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[at-l] Avery Awards

Snodrog5@aol.com wrote:
> After much serious thought (honest, I do that) I've concluded the Avery

> Award/Monitors/Peer Review proposal is just a way for WF to grab at the

> ultimate AT power. The power to say if you're a 2000 miler, or not.
> No, thank you.
> TJ

This is NOT an answer or response to TJ - it's just a line of thought
that was triggered by his response.  

Has it occurred to anyone that WF has no authority to do anything
"official"?  That the only authority he has to tell anyone that they are
or are not a "thruhiker" or 2000-Miler is what the individual hiker
allows him to have.  He's a private citizen who's put up a web site. 
He's a thruhiker - how many times is in question - but he's certainly not
in the same league as Michael P Jones or Warren Doyle or Leonard and
Laurie Adkins or Wolf or others - many others.   By his own admission at
least 3 of his "thruhikes" were shams (by his own standards).  Nor has he
made a serious thruhike attempt since at least 91 (his 92 hike ended at
Trail Days in Damascus - even though he has certificate for it).  That's
at least 9 years.  He's not even a member, much less an officer of ALDHA.
 Is he even an ATC member?   And he has a long history of disrespect,
even contempt, for other hikers - especially those who don't agree with
him totally.  At one time he also had a great love for the AT - and it
showed in his Thruhikers Handbook, but that seems to have been lost.  

This is almost all public knowledge - 

So -- where does he get the authority - or maybe the question is - where
does he get the chutzpa to tell others whether or not their thruhike is
"valid"?  What makes his beliefs - his standards - any better than yours?
 Does anyone believe that "his hike" should be the model for yours?  Why?

There are some who need the answers to those questions - I'm not one of
them - I know my answers.  Are you?  

If you're someone who's rigid, who believes that people aren't
trustworthy (and if that bothers you), if you believe in Big Government
(which equates to Big Brother) and/or if you believe that people should
be "controlled" - then maybe you don't care, maybe you belong on the
'other' list.  And maybe you're a candidate for the Avery Award.  

But I'm not.  I believe in the freedom that can be found during a
thruhike - I trust people right up to the point that they prove
themselves untrustworthy - I believe that the Government is NOT my friend
- or even a friend of the Trail.  I believe that the only real sin in
life is hurting others unnecessarily (the last word being the operative
word here).  And I believe that if someone lies about their
accomplishments - within the parameters that they've set for their hike -
then it's their problem, not mine.  It does NOT diminish what I've done -
I don't have to be happy with what they've done - I only have to be happy
with what I've done.  

You don't have to believe what I do.  I don't expect it.  Sometimes - and
about some things - I don't even want it.  Nor do I expect - much less
require - agreement with anything I say (or write).  Momma didn't raise
that kind of fool.  

Enough rambling - the bottom line here is that there is no basis in
ethics, morality or law for the so-called Avery Awards.  They carry no
authority other than what the individual hiker allows WF to impose on
him/her.  For me, the Avery Award is meaningless except as an indicator
that the possessor of such has allowed WF (or others) to dictate what
their hike MUST be.  I am constitutionally incapable of accepting that

Knowing what I know about Myron Avery I believe he'd put the "Avery
Award" in an appropriate place.  But I don't believe the Avery Award
Committee would appreciate it.  :-))

Walk softly - your way,

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