Collin’s AT Adventure Day 36
After 36 days of the Appalachian Trail, and 39 days away from home, Collin's Appalachian Trail adventure is over and he is home, asleep in his own bed. He returned home at about 3am this morning.
Words can't describe how proud my wife and I are of him, and his growth and journey. We always told him, walk until you don't want to walk any further and then come home, and that's exactly what he did. After getting to Erwin, Tennessee and he and his group having a terrible bout of food poisoning, the motivation for walking left him. He and his crew went another day, but then one of them felt ill, and they walked back to Erwin the next day, so they could be in civilization while they recovered, and that's when Collin realized it was time to end his dream of a through trek.
I'm sure he'll continue to hike, 2-3 day trips, and he has made friends that I think will last him a long time. After all, you don't spend 30 days with someone, 24 hours a day and not bond with them. Should they get as far as New England, I wouldn't be surprised to see Collin walk with them for a couple of days. We will be sending the extra food we have to them for mail drops along the trail.
I see a real change in Collin. He's grown mentally, and knows a little clearer what he wants to do with his life, and more importantly, what he doesn't want, and that's huge. He left on great terms with his employer, and is planning on going back to work on Monday. Things he took for granted,he appreciates now, and that's not a criticism of how he was before, but after 30 plus days of going without, it's a good thing.
I'm happy to have him home. I'm proud of him. Collin should be proud of himself and what he's done and accomplished!