|Can you see it? Three other doctors couldn't.|
So what's next? We're asking ourselves the same question. Mentally, nothing has changed, we're still thru hikers in our heads. Mentally (and 99.9% physically) we're ready to go. Our stuff is packed in a storage locker which has been paid through January. The trail is calling.
But I was told it will be 3.5-4 weeks before my foot will be healed enough to hike on and possibly 6-8 weeks before I stop feeling pain.
Right now we're working on where to stay and what to do while I heal. Since starting to plan our hike I've wanted to visit my grandmother in New York and take Jess to see the city and surrounding area. So the next month has turned into a jigsaw puzzle of putting together how to get from place to place to place and then back to the trail once my foot is ready to go. So our plans are to make our puddle jumps, then get back on the trail in New York and hiking from there to Georgia. We'll have to make plans to come back and complete the section of the trail from New York to Andover, ME. Of course by doing this, we're missing Mahoosuc Notch, the Whites and Mt. Washington. All of which I had been very excited to see. I know, I know, they'll be there next year. Maybe even the year after that too.
Having taken 2 weeks off the trail and with at least another month to come, our dreams of being able to thru hike the trail are over. Guess we'll have to save the complete thru for the PCT or CDT. The best we can hope for now is to come back and complete our hike next year. Two chunks isn't so bad. If we're able to complete everything from New York south this year, added to what we've already done, we'd only be leaving approx. 500 miles for next year. Completing almost 1700 miles of the trail still sounds like a decent accomplishment to me.
Our time in Maine has been great. We are very lucky that we found someone kind enough to take us in in our time of need. Not to mention letting us stay for almost 3 weeks with us doing nothing in return other than some dishes and gardening. We got to see the coast (even if it did break my foot), the monster L.L. Bean store, a fort, a lighthouse and make tons of new friends and connections. For now we are going to find a way to keep our trip alive.
Our countdown to hiking will start again anew, and we're even going to try and find an REI along our way and see about losing some pack weight.