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[at-l] AT food choices and all that

Russ wrote:

>Mom & Pop stores along the trail have much more to offer the thruhiker 
>larger food stores do.... I think it's called atmosphere...
>Remember it's not the destination, it's the journey...

Well, I don't want anyone to think for a minute that the country
stores near the AT don't cut it. They have limited selection of
food though. Sometimes your choices are very limited.

My personal interest here is that I have hiked the AT and
thought about food I would love to eat as I camped and short
of finding a can of Beanie Weanies and  Minute Brand rice at most,
I think hikers might be better off letting the mom and pops know
that if they stocked better food in season that it would sell
and maybe food mailing would not be as much a logistical need
all the time (read: maybe not as much a nuisance when the PO is
closed when you are near it). Plus, we are talking gourmet and 
nutritious food that could abound. The meals at Elmer's Hot Spring
Inn could be an often thing for hikers if they sought better food.

I can list all the stores near the AT and basically run off an
inventory of what they have.  I do know that most are owned by
very nice folks, but I have encountered some who, maybe it was
an off day for them, seemed less than genuine about having hikers
come to their business. So be it, I choose not to patronize those as
 businesses as much or at all. 

Not to knock Russ's quote above about 
journey vs. destination but I do believe some hikers have food
needs that should be addressed. I hope to someday offer a service
during the summer where I can act as a trail guide or logistics
person for hikers with tastes similar to mine. I'm talking
years down the road for that one. I think I am fascinated with the 
aspect of being outdoors and assisting people with their hike by
giving them advice about how to plan meals and hiking itinerary. I can 
not think for a moment I want to turn the AT into a corporate 
marketing zone. Instead, I want to carve out my niche and share 
being on the AT and getting the thumbs up from hikers when I know
that they are getting a little help as they try to make there way
through the days. I have spent many years working for others and am
realizing that one of my passions is to hike. If I could somehow make
a life for myself, even for a few months a year, where I did something I 
enjoyed and it related to the AT and helped others and
put some dollars in my pocket, then heck that would be very nice.
It is my need to be outdoors and see the plaque on Springer and 
fantasize about the long descent into Wesser and the great views from 
Charles Bunion.  If I am offending others because one of my hopes is to 
derive a small living wage from knowing what can be of help to hikers 
that want more than the conventional food than maybe I should consider  
looking at the AT more as an elitist's place to be. I can offer to make 
pledges to help the ATC and the AT's  maintenance, but still the issue 
of supporting hikers for $$ seems taboo. I wanted to think of it more as 
a good-will gesture that was aimed at people who like good food.

I would love to hike the AT for frequent extended periods in the future 
but I have many goals to accomplish before that will happen. I think 
alot of folks would want to have a life where they could be outdoors 
alot and hike and enjoy the many freedoms the AT holds. I wish in a way 
the AT community was not as etheral as they seem. We all hike our own 
hike it is stated often. OK, then could you understand if I want to hike 
with people that agree with me in many facets?  

Like I said,  please put my address in your computer's kill file if this 
thread annoys you.  I hope most people who read my posts understand that 
I like to have a dialogue about my ideas because
I am still unsure of their merit. As we see the AT wax with interest
and witness more use, I think it should be treated as it is, a conduit
for people communing with nature. If the fear of its quality as an 
experience going downhill seems very real, then maybe we can do 
something about it more than just look at each and have nothing much to 

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