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Re: [AT-L] Electronics on the AT

Bob -
No time for flames.  But a couple comments maybe?

>Give me a massive break!
>If I had to make the argument (and only for the sake of argument), I
>spiritulize the use of a pager-laptop-cellphone to make a point.

Yeah, so could I - but I'd be lying, too.  Besides, who said that
all spirituality is good?  If you haven't run into the other kind,
you haven't delved in the right - or is that "wrong" - places.

>Hey! I'm a former fundamentalist / pentecostal preacher.

Cool - I was a fundamentalist for more than a few years.
Then God found me.

>Wait!!! Jim, this is not a flame. :)
>Not everyone has or will recognize a thru-hike as a spiritual
>as many on this list seem to indicate.
>For some it will be nothing but a religious experience, a burden.
>To some it is the fulfillment of a life long dream.
>To others a simple joy.
>Others may look at it as another task to be accomplished, much akin
>to the "peak baggers".
>The possibilities are endless. It's your hike.

Absolute agreement on this one - and I'm not gonna tell anyone they
have to have a "spiritual" hike or that personal growth has to be
the result of their proposed thruhike.  But some of them are gonna
find it anyway - and sometimes it's nice to be warned that it's a
possibility.  I won't give you the full spiel about change - but here's
an excerpt from Larry Luxenberg's book "Hiking the Appalachian

>"After more than two thousand miles on the trail, you can expect to
>undergo some personality changes.  A heightened affinity for nature
>infiltrates your life.  Greater inner peace.  Enhanced self-esteem.
>A quiet confidence that if I could do that, I can do and should do
>whatever I really want to do.  More appreciation for what you
>have and less desire to acquire what you don't.  A childlike zest
>for living life to the fullest.  A refusal to be embarrassed about
>having fun.  A renewed faith in the essential goodness of
>humankind.  And a determination to repay others for the
>many kindnesses you have received."

Life is spiritual - even for those who don't think about it or believe
in it.  And the reason you finish the Trail is sometimes not the same
as the reason you started it.

>The way I see it, that is looking through the glasses which I look at my
>life through, somebody elses techno-do-dad will not adversly affect my
>spiritual or natural experience (read thru-hike, vacation,weekender or
>day hike).
>UNLESS, that individual is encroaching upon my personal space.
>Personally, I believe in non-descrimination. If a Thru-hiker offends me
>with his beeper or a day hiker offends me with his boom-box I'll attempt
>to deal with it as far as my tolerance will carry me.
>If we get beyond that then a discussion or more will ensue. (This may
>the temporary confiscation of the offending equipment)

Hmmm - haven't had to do this - yet.  The proper application of any
martial art is to never allow a situation to deteriorate to the point
where the physical application of the art is necessary.  But then,
we're all human - and we all make mistakes, don't we?

>I don't think that technology is the issue, except for perhaps the folks
>have deluded themselves into believing that the AT is a "wilderness".
>Just take a few steps off the trail in most areas, and Viola! all the
>trappings of modern living (How about motels with hot tubs???).

You're right - it's not "wilderness" in a lot of respects - but it's as
close as some people will ever come.  And there'll be times when it'll
be as much wilderness as you'll want.  <G>

>The issue is common courtesy.
>The problem will probably be that the more crowded that the trail gets,
>the less common that courtesy will be.

Yeah, now you've got it.  I guess this is a good place for me to say this -
that I don't care if others carry cell phones or computers or GPS units
-- or lead bricks.  If they're willing to carry the weight that's their
business.  It becomes my business only when they drag out their
tech-toys and disturb my serenity - or my sleep.  In other words,
when their "right" to have those things interferes with my "right"
to listen to the loons or play with the mice or watch the hawks --
or just meditate.  And the words - as you indicated - are "common
courtesy".   Unfortunately, being somewhat of a cynic about human
nature, I've observed that "common courtesy" is a lot like "common
sense" -- VERY rare.

>Jim, I hope that your byline doesn't have to become
>walk softly, and carry a big stick.  <grin>

I've found that carrying the "big stick" nearly always obviates the
need for using it.  <VBG>

>Hopefully I'll see ya'll at the Gathering.

We'll be there - y'all come.

Walk softly,