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Re: [at-l] Avery Awards and Avery monitors

At 10:35 PM 3/2/00 -0500, Coosa wrote:
>I'm going to have to agree, at least in principle, to something more honest
>and ethical than the ease with which anyone can get a ThruHiker 2000-Miler

I've pointed this out before and I repeat, the ATC 2000 Miler patch IS NOT
FOR THRU-HIKING. It is for hiking the entire AT. The hiker *may have* but
not necessarily did hike it in one season.
>I KNOW that when the names are printed in the end of the year ATC magazine,
>that the ThruHikers know who hiked the entire AT and who applied for the
>patch as a Poser.
>BUT, the PUBLIC doesn't know and if a poser goes out and tells them he's a
>ThruHiker and then passes the hat for donations or whatever (here we go
>again, geeesh when will Coosa shut up!) (When the Truth is Revealed, then
>I'll be quiet), then the PUBLIC is duped.  Oh, no harm, done?   Well, in my
>not too humble opinion, some harm IS done.  It demeans the accomplishment of
>those who really do hike.  Especially if the PUBLIC is later exposed to a
>REAL ThruHiker -- and think that he's exaggerating or that "anyone can hike
>the AT, it's no big deal, afterall, XYZ hiked it and he's in a
>heelchair"  -- they think that the AT is a cakewalk.
No matter what you do there will always be 'posers' as you put it, those
who are more image than substance. The thing I've learned is that a BS
artist tends to BS about everything and most people can peg them pretty

>And then what?  They become Turons and go hiking with NO water in the middle
>of summer.  Or cotton sox in the middle of winter.  WHY?  Because the Poser
>told us he did it and after all he's such a grand guy and has such a grand
>organization and HE wouldn't LIE, now would he?

Now we come to the gullible types. A gullible person is going to be
gullible and there's not much that you can do about it. Besides people
*have* successfully thru-hiked the AT with very primitive equipment and/or
wearing cotton clothing and some have even succeeded without carrying water
much of the time. No lie! At least one blindman has done the whole trail
and one with MS on crutches. No lie there either! Who are we to tell others
what's possible, what they must carry/wear or how to do it? We can try to
educate the overly optimistic but in the end people have to figure things
out for themselves. It's called hiking your own hike, learning what you're
made of, challenging yourself and rising to the challenge.
>Maybe the method Dan Bruce suggests is a bit drastic, but I think his idea
>bears some serious thought.   OR maybe there should be NO ATC patches at
>all.  How about if each Maintaining Club gave a certificate and patch.  Like
>the GATC does.   Maybe THAT would produce more honesty in reporting?   To
>get the GATC patch, there's a form you complete listed the sections of the
>Trail and the dates you hiked them.  You attest that it is the truth and you
>get a certificate.   Okay, so someone could lie about that, too, but we're
>talking having to fill out a bunch of forms and mail them out -- one for
>each Maintaining Club's Section of the AT -- someone would have to be
>dedicated to want to do that!

I think we're getting far too hung up on *recognition*. I left ATML to
escape that mind set. Short story: Back in July 1993 I finished climbing
the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondacks and became a 46r. I proudly sewed
my new patches to every pack I owned, put bumper stickers on my car and in
a very short time learned that 99.9999% of the world didn't know what it
meant AND COULDN'T CARE LESS. I hadn't really done it for public
recognition so that didn't detract from my experience but it was
enlightening to realize that what had been an imprtant fucus on a personal
challenge spanning several years was meaningless to the vast majority of my
fellow beings. 

The post by Tracker Mom hit the nail on the head, the real reason to hike
is *for yourself*. Don't get hung up on the *stuff* around the hike, it's
just *stuff*. Don't get hung up on an imagined responsibility to make sure
others do it right, are properly educated about how to do it or actually
did what they say they did. Your responsibility to your hike. If you can
help others while out there, great. If when you get back you can
entertain/educate others who are interested, great, but none of us are
responsible for anyone else's hike.

Two last thoughts on "The Avery Award" that occurred to me as I drove
across the state and back to pay a visit to my daughter yesterday. 1) I
haven't researched this to be certain (I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm
wrong) but I don't recall that Myron Avery ever did a thru-hike. Certainly
he hiked the whole trail, but I don't think he was ever a thru-hiker in the
sense that WF uses to term anyway. Of course Myron Avery is dead and the
original thru-hiker isn't which may explain the choice and leads to: 2)Is
it legit to use someone's name without their permission? There was an
interesting story on TV a year or so back about McDonald's Corp. suing
anyone who named their business Mc(anything) for trademark infringement.
Then they encountered a truly blatant case in Scotland where someone had
actually named their restaurant "McDonald's Restaurant". They sent a threat
of suit to the owner who, it turned out, was the Clan Chief of Clan
McDonald. His curt response was that he didn't recall giving the Corp.
permission to use *his* name. I believe they settled out of court.....
>Maybe the posers produce turons in their wake.   I dunno.
What's a turon anyway? 

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