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Re: [CDT-L] Trails, attitudes, and hiking our own hike

On Tue, 22 Feb 2000 10:29:34 -0600 Charlie Thorpe
<charliethorpe@worldnet.att.net> writes:
> ...I still have a LOT of the CDT to hike <g>.

Charlie - 
So do we - gotta do it again.  Once isn't enough.

Nice to hear your smiling voice.  What did you do with your summer?  

You've got some good questions here, Charlie - you been reading my mind? 

I think they deserve some answers - but you can say 'thank you, God'
cause I don't have time to expound right now.  But you can have the short
answers - 

> Do we distance hikers want the CDT to be a well-defined single 
> footpath...or a collection of different footpaths which tend to go in 
> the "same" direction...or maybe even just a broad public-access 
> corridor and we gets there as we can? 

A well defined single path would be an atttempt at an AT clone.  Who
needs it?  One of the great attractions of the CDT is the freedom to
choose your own route. There are those who don't understand this -
generally they're not long distance hikers.  But not always.  As it is,
every CDT hike is unique.  Ours certainly was. I'd like to keep it that
way for future hikers.

> Is this decision ours to make ("hike your own hike") or is it being 
> made by the CDTA, CDTS, and the various managing agencies that are 
> laying in the trail?  Do we want input into the CDT-definition 
> process as trail-loving citizens or as distance hikers?  As distance 
> hikers who are fiercely determined to "hike our own hike"...do we 
> care?

There's an attitude (that I've seen expressed in a letter) that trail
decisions should be made only by "professionals".   I have a few stories
about "professionals".  Later.  

The real questions are 1/ whether there are people in the hiking
community who are willing to stand up and be counted when it comes to
trail decisions? and 2/ can we even agree on what trail decisions shoud
be made?  

Hikers are notoriously lacking in political fire.  Even getting them to
respond to a direct threat takes almost an act of God.  But they - or
should I say we - are also a contentious lot.  Witness the last couple
days on cdt-l.   If we can't agree about what 'should' be done then
nothing's gonna get done.  

> Do we want the CDT to be built using the same guidelines as the AT? 

God forbid.  But there are those who are headed in that direction. 

> The PCT?  Should enhancing the hiker's ability to get from point A to 
> point B be an important objective in trail design?  Should it be 
> considered at all?  How about using the CDT to guide us to wonderful 
> backcountry that we might not otherwise get into?  Could the trail be 
> used to concentrate our activity into one "sacrificial" area so that 
> we don't destroy the rest of the backcountry?  All the above?  What 
> mix?

Define 'trail design'.  I don't want to start this all over again - and
I'm NOT putting down those who are building trail, but if the last foot
of trail had been cut on the CDT last summer, I'd be VERY happy.  There
are plenty of trails out there - they provide an entire network of
alternatives - to get from Canada to Mexico (or vice versa).  As it is,
we did very little bushwhacking - mostly we were able to find trails or
jeep tracks that took us where we wanted to go. The bushwhacking we did
was mostly pretty simple. Those who did a lot of bushwhacking, did so
largely by choice. With one definite exception, even the roadwalks are
not generally worth building trail to bypass.  

> Do we distance hikers want to encourage having the "Great Trails" 
> slowly being homogenized as they are slowly made more and more 
> accessible?  Do we want the PCT to get more and more like the AT?  
> Do we want the CDT to follow suit?  We CAN make a difference at both 
> the "official" and the grassroots levels.  Discussing how we distance 
> hikers can organize ourselves to best influence the "official" 
> process (CDTA, CDTS, other?) is one thing that we can do here on 
> this list.  Discussing how we can best use our often unexpected
> amongst the general hiking/backpacking "community" is another.

Cool.  As much as I don't like 'organization' for political purposes, if
we don't do something like that - nothing gets done.  

> Hey guys...we don't have to agree on ANYTHING!  In fact, I would 
> probably want to find another discussion group if we did <VBG>. 

You're right - we don't HAVE to agree - but if we don't, we can watch
others make the decisions.  Whether we like the decisions or not.  And I
think there are very few long distance hikers who will like them.  

 There is obviously a LOT of knowledge about the CDT running loose 
> around here...and a lot of love for the trail, as well.
> Make believe that we all just met on the trail...and Jim has offered 
> to share his hoard of Snickers bars!  

Fat chance, Charlie.  Ginny would kill me - they're her Snickers!  But I
will share my Gorp - and whatever ideas are appropriate  :-)))

> Let's sit, take our boots off, 
> and talk about that stuff we have been mulling over the last ten miles
or so...

You got the short version, Charlie.   The other questions would require a
lot more time.  I'll be really interested to see where it goes from here.

Walk softly, 

PS - There are a couple segments of my trail notes that are ready to go
so I'll put them out here over the next couple days.  
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