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Re: [AT-L] Electronics on the Trail- thoughts on Daniel's message



John Newman,

Well spoken!  I've often wondered how one enjoys the birds, the wind, or
one's surroundings with constant music in the ears.  I do know that from
working out, it does take your mind off the pain - is this perhaps what
folks are trying to accomplish?  And if so, then perhaps they should slow
up? On the other hand,  I suspect that so many people are accustomed to
noise that they get nervous when there is none.  I would think that the
trail would be a good opportunity to experience silence or just the sounds
of nature - it seems one's trail experience would be heightened in that it
is that much more different than one's everyday life. I thought hiking the
trail was a means of getting away from the trappings of the "everyday".
Although I know I'm supposed to agree with the philosophy of everyone hiking
their own hike, I think sometimes people need to be pushed a bit to try
something new (such as listening to silence).  I got the feeling from my
thru-hike that so many were hiking just to cover the miles and as rapidly as
they could - that may be their hike, but how is that different from humping
along in the "everday" just as fast as one can?  I suspect that perhaps we
need to educate hikers to the "new" joy of listening to nature - perhaps
many have never tried this experience or if so, perhaps they have not given
it the time needed to really understand its benefits.
Just my two cents worth.
Mark
Mark aka Full Moon GA-Me '95


At 11:20 AM 9/6/96 -0500, you wrote:
>> The problem doesn't appear to be technology, but inviting the "other world" 
>> onto the trail that is the root of the more extreme reaction phones and
pagers 
>> seem to elicit.
>> 
>> What do you think?
>> 
>> Daniel
>
>Daniel, I think that you have, perhaps, hit at the crux of the matter for me.
>'Inviting the "other world" onto the trail..' seems to be a major source of 
>concern on my part.  I wonder why those who blatantly subject me to their
>communications gear while on the trail feel that they must constantly be in
>touch with the 'other world' at all times.  Or at least have the capability of
>doing so at arm's length.  I go into the 'woods' to be alone and have a quiet
>time to refelct on who I am, why I am and even IF I am.
>
>Horace Kephart put it nicely for me in his book _CAMPING AND CAMPCRAFT_, where
>he says, "I do not go to the woods to rough it.  I go to smooth it - I get it
>rough enough in town.".
>
>Daniel touched a couple of trigger spots with his thoughts on the possibility
>of electronics intensifying the trail experience.  A couple of his thoughts
>spoke of walkman-type devices and cameras.
>                                          
>Speaking of cameras... My guess is, that for many of us, taking a camera
with us
>on a trip of any sort is something of a hold over from the practice, stemming 
>at least as far back as the Stone-Age, of bring home 'trophies' or reminders of
>where we have been and proof that we were indeed at a particular place and
>accomplished a particular feat while there.  I am not a hunter in the sense 
>of stalking and killing animals. And I use this merely as a general example of 
>the practice of bring home reminders.  Another example is the special rock or 
>unusual piece of driftwood which I, my children, and grandchildren tend to 
>pick up to take home to share with those who did not get to experience an 
>excursion to the 'woods'.  I am, however, very much a hunter in the quest for 
>special images.  Sometimes I bring my 'trophies' back in a mental image only.  
>At other times, they are brought back on film in an attempt to share with 
>others something of the special sense of place or beauty I have experienced
>while afield.  Most of the time, the images in my mind are far superior to 
>those on film.  There are rare exceptions. 
>                                           
>I have never been able to convey with words or photographs - still or video -
>the intensity of the experience I had in being at a particular place at a
>particular time, carrying with me all my cummulative life experiences which
made
>the experience what it was for me.  One of the most wonderful things about
>having hiked the AT, part of the PCT, or having been anywhere, for that matter,
>is the ability to revisit a place in an instant - with just a thought.  Isn't
>that a marvelous gift we have?  I use it often.
>                                               
>Part of the 'trail experience' for me was the lesson of tolerance.  It is one
>I still struggle with occasionally.. throughout the day?  I have observed and
>noted part of your email message trailer wherein you include the words 
>
>"    Linkwright  Data Poet  Systems Anarchist  Idiosyncrat
>Interactivist    Herder of Cats    Zero Tolerance For Silence"
>                                   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>                                   |
>                                   >  This is the part that intrigues me.  It
>almost begs that I assume that you are one of those who walk jauntily down the
>trail in your own special world of sounds piped directly into your auditory
>response center via two thin wires plugged into your ears.  While I would never
>think of wearing such a device for any extended period of time - in the woods
>or out -, I cannot say that it is not a valid 'trail experience' for those who
>do.  It is not for me to say whether that is good or bad.  I am, however, 
>seeking some input to assist in my further understanding of why someone would 
>forego the wonderful essence of nature, which sometimes includes a perceptible
>silence, whether in your backyard, at the seashore, or in the'woods'.  Please,
>someone enlighten me.  And I mean that in all sincerity.  And yes, I do enjoy
>many, many varieties of music - man-made or otherwise.
>                                                      
>John Newman, aka Oliver Twist, GA->ME 83-89
>                                           
>  John O. Newman, Jr.          		|
>  Senior Analyst Technical Specialist	|   Internet: newman@wcu.edu  
>  Western Carolina University		|     
>  B-10 Forsyth Building			|      Phone: (704) 227-7282       
>  Cullowhee, NC  28723  (USA)		|  Facsimile: (704) 227-7700
>
*****************************************
Mark and Janet Holmes (GA-Me '95)
Fox Hill Inn - Innkeepers
VA 16
Troutdale,VA  ( 4 miles from Dickey Gap on the AT)
AT Hiker stopping point in the Grayson Highlands!
540-677-3313 or 1-800-874-3313 (for reservations)
email - mholmes@netva.com
*****************************************