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Re: [at-l] Technology on the Trail
"People were tougher in those days."
Not really, would be my guess, although I was only priviledged to meet 5
other northbounders ( out of about 37 ) who made it from Springer to
Katahdin in 1972.
I think the most trying part of that summer ( once I got my feet healed
up ) was the flood in VT, where walking in ankle-deep water after
Hurricane Agnes was really a drag, literally and metaphorically. We had
well-made down bags and jackets, and once I got over the idea that my
big waffle-stomper boots were necessary, I had some lightweight but
tough boots sent. The same ( or very similar ) topics were talked about,
although trail politics had a totally different connotation back
then....There were just a lot fewer people to talk to, or about...And
from what I gather, there is a lot more actual trail-walking to be had
these days than in '72, although the roads that coincided with the AT
back then made for some memorable impromptu dinner-invites from folks
that lived along the Trail.
I suspect as far as "toughness" is concerned, as relative and
variable as that concept is, I would have a much harder time enjoying
the Trail today, just from the stress of hiking with so many other
people around. But you're right: there was one fellow who would have fit
anybody's definition of "tough": he never took a zero mile day, averaged
17 miles a day, never stayed a night in a motel or private home, and
walked the Trail twice in consecutive years in each direction, and
didn't drink: and he was 37 years older than I was! That was tough, and
he was a real nice guy too.
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