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Re: AT to AL, Canada and beyond

> > 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. 

>  The problem with this would be if all of the trails were connected
> they would lose some of their identity.  Instead of each being
> unique they would become just a part of the whole. 

I disagree.  France has a system similar to the above (called "Les
Grand Randonees" - "the great hikes").  They are all numbered (e.g.
GR20 goes around the island of Corsica), and they are all
interconnected.  The "greats" among the GR hikes are all known as a
great hike, even though they are interconnected with the rest of GR
hikes (granted some like GR20 cannot be connected since they are on
islands). The system works fairly well (from what I've heard, though
I've never been on them myself, only dreaming about it for when I move
to Europe at the end of my thru-hike this year).

> I think alot of hiking the AT is what a person's feeling or fantasy
> is about the trail.  I think that's why many attempt, but so few
> finish the whole trail.  

It'll be interesting to see if it lives up to my expectations or not.
I'm trying to keep my expectations to a minimum, but there's no
getting around having preconceived notions...

> I say the two extensions should become their own seperate trail with
> unique identities drawing people to those trails for the same reason
> people are drawn to the AT.  The tradition, the personality, and the
> people along the AT.

I just went through the task of translating (with Allan) a proposal of
extending the AT into Canada through Quebec and not New Brunswick (the
copy in french is on the AT WWW pages).  It's a very emotional plea to
have the trail extended through Quebec, trying hard to convince
people.  I'm sure there are people in New Brunswick who feel just as
emotionally about having any extension go through their province.


(18 days and counting)