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At 07:02 PM 10/10/2002 -0700, Sloetoe wrote:
>### We knew where we were going in the macro sense (remember, I
>been there and done that), but we should have been able to rely
>on those signs for an instantaneous shot of knowledge, not of
>confusion or contradiction. The conditions were extreme.
>*Throughhikers* were dropping. Stopping to read a sign, compare
>to maps, compare to data book, estimate time to the next water
>or shade, RECONCILE contradictions -- all that added 5-10
>minutes nearly every time we came upon a juncture. We (*I*!)
>were/was brain-baked; and thinking was hard. (Sound familiar?)
>The only thing we had going for us was visibility (which meant
>the sun was doing a number on us), but even with that
>visibility, it was easy to walk off "trail" because of the
>miserable/non-existent blazing. So take that 5-10 minutes of
>stop/check/reconoiter and multiply it by 20 junctures a day, and
>you've got HOURS extra, on your feet, in the sun, trying to stay
>"legal" in the AMC franchise. That's goddamn irresponsible on
>their part; next time I'll be *highly* tempted to go by compass.
I know this is straying from the original context of the
discussion, but the issue of "signage" and blazing
on the AT is one that gets me seriously peeved.
It's one thing that the trail takes the hardest, steepest,
highest possible route, almost without exception.
That's the trail we know and love.
But why oh why, can't they get the blazing right?
It seems to be quite often either too much or too little.
My main complaint is when the trail crosses roads,
or follows along them, or when it takes hard turns,
or traverses meadows and clearings, or turns to
meet a bridge or some convenient stream crossing.
What I mean is, you don't need lots of blazes when
you're in the long green tunnel. You need them
when the trail does something unexpected and when
the trail meets the "real world."
Trail pops out of the woods onto a road. You
can't see where it pops back into the woods and
there are no blazes in sight. Let the games begin.
Would it be too hard to post a little sign, with an
arrow, and maybe a hint as to how far one should
walk before expecting to duck back into the woods
I got lost quite a few times hiking on the AT in
Vermont this summer, in the baking heat. Maybe
I was baked, I dunno. It almost always happened
on road walks and at road crossings.
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