I 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.