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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    One advantage he has is that he can hike as long into a day as he wishes. He will not be bound by daylight.
    I was unaware that any of us were bound by daylight, and as such I'm not sure that he has any sort of advantage, other than perhaps not needing a headlamp.

    (We can all hike as long into a day as we wish)
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

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  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    and the tap tap tapping
    No bear bells needed, huh?

  3. #63
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    Smitty:

    I agree with you that there are undoubtedly places where he will have to hike with someone else, or he will, in all likelihood, be injured.

    But I find it interesting for YOU of all people to bo so discouraging about what this guy is apparently planning to do.

    I seem to remember that people were speculating that you wouldn't make it 40 miles til some other folks, including me, wrote that it was pretty classless and mean-spirited to have a betting pool based on when someone was likely to quit the Trail.

    But you persevered, and you finished, and I respect you for that.

    Likewise, what this guy has in mind would not be seen as wise or even possible by most folks.

    But one of the things I've learned out here is that very little on the Trail is impossible unless or until an individual DECIDES that it's impossible.

    So because of this, I'm always leery on speculating on someone's chances of succes on the A.T.

    Remember Smitty, once upon a time, and it wasn't that long ago, people were making similar speculations about YOU.

  4. #64
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    If he is totally blind, this is totally irresponsible.

    If he falls and breaks something or worse others will be called on to carry him out.

    My guess is he takes a phone to make the call. I'd bet money on it.

    Just cause the guy is blind doesn't mean he should be given a pass for doing something stupid.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    If he is totally blind, this is totally irresponsible.

    If he falls and breaks something or worse others will be called on to carry him out.

    My guess is he takes a phone to make the call. I'd bet money on it.

    Just cause the guy is blind doesn't mean he should be given a pass for doing something stupid.

    So are you saying that only able bodied people with all of their senses are allowed to fulfill their dreams? Plenty of sighted people get their butts hauled out of the woods every year, and for stuff much riskier than hiking blind. Let him hike his own hike, and if he can't do it, then can't do it.

  6. #66
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Hiker View Post
    So are you saying that only able bodied people with all of their senses are allowed to fulfill their dreams? Plenty of sighted people get their butts hauled out of the woods every year, and for stuff much riskier than hiking blind. Let him hike his own hike, and if he can't do it, then can't do it.
    I'm not letting him? How do you figure.

  7. #67

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    There are computer screen-reading programs for the blind. No doubt he is researching his trip online and will run across these comments.

    I will volunteer to run a string through Mahoosuc Notch for him.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    I'm not letting him? How do you figure.
    I am not saying you are letting him do anything. He's going to do what he wants to do despite what anyone says in here. What I did ask however...... is your contention that only able-bodied people with all of their senses entitled to fulfill their dreams?

  9. #69

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    I think Mr. Hanson is probably more aware of the challenges than any of us can or should guess. And I don't imagine him to be a person who is going to back down because anyone here thinks they know more about the challenges than him. Instead, I think Mr. Hanson needs our support and encouragement. If he wants assistance before or during his hike, he can ask for it. What he doesn't need is a bunch of Internet chatter telling him why it cannot be done. It is a sad commentary when people who know little about someone else's challenges suddenly think they are an expert about those challenges.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
    It is a sad commentary when people who know little about someone else's challenges suddenly think they are an expert about those challenges.
    Why is it that, somewhere along many of these discussions, people like to claim that other people are claiming to be experts?

    Or shall we only limit our participation to things we are experts on? Probably a bad idea. The site would be alternately boring and disgusting.

    TM, your post seems to have a conflict within itself -- you say he's not the kind of guy who's going to be affected by what's said, but then go on to say he needs support and encouragement, but doesn't need internet chatter telling him why it can't be done.

    But let me tell you what I think -- I think reading why others think it can't be done is a good thing, and not just to motivate oneself with spite. It's entirely possible that MR. Hanson isn't necessarily aware of all of the difficulties he's going to face. Now hang in with me here. Listening to those who have some experience might help him come up with solutions to problems he's not (until reading this) aware that he's going to face.

    I build ridiculous, one-of-a-kind things every once in a while, and if it weren't for other people telling me what was wrong with my designs, and why they wouldn't work, most of them would've turned out crappy. Positivity is nice, but it doesn't help you build Van Gogh costumes, or folding castle walls, or wearable scaled-down foam core jeeps with working headlights.

    I would imagine the same holds true for hiking blind. So I say everyone should feel free to be critical. Just don't be so sure it's impossible, or that he can't do it. . .
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2000 View Post
    Just don't be so sure it's impossible, or that he can't do it. . .
    I will say for the record that I think it is impossible with todays technology for a totally blind individual to hike the entire AT "alone and unsupported".... Unless I am totally misunderstanding what alone and unsupported means and I am totally wrong about the accuracy of this talking GPS and how it relates to the AT specifically...Now if it can pinpoint someones position right up the center of the trail thru every turn and give a verbal notice if one drifts a foot or two from that line and steer you back to center then I will change my opinion
    Sometimes you can't hear them talk..Other times you can.
    The same old cliches.."Is that a woman or a man?"
    You always seem out-numbered..You don't dare make a stand.

