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[at-l] 2000 Mile Rocker



My Rocker and Certificate came today.

I know that we have recently trivialized the award, and in general I agree that
it means little in and of itself. I did not thru hike to get this little cloth
patch and paper certificate. I did not thru hike to get my name in the magazine,
and I don't need anyone's praise to make my hike complete.

I did go out and buy a nice frame, place my certificate, my patch that went all
the way on my backpack, and my rocker beneath it, in the frame.  The framed
recognition of my 2160 mile walk through the woods from Georgia to Maine, will
go on the wall of my home office. I'll see it every day. It will make me smile
every day.

I think people who lie to get the rocker will not smile when they look at
theirs. I think people who lie to themselves about the purity of their hike, or
the purity of their accomplishment will not look fondly on their certificate. I
will. I will always treasure that 6 month period in my life, the friendships I
made, the miles I covered, the personal hardships I endured and the challenges I overcame.

When you get yours, be proud. Don't blow it off. Don't skip sending in the form
to the ATC because someone else says that the rocker means nothing. Smile, fill
out your application, send it in, display the token proudly, and know that you
did what few other people in this world ever will do.

I feel especially proud to be a thru hiker today. I'm smiling ear to ear.

Paddler
GA>ME Class of 99
http://paddler99.trailstories.com
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