor. I do miss the family when they are not with me.
 

Rockskipper

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It happens to me all the time. I really think it's a genetic survival thing to want to go home when you're in the middle of something tiring or hard. And I think that the older you get, the less you feel like stuff is really all that special, you've kind of been there done that, or at least you feel like you have. I get that way even on the road - I've been just a few miles (like maybe 20 or 30) from something really spectacular (like Palouse Falls) and didn't even want to veer off to go see it.
 
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Wanderlust073

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I can only remember having the impulse to bail one time, and I did bail. Nothing was wrong, I wasn't jonesing for burger and a shower, and there's not a challenge/sufferfest out there I wouldn't sign up for. I just simply lost all interest in being where I was and had no desire to continue being there for a couple more days. This was also in Utah (fish & owl), so Utah is probably the root cause of the problem :tongue:

Seriously though, if it feels like a pointless chore what exactly is the point. Life is too short.
 

balzaccom

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We have bailed on bad washboard roads, usually near the end of a trip, when we think: "our bodies have suffered enough, let's turn around."

So far, we have yet to regret any of those decisions.
 

zionsky

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I get such a rush from researching and planning new trips (or hikes) that I often worry when the times arrives to do them, they will be a let down. Fortunately, it hasn't happened yet. Whenever I'm on trail and start to lose interest I just tell myself I'm adding years (and quality) to my life :D
 

Jackson

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When you are out on a long hike or back country adventure, do you ever feel a weariness or just wish to be back in an easy comfortable place?
All the time. I guess maybe I'm a softie, but I probably feel that way maybe once every day when I'm out, usually as it's getting dark and I come to grips with the fact I'm gonna get a crappy night of sleep and wake up with a headache. Far more often, I am happy to be out in the woods and I love what I'm doing, of course. But thoughts of a soft, warm bed at dusk really get to me. I'm a very light sleeper, and it's rare that I'll sleep soundly for more than 4 or 5 hours when I'm out backpacking.
 

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Rockskipper

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A friend once told me I should live where I want to be. It was a curse. I sold everything and now wander from place to place, no idea where I'd want to be permanently, there are so many great places. It may sound great, but it's actually kind of a hard way to live sometimes.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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A friend once told me I should live where I want to be. It was a curse. I sold everything and now wander from place to place, no idea where I'd want to be permanently, there are so many great places. It may sound great, but it's actually kind of a hard way to live sometimes.
Well said, @Rockskipper. When I used to work as a seasonal and live out of my vehicle, it was pretty fun day-to-day, week-to-week, etc but looking back, in the long run, it was grinding me down. I still yearn for some aspects of those days, but overall, a home base is a good great thing.
 

DrNed

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It's refreshing to hear so many say the
same thing.

As I think about it, I'd say it's human
nature. I love my wife dearly but there
are times I enjoy doing things without her.

As emotionally recharging as the backcountry
can be, it's work, sometimes lots of work
and sometimes I just don't want to do that.

One of the axioms of backpacking is
"embrace the suck" so when I'm not "feeling it"
that's what I try to do.
 

Nanda

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I bailed on White rim trip last spring after one night, but mainly i got super sick and decided to return back instead of continuing through. In hindsight, I probably could've made it through but I was anything but enjoying out there solo and being sick. Didn't matter much coz we were back a month later in big group and was definitely more enjoyable experience.
 

swmalone

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When I used to get out for longer trips I would often start tasting the pizza and beer that was in my future and when looking at my DIY dehydrated meals I would consider heading back to the vehicle, but I usually stuck it out. The couple times I did bail usually had that feeling along with a feeling of getting sick.

My wife is an interesting case. Almost every hike/trip we take she is miserable and complains for the first couple of miles and then all of the sudden she really gets into it. I can usually just remind her that this happens every time and then she will just grumble about how much I suck for a bit and then a couple miles in everything is great and after the trips she is in a great mood.
 

Rockskipper

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It was July 4th, and I had packed into Wetterhorn Basin in the San Juans and was camped at an altitude of 11,000 feet. I'll never forget the alpenglow on Wetterhorn and thinking of how lucky I was, especially given all the noise that would be going on in civilization. I was the only one I'd seen all day (if you can see yourself), and it was SO peaceful.

I'm from W. Colorado at an altitude of about 6,000 ft., but I wasn't at all acclimated in spite of that. I woke in the middle of the night in a panic and started taking down my tent and packing up my stuff, feeling like I had to get out of there or else.

I had fortunately crossed the E. Fork of the Cimarron River to get there that day, and the bridge was out, so I'd had to jump from rock to rock and the water was pretty roily. I say fortunately because that was all that kept me from leaving. I knew there was no way I could cross it at night.

I think that was the only time I really felt like I had to cut a trip short. I'm sure I was having a mild hypoxia attack. I went back to sleep and had a wonderful trip climbing some big 14ers after that. But I'll never forget how panicked I felt.
 
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Rockskipper

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I hear ya but what if it was, like, Topeka or Tulsa??
I would seriously rather be a nomad. I'd have @Outdoor_Fool show me how to hop trains.

ETA: I have an older friend who moved to Tulsa for family matters after living in W. Colorado and Utah. He's stuck there and has had a stroke - it's literally killing him, as he's not getting out and is literally pining away for the wilds.
 
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