Change of Plans – Back from Hike

by Andy Hough on July 16, 2013

CAM00151I cut my hike short and have been back in KC since last Tuesday. The heat and humidity combined with my being out of shape made the hiking very uncomfortable and put me at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Despite drinking lots and lots of water I had a hard time cooling off. On the more strenuous days I was sweating so much that my fingers would prune up. Luckily, some of the days were fairly easy days and I spent quite a bit of time in trail towns along the way so overall I still had a good time on the hike. I also spent a lot more money than I planned, although it was still fairly cheap for a 9 day getaway. It seemed prudent to cut the hike short though since a strenuous (for me) section was coming up, the forecast was for more heat, and I was at a place where it was easy to bail from the trail.

I ended renting a car one-way from Harrisburg to KC. I drove a little over 1000 miles in 17 hours so I would only have one day of rental charges. I got an early start and was driving towards the sun so all but the last few hours were in daylight and I didn’t really get tired. Adding the cost of gas, the cost was about $150 to get home or about $30 cheaper than a flight would have been. Driving 17 hours to save $30 probably isn’t a very good deal but I didn’t check the airfares until after I rented the car since I assumed a last minute airfare would be much more expensive. Next time, I will know to check.

The plan was to stay here for a couple of weeks and then return to the trail with my car. I was going to park at different spots on the trail and complete the PA section of the trail with day hikes. Being able to return to my car every night would allow me to just drive to a nearby store or restaurant for food and water. This option would be more expensive than my initial hike plan but it would allow me to finish the PA section of the trail.

Those plans have changed since I will be starting a new job on Thursday. The trail will have to wait. I’ll be working on a document review project. This will allow me to save up some more money and since the project is only a month and a half long I’ll still be able to get back to the trail. Hopefully, it will be a little cooler by then.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Frugal Miser July 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Welcome back to reality. Good that you found work so fast but too bad the weather was too hot to stay on the trail. Sometimes it’s just best to take the money when you can get it. I lucked up with a lucrative mystery shopping route over the next two weeks. I was looking forward to some down time at home but they are paying my hotel and mileage. Did you keep the apartment before you left for the hike?

2 krantcents July 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Sometimes you have to just change your plans! I went through that when I got sick in Paris. We went home a day early because of it. There is always another time!

17 hours driving would kill me, particularly into the sun.

3 Catherine July 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Oh man, good thing you recognized you needed a break! Good luck on the rest of your venture!

4 The First Million is the Hardest July 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Sucks you had to cut things short but it sounds like you made the smart move. Best of luck starting the new job!

5 Money Beagle July 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

Weather, especially heat like that, is definitely a reason to consider changing plans that involve strenuous outdoor activities. You surely made the right call in this case. Good luck with the new job.

6 Andy Hough July 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Yes, I think it is best to just take the money right now. I didn’t keep my apartment. I’ll be having a new living situation soon.

That mystery shopping route sounds good. I’ve never had a company offer to pay me mileage, much less hotel.

7 Andy Hough July 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Yes, I think I’ll have a better time when I return. I don’t mind driving so it worked out well for me.

8 Andy Hough July 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Thanks.

9 Andy Hough July 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I hope it was the smart move and the job turns out good.

10 Andy Hough July 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I was afraid the heat would be too much and it was. If I were in better shape and had time to get acclimated I probably could have handled it. Since that wasn’t the case I decided it was best to cut the hike short.

11 Jacob @ iHeartBudgets July 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

It’s been hot EVERYWHERE. Probably a good move to cut it short and NOT DIE! Glad you enjoyed yourself, though 🙂

12 The College Investor July 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

Sorry the heat killed your trip. Nice to hear you got a job so quickly, so hopefully everything will be solid!

13 Rita P @ Digital Spikes July 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

You made a right decision, many a times things dont go as per plan a so we have to go for plan b. Anyways there is always a next time

14 Andy Hough July 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Thanks, I’m going to wait until it is a little cooler before I go hiking again.

15 Andy Hough July 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Since I wouldn’t have got the job if I hadn’t ended my hike early it worked out pretty well.

16 Andy Hough July 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Yep, the next time will just be in another month or so.

17 John July 23, 2013 at 6:37 am

Reality sucks sometimes, doesn’t it! Great article, thanks

18 Joshua Rodriguez July 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Welcome back Andy! Sounds like a fun hike but maybe when it get’s a little cooler? One day, I would like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. One day soon hopefully!

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