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Re: [at-l] Reason for thru-hiking

>I've had the same experience of trying to explain, even to myself, the
>purpose of these long-distance hikes.

> I think the chief  one is the feeling I get of being completely
aware of being alive. Life on the trail is intense . . . the hunger, the
pain, the excitement, the longing, the accomplishment.

How very well said.
I also like the way Jardine puts it:
        "I believe if we address those primitive survival instincts every
now and then our lives can become more sharply focused.  About the only way
we can do it in this day and age is to invent goals for ourselves - goals
which involve sweat-induced labor and a measure of discomfort and which
reintroduce us to uncertainty and risk.   For it is only be confronting
these challenges that we can even begin to experience our full capabilities
as human beings....
       ... Society views physical labor as a personal indignity - something
to be avoided.  But for the distance hiker, the labor, the moving along the
high rugged trail, is an expression of life itself. And when this
expression is directed toward a goal the journey becomes a pilgrimage and
the long distance hiker becomes a pioneer, exploring the realities of human
existence and the glories of Nature, which sustains all life."


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