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[at-l] White Mountains incident

OK, so I feel like I have to comment on the incident.
I thru-hiked the AT this year, and I met Pete Harley
hiking northbound in Virginia and then after he
flip-flopped and was heading southbound.  He was
hiking with his dog Gigi who apparently died while he
was heading south through the 100 Mile Wilderness.
Despite the death of his dog and his wife (I think she
died about a year ago), he seemed in good spirits and
was definitely an accomplished hiker.  I'm almost 100%
sure he was not slackpacking since that really didn't
suit his style.  I really enjoyed the few hours that I
spent getting to know him at a shelter down in
Virginia, and I was really saddened to hear of his

Also, regarding cell phones.  I brought a lightweight
cell phone on the trail, and it was probably the best
item I carried.  I was able to keep in touch with my
family along the way and was even able to switch up my
meeting point after summitting Mount Katahdin.  I
think that banning cell phones on the AT would be
incredibly stupid, especially with the "hike your own
hike" statement that is so bantied about.  The person
who got on me the hardest for having a cell phone
carried a small radio which I found ironic.  Anyway, I
was always discreet about using it while hiking, and I
think that is the key.  In addition, I know several
thru-hikers that were very thankful to take advantage
of the free nights and weekends that my cell phone

OK, that's my feeling on the issue.  Have a good time
at The Gathering... I wish I could be there, but I've
got to back to work now!

GA-ME '02

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