re-entry is the pits

It’s been just over a month since we stepped off the PCT. And in short, re-entry has been difficult. 

It’s been difficult for both of us individually, and especially difficult for our relationship. On the trail we worked strongly as a team, we shared goals and seamlessly supported each other every day. 

But since being back there has been a rift between us. 

Within 4 days of getting off trail I returned to work. In those 4 days we got all of our stuff out of storage (thank you Kathy and Eric), got furniture for our cozy apartment and did our best to unpack and settle in. 

We were very busy, but we didn’t really have a choice.

There was no transition time to process the changes in our environment. On some level I think we both avoided the sadness of such a grand adventure coming to an end by “doing.”

This is one of the scariest parts of coming back – we so easily fall back into a routine of doing rather than being. We can feel ourselves losing the groundedness and calm that came with our extended time in nature.

Additionally, the unknown of Andy’s employment and my deep desire for security and predictability seems to be creating a rift between us. Ironically, this is the time we need to support each other most.

It is hard. 

We are dealing with a loss of adventure and excitement. We have stepped back into the mundane world where it takes more effort to seek out adventure, see the beauty in the ordinary and live fully. 

We are conscious of this and constantly remind one another to enjoy the present moment and view it as the gift that it is. 

And while our next adventure may not be as glamorous or beautiful, every day in the life of Shuffles and Dribbles can be an adventure – we just have to hold onto that attitude, support one another and choose to live the life we want to live.

Can’t be on the trail, so I take the trail with me to work 🙂

Trail snacks – my new comfort food

22 thoughts on “re-entry is the pits

  1. Don’t you see? Your adventure was a metaphor for life. And we all reenter normalcy after going through travels, adventures and tragedies and thrills. I believe the key is finding happiness in the everyday routines and the small aspects in our daily minutiae. Sitting around doing nothing, making someone smile, watching a sunset, reading to a kid or dog-these moments are equally as valuable as doing majestic things. And if this pep talk didn*t work, well hell, know that I am glad you are back and glad you 2 are togethah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Georgia! Your advice is spot on. I am slowly realizing that I have been focusing on the negative rather than appreciating all that we have. Thank you!


  2. I admire your transparency with this difficult transition. I am confident that the two of you can survive anything put in front of you and pray for your continued ability to work through this. Thank you for the continued updates!!


  3. Maybe ditch the apartment and pitch a tent in the backyard? Yes it must be difficult to re-enter the “real” world, eh? Close your eyes, take a deep breath as you repeat: I love my new routine! I’ll be down in Campo starting in March 2017 recruiting hikers for the new hiking season. Then back up to Kennedy Meadows south the second week in May before manning the Welcome to Oregon station in late June. Why don’t you guys volunteer for some trail angel work this coming year?

    On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 9:27 PM, Andy & Laurie Hike the PCT wrote:

    > yogihiker posted: “It’s been just over a month since we stepped off the > PCT. And in short, re-entry has been difficult. It’s been difficult for > both of us individually, and especially difficult for our relationship. On > the trail we worked strongly as a team, we share” >


    • Thanks Ed. Thoughts of volunteering or hiking sobo go through our heads daily. For now we are sitting with the discomfort and waiting to adapt little by little. Let us know if and when you are in the Bay Area. We would love to see you again!


  4. Dear Laurie,
    I read every blog you posted on your pct adventure. The two of you had an amazing adventure that will remain with you the rest of your life. I was elated when you got engaged. Now the hard part, I’ve had two loves in my life. One appeared to be real the other was real. I married my first love, but it wasn’t meant to be. You will know if Andy is the right guy if you can answer a very simple question. Do you accept him under all circumstances? If you question stability or security as a result of the job situation, there may be deeper issues. It’s so easy to be infatuated and so possible to be in love with someone who isn’t the person you accept with unconditional love.

    Please be transparent with each other, don’t make my mistake and marry an image. You did the PCT you have the capacity to figure this out. Best of luck, my love to both of you.


    • Friend, Thank you for those honest words. Acceptance is a hard thing for me and I am aware of it. I am concerned that my lack of acceptance of others stems from a lack of self acceptance- which I continue to work on.

      I continue to re-read your post and think. I am grateful that Andy and I can have vulnerable, open and often painful conversations. Thank you again.



