I haven't blogged in a long while, so probably no one who remembers me is still around. I tried, back in 1997, to backpack the entire Appalachian Trail, but only was able to complete about 900 of the 2200 or so miles of it. I don't feel the least bit guilty of not being able to hike any longer - I retired at age 55 and began the trail a few months later. I loved it (most of the time), but wasn't embarased to say "I'm finished".
I lived in Virginia back then, and have since moved to Sacramento, CA. I enjoy living here, for the most part, although since I've outlived many of my peers, I really don't fit in anywhere.
I'd love to hear from any former hikers/backpackers out there, and how you've managed to return to society. I don't think I have ever really fit in with most of society since I left the trail. And no, I don't have any desire to hike or backpack in California, even though I'm not far from the Pacific Crest Trail. I have had a good life in California since I moved here many years ago, but I will always be a "daughter of Appalachia". (I also spent a couple of years living in Ireland, which I really enjoyed at the time. But I'm so happy to be back in the U.S.)
Three of my four children live in CA, and one settled in New York. I belong to a different generation and era, and I sure miss my old friends. If any of you are still out there, or have enjoyed backpacking, please drop me a line.