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[cdt-l] re: CDT Yahoo group

LOL!!! -

Mags - the only problem with "depositing files" is that you'd better be 
really careful about what info you take out of those files.  When Lynne shot 
the video footage, the resupply info was up to date - by the time he 
published the video (less than 4 months after he interviewed us), much of 
that resupply info was obsolete and incorrect.  That's why the only reliable 
(and that word contains a large margin of error) information is what you get 
directly from those who hiked the trail last year - or are hiking it THIS 
year.  And even that should be treated with a massive level of paranoia.  We 
had many, many surprises along the way - and we beat the bushes for 
detailed, up-to-date information right up until the time we left for 
Montana.  I'd have a great distrust of any information that was "deposited" 
anyplace.  I'd want to "talk" to the people who collected AND experienced 
that information before I'd trust it - and even then the "trust level" 
wouldn't be more than 50% because of the "subjective" and constantly 
changing nature of the info.  That's why the list is the best possible data 

When we got off the trail we put out a lot of information that reflected our 
experience on the CDT.  Hikers the next year told us that, in several cases, 
already the situation had changed or had been in error (i.e. zip codes that 
were changed in a later version of the town list, but not in the original 
one that was used by a lot of folks). Water sources had dried up or wells 
been turned off, stores or restaurants had opened and closed, trail angels 
were busy living their lives and no longer had time for taking care of 
hikers.  How much more would that be true for hikers two or three years down 
the line?  We have steered hikers to the information we put on CDT-L in 
2000, but we tell them also to read the many caveats and amendments put out 
by other hikers on the list.  When we said "Go to Salmon" others said, "Try 
Sula instead."  Where we said, "No grocery at Macks Inn", others said, 
"Well, if you go a few miles further, you can find one."  The more voices, 
the better the chance of getting some accuracy, especially in a constantly 
changing trail environment.

"Deposited" files are ALWAYS accepted as gospel by those who are either 
afraid to stick their heads up and ask the questions or too lazy to verify 
the information - and ALL of us fit that last category at one time or 
another.  We had errors in the original information that we put on the list 
even before we hiked the trail - and we've watched some of that erroneous 
information go through several different manifestations by different people 
over the last several years.  Some of it is still being propagated.  And in 
fact, some of those errors are still contained in the files that are on the 
Yahoo group.  We know - cause we just checked on one of them.

Ask the questions - if you trust the files, then you'll be setting yourself 
up for an "adventure."  And "adventures" only happen to those who have 
failed to adequately prepare.  They're NOT something to brag about.

Data repositories are only as good as the data that's deposited.  Been there 
- many times - and been burned - many times.  In many different contexts.  

Trust - but verify.


"Cutting the space budget really restores my faith in humanity. It 
eliminates dreams, goals, and ideals and lets us get straight to the 
business of hate, debauchery, and self-annihilation." -- Johnny Hart

>From: Paul Magnanti <pmags@yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: cdt-l@backcountry.net, pmags@yahoo.com
>To: cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net
>Subject: [cdt-l] re: CDT Yahoo group
>Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 15:28:45 -0700 (PDT)
>I believe Jon's plan is more of a depository of CDT
>info. (HEy..check out that link for this map...go this
>link for the town info...).
>Having checked out the site, seems more of a central
>place to grab files and such. The discussion will
>still be here. Those of us doing the CDT next year
>will have plenty of questions to ask the CDT veterans
>in the next few months! :-)
>We could always do a web site with the files..but
>Yahoo does make a nice "quick and dirty" place to
>store and retrieve files. As it is public (no need to
>subscribe), anyone can download the needed files
>without getting massive spam from Yahoo.
>Think of it as another CDT website that can be an
>addition to the main source of info, the CDT-L.
>(ps..this reminds me Jim..I need to mail back the
>video! Where did the time go?!?!?! :O)

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