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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcdennis View Post
    what is the point of this thread?
    A bored guy was reading trail journals and choose to make an observation.
    Other bored people agreed or disagreed with that observation.

    There was a little 'back in my day' and 'get off my lawn' sentiments tossed about with a few HYOH's tossed in to ease tensions.
    Some real weirdos went off on their own tangents.

    It's the internet. There is no point.
    We all wish we were hiking. This will have to do in the meantime.


    Course perhaps it's not the internet... as Nessmuk noted the point about 130 years ago...

    "I have found that nearly all who have a real love of nature and out-of-door camp-life, spend a good deal of time and talk in planning future trips, or discussing the trips and pleasures gone by, but still dear to memory."

    With a large majority of prospective tourists and outers, "camping out" is a leading factor in the summer vacation. And during the long winter months they are prone to collect in little knots and talk much of camps, fishing, hunting, and "roughing it." The last phrase is very popular and always cropping out in the talks on matters pertaining to a vacation in the woods. I dislike the phrase. We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks—anywhere that we may be placed—with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left.

    As for the few fortunate ones who have no call to take a hand in any strife or struggle, who not only have all the time there is, but a great deal that they cannot dispose of with any satisfaction to themselves or anybody else—I am not writing for them; but only to those of the world's workers who go, or would like to go, every summer to the woods. And to these I would say, don't rough it; make it as smooth, as restful and pleasurable as you can.

  2. #42

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    Since Nessmuk has much to say and we have little to add...

    Here is a quote quite relevant to the topic of 'WILDERNESS' vs Wild-ness and some folks perception of the two.
    There are men who, on finding themselves alone in a pathless forest, become appalled, almost panic stricken. The vastness of an unbroken wilderness subdues them, and they quail before the relentless, untamed forces of nature. These are the men who grow enthusiastic—at home—about sylvan life, out-door sports, but always strike camp and come home rather sooner than they intended.

    And there be some who plunge into an unbroken forest with a feeling of fresh, free, invigorating delight, as they might dash into a crisp ocean surf on a hot day. These know that nature is stern, hard, immovable and terrible in unrelenting cruelty. When wintry winds are out and the mercury far below zero, she will allow her most ardent lover to freeze on her snowy breast without waving a leaf in pity, or offering him a match; and scores of her devotees may starve to death in as many different languages before she will offer a loaf of bread. She does not deal in matches and loaves; rather in thunderbolts and granite mountains. And the ashes of her camp-fires bury proud cities.

    But, like all tyrants, she yields to force, and gives the more, the more she is beaten. She may starve or freeze the poet, the scholar, the scientist; all the same, she has in store food, fuel and shelter, which the skillful, self-reliant woodsman can wring from her savage hand with axe and rifle. Only to him whose coat of rags Has pressed at night her regal feet, Shall come the secrets, strange and sweet, Of century pines and beetling crags. For him the goddess shall unlock The golden secrets which have lain Ten thousand years, through frost and rain, Deep in the bosom of the rock.

  3. #43

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    Anon; one for Mr. Rick B, and DCDennis... if one is looking for a moral to this story:

    This is the moral: From Maine to Montana; from the Adirondacks to Alaska; from the Yosemite to the Yellowstone, the trout-hog, the deer-wolf, the netter, the skin-hunter, each and all have it their own way; and the law is a farce—only to be enforced where the game has vanished forever.

    Perhaps the man-child is born who will live to write the moral of all this—when it is too late.

  4. #44

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    Even one fer the crusty among us-

    In a word, act coolly and rationally. So shall your outing be a delight in conception and the fulfillment thereof; while the memory of it shall come back to you in pleasant dreams, when legs and shoulders are too stiff and old for knapsack and rifle.

    That is me. That is why I sit here tonight—with the north wind and sleet rattling the one window of my little den-writing what I hope younger and stronger men will like to take into the woods with them, and read. Not that I am so very old. The youngsters are still not anxious to buck against the muzzle-loader in off-hand shooting. But, in common with a thousand other old graybeards, I feel that the fire, the fervor, the steel, that once carried me over the trail from dawn until dark, is dulled and deadened within me.

    We had our day of youth and May; We may have grown a trifle sober; But life may reach a wintry way, And we are only in October.

    Final Advice
    Wherefore, let us be thankful that there are still thousands of cool, green nooks beside crystal springs, where the weary soul may hide for a time, away from debts, duns and deviltries, and a while commune with nature in her undress.

    And with kindness to all true woodsmen; and with malice toward none, save the trout-hog, the netter, the cruster, and skin-butcher, let us PREPARE TO TURN IN.

  5. #45
    92.8% complete Berserker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    A bored guy was reading trail journals and choose to make an observation.
    Other bored people agreed or disagreed with that observation.

