Identity Crisis: Ryan or Kodak? Bikepacker or Backpacker?

It is time to resume walking. Two weeks ago, Mountain Goat and I hitchhiked to Washington D.C. taking a break from the Appalachian Trail. Mountain Goat flew to Italy for a few weeks with family while I went to Pittsburgh with my brother. We hung out for a day in D.C. before deciding to drive back to the Burgh. Leaving at midnight wasn’t the best idea. My brother drove for less than an hour before pulling into a lot where we slept in the car until morning.

Being in Pittsburgh was weird. It is my hometown; though, it no longer feels like home. There, I am lost in a former self. Returning home is never easy after a long journey. I struggle every time but, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with post “trail” depression. I’ll write an article on the subject. It will be good for me as well because this trip will not be easy to recover from.

Our packs lean against the wall of a convienence store as we wait for a ride to the highway.
Six different rides and a few subway stops saw the two of us into the Nation’s Capital.

Why have I not updated the blog in so long?! Well, now there is a question. I began with the intent to record every day of this Appalachian Trail thru hike, but quickly fell behind. Walking consumes most of my time and the day’s chores consume the rest: eating, setting up camp, hanging bear bags, sleeping. What little time remains, I socialize with friends and I make new ones. The AT is all about the people. Blogging daily is also expensive requiring more time in towns using wifi. My budget is broken.

Then, as I set about to catch up on posts, I became depressed! Looking through photos of the month before I realized that those moments are already memories. It became harder and harder to relive those wonderful moments when everything is so different now. One month ago, we were still in the honeymoon phase of the journey. Everything was fun and exciting. Then, we entered Virginia and the infamous “Virginia Blues” took hold splitting up our trail family and nearly my soul.

Now though, I am ready to finish this thing so I can get back on my bike! I’m enjoying the hike, but travel on a bike is true freedom. Walking requires more planning and just consumes more time.

So, this being said, I am changing the format of the blog. This will no longer be a daily journal of a thru-hike, but random Tales of Wandering from wherever I may be, the Appalachian Trail for now.  Continue reading