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Re: AT to AL



About the AT being extended into Alabama:  I don't think the 250 mile 
Southern extension would add that much pain and suffering as far as daily 
mileage go.  We're talking 20 more days, at most, averaging 12.5 miles a 
day and 17 days averaging 15 miles per day.  Weather in the South is 
unpredictable, but usually occurs on the mild side.  I know every year is
different, but we've enjoyed 70's and 80's since about the 10th of Feb.  
We also had 4 degrees in the first week of Feb.  My point is, if 
worried about making Katahdin (or beyond) before its closing, thru-hikers 
could start a little earlier given typical Southern weather for late February 
and early March.

Highlights of the trail in Alabama would include the state's highest 
point, Mt. Cheaha (2,407 ft.) and Cheaha state park, as well as Duggar 
Mt. (2,000 ft.), Indian Mt. (1,900 ft), and the entire N to S length of the 
Talladega National Forest.  In Georgia, the trail is planned to run 
through downtown Rome and across the campus of Berry College, along an 
old rail trail to a mountain named High Point, through 2 districts of the 
Chattahoochee National Forest, and intersect with the Benton MacKaye 
trail which will lead to the AT just North of Springer Mt.  The proposed 
trail path in detail can be found at:

             http://www.fred.net/kathy/at/alabama.html

The Alabama Trails Association was founded for the sole purpose of 
connecting Alabama to the AT, whether or not our trail becomes part of the AT
or a blue-blazed southern-end trail.  Thanks to ours and many others' efforts, 
this connection/extension will happen in our lifetimes.  Our members share 
this vision based on a common fact, the Appalachian Mountains do not end in 
Georgia.  We don't look at it as though we're trying to add a wing to the 
Cathedral at Chartres.  Instead, we think the entire cathedral has been here 
all along, just not every room was open to visitors.  The ATA thinks the time 
has come to refurbish and open that last room for viewing, so that the 
entire masterpiece can be enjoyed.  
                                  --Jay Hudson
                                    Alabama Trails Association
                                    hudsojt@mail.auburn.edu



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