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I'm back

Perhaps a few folks remember me -- I posted a few times over the last 
couple of years.

On June 2 I left Springer Mountain.  77 days later, my parents picked me 
up at Pa. 34, 1080 miles to the North.  Half this summer, half the next 
was the plan and it looks like I'm right on schedule.

I'd be happy to share with MY hike with everyone.  What obviously 
separates me from the traditional thru-hikers is that I intended from the 
start to split my trip into 2 summers.  (Those pesky academic 
schedules!)  I do not regret this decision at all and in fact I think 
there are many advantages:

*  I never (not even once) had to tent because a shelter was full.
*  Trail services had recovered from the throng of thru-hikers ahead of me.
*  Very well cleared and marked trail.  Plenty of register advice about 
what lied ahead.
*  Got to meet more week, month, weekend hikers with great stories to tell.
*  Perhaps it was easier to "hike my own hike."
*  I have 10 months to break in new boots.
*  No winter gear for the first summer (Southern half June-August).
*  Long days for the whole trip.

* Occasionally I would wish for a few more hikers.
* A couple services were closed because I was "out of season."

The bottom line is this:  I asked myself, "Will the hike mean less or be 
less enjoyable if I cut it in half?  Will I feel any different when I 
climb Katahdin?"  The answer for me was no, but I understand others may 
feel differently.  You have to answer questions like that for yourself.

Dan "Focus" Grossman

|Dan Grossman       danieljg@rice.edu     "My opinions are always my own|
|6360 S. Main       Sid Room 602	     and are never shared by as |
|Houston, TX 77005  (713) 630-8678           many people as I wish."    |
|http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~danieljg      GA->PA 96, PA->ME 97         |