  5. I am so glad you accepted my comments in the vein they were intended. It is strange to say this, but I am very fond of the both of you, individually and as a couple. It was very enjoyable following your pct hike and learning about the two of you, recognizing it was a very small glimpse and certainly far removed. I truly hope the best for both of you. I too suffer from a lack of self acceptance, so I think I recognized your pain. The right person in your life makes this acceptance so much easier…I hope you find that person, if it is Andy I will be delighted for you, actually both of you. If not, I will hope that both of you are on another journey to find the partner that makes you want to be a better person.




  6. Start planning your next adventure. Even if it is years away or maybe a shorter adventure, having something on the horizon does wonders for my peace of mind. Also I find joy in the obsessive planning and preparation. Reading, looking at maps, engaging my imagination… Unfortunately, having a deep need for security and wanting to have a life of adventure are often hard to reconcile. My personal struggle is keeping the horizon short enough so that I don’t feel like I’m slaving a way in misery for a few months of “freedom”.


  7. I think all adrenaline junkies and adventurers can relate to this feeling. I have it after returning from something as short as a 3 day adventure in the wilderness. The reentry problem has even caused stress in my marriage. I would like to suggest something to you that is making a tremendous difference for me. The problem is that when you’re on the trail you’re constantly stimulated by things that seem relevant to life and ecstatic at being in the moment and making moment to moment decisions that feel like they actually matter. At home we are over stimulated by things that don’t seem to matter at all and survival is more or less spoon fed to us. The challenge is to find ecstasy in the “now” and finding overwhelming beauty in smaller things, like the play of light on the a glass object in your living room. The key that unlocks this door is MEDITATION. And personally I prefer guided meditations. On my own I’m terrible at the discipline of meditation so I got the “Oprah & Deepak” (Deepak Chopra — love him!) app on my phone and bought one of their 21 day daily meditation programs and the 7 day sleep program. I listen to one in the morning and one when I go to sleep. I kid you not, I physically feel a change in my brain. I honestly feel like it is changing my life. I’m not trying to sell you on anything and I’m not affiliated with this product in any way. It is just so good at curing exactly this problem that you’re describing that it is worth a small investment of money for the program, like $50. Or, of course, if you have a way that you personally prefer to connect with the infinite beauty waiting for you to notice it in what we usually think of as mundane, by all means I encourage you to use it. It is the way. You had your journey into the vast beauty of the external world, now you can journey inside yourself and play in there for a while. Its a whole new and exciting adventure.


    • Thank you Angeline. I sincerely believe meditation will help, now I just have to get myself to do it! I love how you describe it as an internal journey. I love adventures so you have spoken the magic words! Thank you 😀


  8. I always thought the hardest part of this trip for your both would be the re-entry. It’s just like a sheer drop-off: you’re in one place one day and it a completely different one the next day. It is hard to shift back to this admittedly crazy world after the journey you have been on. I followed you breathlessly on the blog, loved seeing you on the trail and was thrilled to meet you at the end. those memories and times are yours and mine forever. know that I support your both and hope the coming days bring a gradual clarity and joy, whatever you decide.


  9. My daughter (who wants to through-hike the PCT) and I came to your blog through a cousin (Sarah B) and we have read of your journey with such interest. This newest post is the most stunning for its rawness and realness. I’ve never met either of you. I may never do so, but you and your beautiful writing have meant a great deal to me. I sincerely hope that Laurie and Andy are able to navigate this perilous crossing. How can it be that the mundane “civilized” world can seem to break us sooner than living in the “wild” ? It is paradoxically both surprising and not surprising. Many of us live in our worlds, getting through each day, by numbing ourselves to the idiocy that we think is “normal” life. I think my daughter (age 21) sees this around her and longs for the freedom of the trail, but, as you point out, making that freedom and groundedness last may be the biggest challenge of all. I pray for your strength and your spirits and thank you for sharing your story with us.


  10. Hi Laurie: Wrote to both of you on the most recent blog. Transitions are hard and scary . As I said
    most recently keep communicating and mix hard work with pleasure. It’s so important to have a
    balance in life. Being on the trail was being in a wonderful bubble of pleasure. Now the work of
    combining two different lifestyles begins..Don’t forget to have fun and keep seeing the wonderful
    parts of each of you that allowed you to enjoy six months in a tiny tent. Many people couldn’t do that.
    The two of you did and delighted in the closeness of your daily lives on the trail.This is another journey.
    I’m here for both of you with the wisdom that some of us gain from growing older. I’ll be there for you in any way I can .

    Be good to yourself and to each other..

    Love and hugs
    Auntie Jean


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