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[at-l] Re: Icons, the ATC & LD Hikiking

> I constantly have to weigh with myself the Thru Hiking Papers
> and things like what you just said.  Time? Easy to have when
> you're unemployed - and until recently, I had a lot of
> that.  But supposing you have the time, but you have kids - you
> aren't able to do what your feet and soul tell you to do every
> time you step on the AT, or even drive by a white blaze.  Desire
> to hike the Trail, and the ability to do what it takes - that
> might be easy for the set of folks either just
> graduating or just retiring . . . but for those of us in
> between, there are other considerations.

I agree completely, and I wrote a lot about that here:


>From that is this: "Of course, once you have lashed yourself to the mast of
the ship of society, you aren't trapped forever. Weekend hikes, section
hikes, and fantastic family vacations can all be yours. Eventually, your
children will grow, your mortgage will be paid, and you will retire."

> We look at thru hikers with respect because not only have they
> demonstrated the physical ability to hike that far and for that
> long (regardless of how "easy" that part is, according to some),
> but because they managed to arrange their lives to make it
> happen.  I don't know about everyone on the list.  A lot of you
> have thru hiked. I think it would be an interesting
> survey to find out where you were in your life when you did.

Well, at the time, I didn't arrange my life to go on a hike.  I was the
victim of fate.  I didn't set out to do anything all that interesting.  All
I really wanted to do was see southern Baja.  At the time I was jobless,
mostly broke, and really not a very good backpacker at all.  I was an
excellent wandering bum, and I had a lot of skills.  There was a time when
decent people called people like me 'hobos'...  That's the image of me that
I'd like to keep from those many years ago...

> I don't think thru hikers are gods or anything.  But I *do*
> think that they achieved something worthy of respect, and I
> don't think I like being told my admiration is worthless because
> *anyone* can do it.

It's only worthless if you die in bed, so to speak.  You have a dream.  Feed
it.  One day, turn your dream loose on the world.  Right now you can't.
Right now I can't either.  My wife would throw an absolute fit.  So, for now
I'm a day hiker, and occasionally a weekender.  I'm thankful for the little
bits that I do get.  I'm also thankful for lists like this one and people
like ya'll who let me escape a little of the day-to-day by talking about
things that I'd rather be doing than sitting inside in front of this magic

> Maybe *anyone* can.  But since I haven't managed it yet, leave
> me with my illusions. Thru hikers are special :)

Ok, keep it.  But one day you'll be one, and then you'll see what I mean.