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[cdt-l] Re: the concept of the CDT

I realize this thread is getting off-topic, but we all have to talk
about "something"!

I just like to make a couple points... A thing doesn't need to have a
definitive boundary to be "real".  For example, where does a mountain
end? I was hiking by Mt. Rainier the other day & couldn't really decide
if the mountain was just the summit, just the glaciated part, just the
part inside the NP, or extended to cover hundreds of square miles - any
bit of land uplifted toward the summit. Still, it's difficult to dispute
there is a Mt. Rainier (at least for now).  Likewise, the divide doesn't
need to be an infinitesimal line with a definitive "edge". It can be
defined as an area or region.  Certainly, a raindrop that falls on the
summit of Mt. Elbert may have any one of a number of ultimate destinies.
Sometimes the divide is thick - like in the valley just to the north of
two ocean pass - the one that holds the creek that splits. The divide is
that entire valley (even though some USGS cartographer picked the
eastern ridge to "draw a line"). But, still, the Missouri river flows to
the Atlantic & the Snake/Columbia flows to the pacific & at some point
water either flows in one or the other.

Also, the divide isn't a political, man-made boundary like the
international date line, it is a geographical feature, embedded in the
very nature of the land. The concept of "watersheds" is a very important
one that has practical implications in our everyday lives - all the
water we drink comes from somewhere.


-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Brett Tucker
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 3:27 PM
To: Continental Divide Trail
Cc: rafi_youatt@hotmail.com
Subject: [cdt-l] Re: the concept of the CDT

Rafi Youatt" <rafi_youatt@hotmail.com> writes:

well, not to get into too deep a philosophical point here, but it seems
you are on a slippery slope here of sorts. if you want to call ephemeral
things like rainbows or the wind just as real as trails, rocks, or
then surely something like the Divide is also real, according to the

things we can touch are real, but you are also saying that things we
touch are also real. we cannot touch a rainbow, nor can we put it down
paper - but you think it is real nonetheless because you experience it -
visually, emotionally, whatever. a "rainbow" is also an abstract,
intellectual concept we use to give a concreteness to a set of phenomena
that we think we "know" exist - the Divide seems to be the same - why is
less real?

Edward Abbey responds:

"Most of what we call science is this, and no more: verified but
knowledge, grounded on unverifiable assumptions. 'If this, then that . .
. '
A likely story. Probably true. But by no means certain, not in the sense
that this earth beneath my feet, these hills before my sight, that sky,
those clouds, those birds above are certain. I can see the sun rise each
morning; I have never seen the earth rotate. Therefore I do not acept
doctrine of science as gospel truth and would be a fool to do so. Why
common sense for the sake of any theory, cult or doctrine? Why deny the
truth of living experience out of deference to some body of esoteric
knowledge, no matter how complex, coherent and conclusive it might seem

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