51 Miles – I’m Done – No More For Me

Friends and Relatives-

This is the hardest blog post I’ve ever written for one of my hikes.  It’s also the last one I’ll ever write.  The Arizona Trail beat me, and I am off the trail for good.

This is a big disappointment for me, and I’m sorry if this is a letdown for you.  It was so much fun to post updates on my other two long hikes, and to keep marching along from start to finish with reports along the way.  But it didn’t work out that way for the Arizona Trail.

Two things were different this time, one of which was unexpected.  The main reason for my failure to continue forward is that my appetite completely abandoned me.  I spent three days and two nights on the trail.  My favorite meal has always been my freeze-dried dinner at night, my only hot meal.  It’s what I’ve always had on my hikes.  Both nights the dinners did not appeal to me at all and I had to force myself to finish them.  In the mornings and afternoons none of my normal hiking snacks were appetizing.  Furthermore, I wasn’t drinking enough even though I knew I should.  When I arrived in Patagonia last night, the first trail town and 51 miles into my hike, I bought a bottle of Gatorade and drank only half despite being in the hot Arizona sun all day.  I ordered a 10 inch pizza and ate only two slices.  Just then I knew I was in trouble and couldn’t go on like this.

Secondly, and what I thought might be the case, I was going to be hiking alone and would hardly see other north-bound hikers.  The majority of hikers for this trail had started in March and were far in front of me.  April 4th was the soonest I could start.  I don’t mind hiking on my own, but it was always nice to pass back and forth around other hikers.  We would compare notes about the trail and socialize a little in the trail towns.  That wasn’t going to happen here.

Maybe I should have quit two years ago while I was ahead.  This failure three days into my third long-distance hike will sting for awhile, but it is up to me to put it to rest and move forward.  I won’t let this failed attempt cast a shadow on my previous accomplishments.  There are lessons to be learned from failures, and I’ll look for them.  It might make me a stronger person.


I’m keeping all my gear.  I look forward to weekend camping trips with my granddaughters when they’re a little older.



13 thoughts on “51 Miles – I’m Done – No More For Me

  1. Theresa

    Please, the word failure is NOT appropriate. Every hike is an attempt at reaching a goal. You attempted this hike but thank goodness you are sensible enough to see some very important warning signs of danger to your health. If you can’t continue, your attempt is over, that’s all it is. We all applaud your ambition and drive. That is not compromised in the least. Hiking can still be such a joy for you, just modified from the extreme scenarios. Your kids and I have nothing less to be proud of, a great man who sets standards and lives by them. Hooray for a major decision to move on, come back home to us, and enjoy each other. We love you.


  2. Cindy Drake

    Blue Moon. You have accomplished so much already. This is an experience to go with all the others you have had. Be proud . We love ya still and see you when you are back home.



    I know one thing my new friend from Florida. Great move calling it off. Think about it this way. How many people your age could even begin that hike or completed what you have in the past. Your a hero to many people I guarantee like the only ones that really matter. Your family. 🙂 Hope to maybe catch you in Florida sometime in August if your stopping by. Let me know


  4. It sounds like you made the right decision. Weekend trips are great too. I’ve decided to limit my hikes to one-month. Be away from family for multiple months is more than I want at this point. I’m starting a section hike on the AT tomorrow. I’m starting at Amicalola Falls and plan to hike up to Damascus VA. If you’re in that area, it’d be great to see you.


  5. Ron

    T-1 is still my main man. You have already proved yourself in years past. Let it go and come on back and work on your tennis game. Good judgement is a valuable attribute. You have made the right decision and will always be a winner in my book. Cap’n Ron


  6. Gloria

    I will harmonize with my best cohort – you are allowed to be disappointed, but using the word failure in reference to Mr. Terry Bliss is blasphemy. I have long admired your courage and strength in regards to your treks. Your decision to come off the trail was made with a clear mind and heart – a huge heart that knows no boundary when it comes to loving family and friends. We are proud of your attempt and know that other adventures are in store for you. You know that I believe that there are no coincidences in this life – the AZ is going to be there, for now it doesn’t get the privilege of getting to know YOU! Come home safe, my friend, I’ll have cookies at the ready


  7. Quang Lam

    Sorry to hear that Terry, but you still lasted 2 days and 2 nights longer than I would have. And we’re still proud of you for knowing your limitations and not pushing yourself into doing something dangerous. And remember, no man is a failure who has friends!


  8. Peter Clark

    Very sorry to receive this news Blue Moon. But you have made a wise decision. No one should continue a venture such as this if the tides are not with you. As others have said, this is no failure. After completing two of the longest and most difficult trails in the US, all of us are proud of you and your accomplishments. Nothing can take that away. Save your gear for hikes in the future with family. Those are the most.meaningful experiences. See you when you return. Have no regrets!


  9. Viv

    Hi Terry, we know this is a disappointment to you, but success is not measured in how far you hike, success is measured by the husband and father you are. You have great determination and


  10. Peggy Olson

    Glad to hear you are safe. All decisions we make in life are not easy ones. The love for your family I’m sure helped make this one; your health and safety are the ultimate goal. Get yourself healthy, hug Mrs, kids and granddaughters, enjoy the summer, and remember your past unbelievable hikes.


  11. Diane Fetterman

    Terry, met an 80 + gent on Pikes Peak. He was rehiking some old trips, but doing them with less hiking and shorter climbs. He hitched a ride from the top with us and we were glad to listen to his tales as we went to his lower climb. Short hikes are nothing to be ashamed of and man do you have a lot to be proud of with all you have accomplished.


  12. Sandra P Jameson

    Hi Mr. T, Life doesn’t always go as planned but thankfully you are safe. Your health and safety is more important to your family and friends. Feel better soon and send updates. Our best to you and Mrs. T.

    Sandra & Jerry


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