This year for my birthday, I had hoped to celebrate by completing The Ring ride around Fort Valley, but instead I found the very dark place I have looked so hard to find. You know that place where the spirit cracks and you throw your hands up and say I just cant go on, while at the same time, hanging your head in shame. I have seen many others experience this and have been at the threshold, but have been able to pull through. I will say, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. I guess that is what happens as you grow old. The realistic thought of continuing on and bivvying on the ridge crossed my mind and that is when I knew it was time to walk away. I had no gear to overnight and wore just shorts and a sleeveless jersey. It was a good long day in the woods which I will go into detail once the head is clear enough to sort through all of those thoughts.