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Re: AT to AL, Canada and beyond




>
>  I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding
>the AT to AL project.  Thanks!

I know that the AT, like many things, is something that many feel
personally involved with especially if they have completed a thruhike or
are avid section hikers. Therefore, it is subject to much protection and
tradition. In general people don't like to see things change, especially
thier own pet project. Given the amount of gruelling physical and emotional
punishment someone has gone through just to complete a Springer/Katahdin
hike I can understand why some would not like to see it continued into
Canada or Alabama. Plus there is that "tradition" thing, why change
something that works and has worked fine for many years? But hasn't the
history of the trail been one of contant change and renewal? The only thing
in this world that is constant is change so I'm all for the extensions on
both ends of the trail.  In all sport there is a certain inertia to not go
with the new idea, look at skating technique in x-country skiing.
Originally it was a fad (that would not last!), now everyone does it, and
races are split into skating style or diagonal "traditional" style. In pro
hockey when I was a kid no pro player ever wore a helmet, there was a lot
of pressure to keep helmets out of hockey, now you cannot find a player who
doesn't wear a helmet. There are countless examples. Even with extensions
you can still complete a "traditional" Springer/Katahdin hike if you
desire. If you have already completed a "traditional" hike you would then
have a new goal to go for in an extended hike on one or both ends. To me
this revitalises the whole notion of the trail as it stands, as well as
providing more  needed greenspace in a world were it is rapidly
disappearing. Think how great it would be if all the "long" trails were
connected like a large wilderness interstate highway system. You could
start walking in any state and walk to any other state or province given
the time or the means. Just my 2 cents and I respect and understand those
people who would rather see the trail as it is with no extensions as I am
abit of a traditionalist. I only bought skate skis last spring. Cya

Douglas "Cap" Introne
Stable Isotope Laboratory
Sawyer Environmental Research Center
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Tel. (207) 581-2192
Fax (207) 581-3490
E-mail introne@maine.maine.edu



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