  12. #72

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    Jester, good points. I object more to the tone used here and to those who say it is impossible. There is a body of evidence that suggests that people with disabilities overcome them in ways that those without disabilities may not appreciate. And while it is a good idea to offer our thoughts on what might be some of the more difficult challenges of the trail for those with disabilities, it is not helpful to suggest that they cannot be overcome. It would be more helpful to offer suggestions on how these challenges might be overcome and turn this into a more productive discussion. Mr. Hanson may not want our help, but perhaps we can get him thinking more about where he might need our help if we keep the discussion positive.

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Programbo View Post
    I will say for the record that I think it is impossible with todays technology for a totally blind individual to hike the entire AT "alone and unsupported".... Unless I am totally misunderstanding what alone and unsupported means and I am totally wrong about the accuracy of this talking GPS and how it relates to the AT specifically...Now if it can pinpoint someones position right up the center of the trail thru every turn and give a verbal notice if one drifts a foot or two from that line and steer you back to center then I will change my opinion
    I am quite sure that the center line of the trail cannot be followed by strictly following a GPS waypoint data regardless of whether your vision is normal or not. However, I think it can be close enough that a blind person can use his other senses to pick up the trail. The challenge will be reacquiring the trail after a road crossing or along a particularly challenging section where the footpath is more of a rock scramble. Perhaps Mr. Hanson has thought through some of these already and it would be nice to hear from him and/or offer suggestions on how these might be overcome.

  14. #74

    Default Jester makes a completely valid point here IMO...

    It's entirely possible that MR. Hanson isn't necessarily aware of all of the difficulties he's going to face.

    Exactly. The AT is NOT always a nice, neat trail as one might find a manicured "nature" trail in a city park to be, and as I suspect this Hanson guy halfway expects it to be, far more than it is. The AT often being not really a trail at all, but simply a route, was one of the most important surprises I found during my own thruhike.

    It's not as if this guy has ever seen photos of its more extreme sections...

  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    It's not as if this guy has ever seen photos of its more extreme sections...
    And he couldn't have read about them, either, right? Or been hiking before? Oh, yeah, I forgot, people who are blind can't read or hike.

    I have it from a reliable source that the only reason he is hiking the relatively "easy" A.T. is to complete the Triple Crown.

    The reason his friends are keeping the secret about how hard it is from him is so they can laugh at him when he falls down and stuff.

  16. #76
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I object more to the tone used here and to those who say it is impossible.
    WRT my post, you probably have a good point there.

    That said, to the extent that Mr. Hanson elects to walk alone for any appreciable distance, his exerience will be more than simply a testimony about the human spirit, however. It will be a fundamentally dangerous undertaking.

    While he did do a practice hike in SNP, that is hardly a good representation of what one can expect along the AT. To my way of thinking, it would be the last place I would suggest for a preparation/test hike.

  17. #77

    Default Exactly...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    WRT my post, you probably have a good point there.

    That said, to the extent that Mr. Hanson elects to walk alone for any appreciable distance, his exerience will be more than simply a testimony about the human spirit, however. It will be a fundamentally dangerous undertaking.

    While he did do a practice hike in SNP, that is hardly a good representation of what one can expect along the AT. To my way of thinking, it would be the last place I would suggest for a preparation/test hike.
    If this blind guy thinks the SNP is typical of the AT, no wonder he got the (false) impression that the
    AT is a park walk. Better someone take him to a mile-long boulder field, or Mahoosuc Arm on a rainy day.

  18. #78

    Default Exactly...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    WRT my post, you probably have a good point there.

    That said, to the extent that Mr. Hanson elects to walk alone for any appreciable distance, his exerience will be more than simply a testimony about the human spirit, however. It will be a fundamentally dangerous undertaking.

    While he did do a practice hike in SNP, that is hardly a good representation of what one can expect along the AT. To my way of thinking, it would be the last place I would suggest for a preparation/test hike.
    If this blind guy thinks the SNP is typical of the AT, no wonder he got the (false) impression that the
    AT is a park walk. Better someone take him to a mile-long boulder field, or Mahoosuc Arm on a rainy day, staying with him until he figures out that a blind hiker belongs thruing by himself about as much as I do in high school girl's gymnastics.

  19. #79

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    " The final value of any expedition is not what you failed to discover but what you found in it's place"
    In theory is what he is about to attempt impossible....yes, no doubt.
    Is his safety in question....yes, no doubt.
    Should we all be concerned and worried for him....yes, no doubt.
    Should we tell him that what vhe is about to attempt is going to be a failure....NO!!!
    If you look back in history if everyone that was told that that they were going to fail just didn't do what they were going to attempt and gave up....where would we be now?
    I think Chesty Puller said it best when told that he was about to run up on a million Chinese with just the Marines he had and that they would die if they did not surrender. He was quoted as saying,"Someone needs to tell them to surrender now before we get started!"
    I probably paraphrased that but you know what I meant. Support this mans dreams...pray for this mans safety...help out if your needed.
    I have been living with a bad valve in my heart for a long time now. Everyone tells me to slow down, take it easy. If I croak on the trail, just make sure my ashes get to Kahtadin cause I ain't quittin' !

  20. #80
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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