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Re: [AT-L] Southbound

hey y'all. 
no, I don't think you're nuts. my friend (aka a_large_ jelly_ donut) 
thought it would be better to hike southbound. It's more appropriate for 
starting in June, and it skips the crowd. I don't have many experiences 
to compare, but I've heard that AT is too crowded. An acquaintance even 
said that I might have a better time on the PCT. either that, or take off 
for Alaska.
	I think I was working on the assumption that "less is more." Less 
people ~ more experience. But with so many people visiting places like 
the AT, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc, how can the experience be found? 
Sometimes I feel like "rationing" visits to our parks and trails. Then 
times I say, "but only after *I've* hiked through." Then I shut up. But 
does the fact that so many people share a "solitary" pleasure bother anyone 
else but selfish me? Does it detract from the value of the experience? 
	Just wondering. ALF

P.S.: 1)what are pros/cons of southbound/northbound
2) does anyone wear gas-perm contacts on the trail? Is that stupid? 8*}

On Fri, 20 Sep 1996 SANDY@mayo.edu wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I have a few southbound questions, but first allow
> me alittle venting if you will. No it's not about,
> electronics, horses, or mountain bikes, what it is about
> is AT planning materials. Has anyone used the following
> to plan their thru-hike:
> Thru-hikers handbook
> AT companion
> ATC guidebooks and maps
> AT data book
> ...At this I am going to pull a Jim Owen and that is I am going to make
> a bold prediction. I predict in the next several years the number of
> people who do southbound thru-hikes will increase at a faster percentage 
> rate, than those doing northbound hikes. No, I am not saying the number of
> people beginning in the north will equal the number from the south,
> it won't even come close, but there will a dramatic increase in
> southbounders. Why do I say this? I believe it will be caused by a
> disillusionment with the thru-hiking experience caused by the masses
> of people who begin in the south every year. I believe more hikers
> will begin in the north to avoid those masses, and have a more solitary
> hike. Yes I know alot of people really enjoy the social aspects of the
> trail, and they seek out those crowds, but it seems the sheer number of
> those people beginning in the south has begun to turn some people off
> to thru-hiking. I believe those people will begin to look more closely
> at a southbound hike and even with its' draw backs find it more appealing. 
> So bottom line, Dan and Frank, beat the rush and do the southbound
> editions now. How about before the end of May ? (wink wink nod nod )
> Well I have vented so much now I don't have time for the questions.
> We are off to the BWCA for some canoeing, so the questions
> will have to wait for Monday.
> So what do you think ? Am I nuts?  wait ,hold it ,don't answer that...
> Sandy and Alison
> "The Smiths"
> Me to Ga '97