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Re: at extensions

My husband (...Strider... '94) and I totally agree with all you have to 
say about this issue. I personally beleive stronly that anyone who wants 
to hike the AT should have a chance at doing it, without being too 
intimidated by the effects of lengthening the trail (more miles per day, 
rougher weather at each extremity etc) The AT is not only for marathon 
hikers but also exists in aesthetic boundaries. 
Walkabout GE-->ME 94-->?

On Fri, 23 Feb 1996, Ian Marshall wrote:

> About the AT being extended southward into Alabama:  I've also heard talk of
> extending the AT northward into Canada.  While I'm all in favor of having
> more trails in this world, and certainly in favor of having more trails that
> link up with the AT, I'm not sure if I like the idea of the AT itself being
> longer.  If we add 250 miles down south and several hundred up north, then
> thru hikes become more problematic--guaranteeing bad weather at some point
> of the hike, making the whole enterprise more grueling and more likely to
> appeal to those who hike for the conquest or accomplishment or bragging
> rights.  It would become more of a marathon, with hikers even more concerned
> about putting in the miles to get to the end before winter hits.  Too many
> thru-hikers already take a mad dash approach to the miles.  I remember a
> friend saying that some thru-hikers wouldn't go a quarter mile off the Trail
> to see their grandmother get buried.  And certainly going beyond Katahdin up
> north means ending with anticlimax--I'm not sure about down south.  What
> would the highlights of the Trail in Alabama be? 
> So my opinion--let's consider those extensions side trails, lengthy approach
> trails.  Blue blaze 'em.  I think of the AT as a sacred place  with a
> meaningful tradition, and I hesitate to mess with it.  Would you want to add
> a wing to the cathedral at Chartres, or redecorate the Taj Mahal?
> Evergreen 

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