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Re: Trail pecking order?

Denise K. Quick writes:

> Another thought on this topic:  As a past thru-hiker (1991) I think it is 
> totally unreasonable to  think other hikers 'should' give up their 
> shelter space for a thru-hiker.  Thru hikers ARE priviledged to have the  
> time and money and  freedom in their lives to do THE trail!!  Not only 
> that, but there are so many people a thru-hiker meets who are so willing 
> to go out of their way to be helpful and kind (that old Trail magic!), 
> and we don't need all the good stuff!!  

> A personal example may illustate this.  Two summers after my thru-hike, I 
> worked for the AMC in the White  Mountains, and saw how a few thru-hiker 
> with a bad attitude who expected to be treated better than the other 
> hikers in the Whites really gave ALL thru-hikers a bad name most of the 
> folks working in the backcountry of the Whites!  I found this to be 
> really regretable, as most of the backcountry folks and the thru-hikers 
> are great people, with a lot in common.  Yet there is a great deal of 
> tension and name-calling on both sides.

Excellent post!  I think everyone should remember (and I'm sure most
do) that the AT is for everyone, not just thru-hikers.  I've seen some
"weekenders" who looked quite miserable and in need of a quick place
to crash.  A "bottom line" for me is to use common sense and courtesy.
Personally, I wouldn't use the shelter, except as a last resort of
some sort, or when required, as 19 people in a 12-person trashed
shelter is not my idea of fun (yes, I do like people!), and I enjoy
tenting (yes, even in the rain).  


Richard Hihn			Phone:(518) 584-5000 (x2609)
Department of Music
Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866	Email:rhihn@bart.skidmore.edu

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