    There was a little 'back in my day' and 'get off my lawn' sentiments tossed about with a few HYOH's tossed in to ease tensions.
    Some real weirdos went off on their own tangents.

    It's the internet. There is no point.
    We all wish we were hiking. This will have to do in the meantime.
    Ha ha ha, good stuff here Just Bill. You gave me a good laugh to start off my morning.
    JMT - 2013

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berserker View Post
    Ha ha ha, good stuff here Just Bill. You gave me a good laugh to start off my morning.
    Oh, I’m one of these guys that’s just like everybody else—I’m absolutely unique.
    COLIN FLETCHER

  7. #47
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    Good posts Bill.

    ...figure I'll comment here so I can easily find it in the future..

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Footbridges over every trickle, switchbacks on every steep climb, maximize number of people on the trail, shelters privies, etc. The entire management plan of it has nothing to do with Wilderness style experience. And that's a shame.
    And yet that was the intention behind the AT, at least by MacKaye. Originally thought up as a (more populated) string of communities, farms, shelters, and work study programs. Not as a barren wilderness experience.

  9. #49
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    No. The AT is not a wilderness experience. But it's at least a little bit of the green world, that's within reach of the Eastern cities.

    Thru-hikers get to spend a few months at least mostly surrounded by green trees rather than pavement and fluorescent lights.

    That's a Very Good Thing.

    Thru-hikers are still in the minority. Most of the travelers are people who've come for a few hours or a few days, seeing what they can and enjoying what they're capable of, and still getting a few hours or a few days out in fresher air and quieter surroundings.

    And that's a Very Good Thing.

    Just Bill pointed out to me some time ago, too, that the AT is like the recruiting office. It's not real wilderness, but it shows off some of the experience you'll get in real wilderness. Some of those who travel on it will decide they want more, and go on to be travellers in the real wilderness. Others will come home inspired, and become advocates for preserving our few, incredibly fragile, wild areas that still remain. Still others won't change profoundly, but might still cast a vote or write a letter to a Congresscritter when it matters. And some will simply come home a bit healthier, which is a good thing too.

    Since Just Bill was quoting Nessmuk:

    Do you call this trifling? I tell you, friend,
    A life in the forest is past all praise.
    Give me a dozen such months on end--
    You may take my balance of years and days.

    For brick and mortar breed filth and crime,
    And a pulse of evil that throbs and beats.
    And men are withered before their prime
    By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets.

    And lungs are poisoned, and shoulders bowed,
    In the smothering reek of mill and mine;
    And Death stalks in on the struggling crowd,
    But he shuns the shadow of oak and pine.

    It doesn't have to be "a dozen months on end" to be good.

    I happen to enjoy at least short trips that involve studying maps and aerial photos, route planning, compass, altimeter and GPS work, and pushing through brush, scrambling rock, plooshing through fen and bog, and so on. But few newbies would. It's an acquired taste. The AT is a place to begin acquiring the taste. That's what it's for.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  10. #50
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    It was much more of a wilderness hike in 1969 when I started hiking. I remember hiking a week in Maine in July and only seeing one person. They have also taken down close to 20 fire towers, which is also a shame.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdenkevitz View Post
    And yet that was the intention behind the AT, at least by MacKaye. Originally thought up as a (more populated) string of communities, farms, shelters, and work study programs. Not as a barren wilderness experience.
    Yes.
    But he got it completely wrong. No one wanted his version of a trail. They wanted a more remote solitary Trail. And so that's what was built.

    All he got right was that a trail would be a good idea.
    And even that he was copying from The Long Trail , as he was sitting on it at the time. All he did was extended the LT on both ends.....as far as reasonable.

    He really gets too much credit for the AT we have.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  12. #52
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    I'm currently thru hiking the AT and I routinely hike by myself during the day and only see one or two other thru hikers at this point. I could camp by myself every night now if I wanted.

    The first 400 miles was a large group of people with lots of hikers around.

    Now thru hikers are pretty spread out.

    If you want to know what the AT is like... Stop reading about it and hike it, most people can't even make it past mile 200.

    Trail days is this weekend. And even more people will head home afterwards.

    All the hikers who plan on hiking North still are great people to hike with. We all have the same goal.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I'm currently thru hiking the AT and I routinely hike by myself during the day and only see one or two other thru hikers at this point. I could camp by myself every night now if I wanted.

    The first 400 miles was a large group of people with lots of hikers around.

    Now thru hikers are pretty spread out.

    If you want to know what the AT is like... Stop reading about it and hike it, most people can't even make it past mile 200.

    Trail days is this weekend. And even more people will head home afterwards.

