Hope you all are doing well. I have managed to hurt my back enough to have to return home for a few weeks (hopefully this will not end my hike). I caused a rockslide on the Alabama section of the Pinhoti. After several hours I managed to get myself back onto the trail and then to a trail head where I was picked up by a ranger from Cheaha State Park. I had incredable back pain, a swollen knee and a twisted ankle. I gave myself three days and when my back was still causing me a lot of pain, I decided to bail. I took a Greyhound bus home and met a couple of hobo's who gave me some tips about hopping trains to get anywhere I want to go. I am really bummed out at having made this decision and my heart is aching to be hiking again. Even my dreams are consumed with hiking. All this has given me to serious consideration of a modified hike. I am thinking of sectioning the AT portion since I have already hiked from Springer to Erwin TN. and then maybe flip flopping SOBO. I could also finish the Pinhoti and and then head to Katadin for a SOBO If I managed to make it to the hangout, is any one headed anywhere near north Alabama on their way home who could shuttle me back if I help with gas?
I guess I'm looking at all this the wrong way. After my surgery I was told that I would be lucky to be able to walk without severe pain and to have control over my bladder and bowels. The fact that I have walked this far is quite an accomplishment for my 70 year old back. Still, you know where my heart is, the trail is now my mistress.
PS: Someone tried to give me a new trail name. My whole name is Raymond Brian Darsey, she wanted to call me RAYDAR...What do you guys think?