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But I would say that if you don't have the fire inside of you already
before you make the decision to do a thru hike I don't think that attending
a gathering will in fact "light that fire."

Having hiked the PCT and CDT I know that you must have strong inner resolve
that is very deeply personal in order to complete a thru hike.  If you
don't REALLY REALLY REALLY want to make it you won't.

Now, on the other hand, it would be a great place to gather ideas and
synthesize your own style of thru hiking.

I admit it would be nice to attend, but it is not essential to a successful
thru hike.  I have been successful on both of my thru hike attempts and did
not attend a single gathering nor participate in any listservs.  This is
not to say I would not have attended a gathering if it was in my local
area, but to insinuate that it is a requirement to a successful thru hike
is just plain wrong.

Now that I've said all of that I will join the Owens in saying the
gathering would a great event to attend for anyone who has the desire and

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