    All the hikers who plan on hiking North still are great people to hike with. We all have the same goal.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    I'm just glad to hear that the rampant ginger discrimination isn't affecting your hike. I read so much about ginger abuse in trail journals that I can't imagine even hiking at all anymore. I even heard that a riot broke out and the fires caused the trail to be shut down in at least one section. I read so many things and spend all my time reading fifth hand reports it must all be true. You are so brave and courageous to face it head on and not let those ignorant bigots stop you from living your life!

    On a less serious note- Glad to hear your hike is going well.
    Enjoy Trail Days- It's all uphill from here so sit yer ass down and have a beer.
    Last edited by Just Bill; 05-17-2018 at 09:19.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I'm just glad to hear that the rampant ginger discrimination isn't affecting your hike. I read so much about ginger abuse in trail journals that I can't imagine even hiking at all anymore. I even heard that a riot broke out and the fires caused the trail to be shut down in at least one section. I read so many things and spend all my time reading fifth hand reports it must all be true. You are so brave and courageous to face it head on and not let those ignorant bigots stop you from living your life!

    On a less serious note- Glad to hear your hike is going well.
    Enjoy Trail Days- It's all uphill from here so sit yer ass down and have a beer.
    Thanks for the laugh. Believe it or not. There's a bunch of red heads out here.

    Hitching back to trail days has proven to be harder than we thought lol.. stuck in Wytheville at the moment

    Feeling healthy and strong though. At about mile 600 on the trail thus far

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  15. #55
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    I think hikers have forgotten what the Appalachian Trail is-it is showing the beauty of nature. I feel like if you are doing 25-30 miles a day you are missing all the beauty of nature -this is just my opinion.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Thanks for the laugh. Believe it or not. There's a bunch of red heads out here.

    Hitching back to trail days has proven to be harder than we thought lol.. stuck in Wytheville at the moment

    Feeling healthy and strong though. At about mile 600 on the trail thus far

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    It's a little known fact;
    Benton MacKaye was fair of hair and complexion. He was none to keen on spending much time in open meadows or exposed ridgelines due to his naturally condition.
    Other than the hijinks of that fellow Avery charging up any hill or blasting through any meadow he could sneak in... the entire trail was designed to remain under the sun-blocking canopy.
    So while it's come to be known as the 'long green tunnel'; in the little known and seldom read private journal of MacKaye he called the trail 'the ginger greenway'.

    When you sit afire with your fellow redheads share that tale and always remember that the Appalachian Trail was created just for you!


    Rent a car- easy drive if'n you got a few of you together and you won't have deal with the hassle of wrangling up and nailing down a ride as everything breaks up. Fifty folks will promise you a ride back on Saturday, but good luck finding them come Sunday, lol. There's an enterprise across town.

    Call Lone Wolf, he might be up fer a shuttle too.

  17. #57
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    Someone doing 25-30 miles a day is probably experiencing alot more nature than the people doing less. At least in my experience. I see plenty of wildlife, views, etc., I even have time to stop and enjoy said items. I'm on a trail to push my body and mind in God's creation. If you want to do less miles, great! Enjoy it for what you went out there for and don't impose your physical/mental limitations on my experience.

    What we need to realize is that at least people are getting out in nature and maybe making some lasting physical/mental changes in their life that they will maintain or draw on to push them to make further change.
    Last edited by JC13; 05-17-2018 at 15:14.
    AT: 274.5 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 107.7 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by pickle View Post
    I think hikers have forgotten what the Appalachian Trail is-it is showing the beauty of nature. I feel like if you are doing 25-30 miles a day you are missing all the beauty of nature -this is just my opinion.
    For sure that is a 100% accurate statement. 13-17 MPD is scientifically proven to increase your level of enjoyment and connection to nature.
    Between roughly 1.6 and 1.8 MPH is the ideal speed to increase visual acuity, whereas at roughly 2.1 MPH it becomes difficult to differentiate between Periwinkle blue, sky blue and pale violet. That's the threshold many scientists use to determine when accurate visual flower identification breaks down while moving.

    While it is at the cutting edge of science, they recently discovered that trees have a 'heartbeat'.
    At 3.2 MPH or more moving pace you will be moving too quickly to achieve good harmonics with the living metronome pulsing all around you.

    Science

  19. #59
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    Muir would not have understood the notion of thru-hiking...

    "Hiking - I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."

  20. #60

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    So many words of wisdom, my head is spinning.....
    Here's mine:

    the allegory of the cave by Plato came to my mind when pondering this topic.
    The AT is nothing but the shadows on the wall. This is our reality, this is our "wilderness".
    Real (pure) wilderness is not accessible to us anymore.
    In that sense, we are ALL prisoners, confined to the cave.

    which makes the AT (and all trails), even more worth of protecting and preserving.

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