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Re: [ft-l] Florida Trail thru-hikers



Deb, with all due respect to EVERYONE who's ever worked on the FT, negotiated 
rights for the FT, done administrative work for the FT, gathered and led work 
crews for the FT, etc., IMHO there seems to be a real division of thought on 
long-distance hiking on the FT.  I am NOT (and never intend to be) a long 
distance hiker, however, I have heard some negative thoughts on long-distance 
hiking expressed in several ways.  To paraphrase

"We didn't build this trail for a lot of outsiders to come in to use."

"No one should be hiking at dusk or dark"  (In response to a plea that the FT 
should be blazed in white because of improved visibility in failing light--a 
situation often encountered by long-distance hikers trying to make some 
mileage.)

"I discourage our chapter from working on the FT.  We need to maintain our 
loop trails--the ones WE use."

Having put up at least 30 long-distance hikers at my house and shuttled 
several others, it's pretty clear that I do support the long-distance hiking 
community.  And I certainly conceed that their number is small in comparison 
to the number of FT members who participate in loop hikes, day hikes, and 
short campouts.  Joan Hobson and the Long Distance Hiking Committee have done 
a GREAT job as advocates and consciousness-raisers for long distance hiking.  
But I do think we need to reach some sort of concensus about what FT is and 
isn't going to support.
We are building and maintaining the trail, but I wonder if we're really 
committed to supporting the long-distance hiker.  

Now that I've opened my big mouth, I will give up ONE hour to man a booth at 
ALDHA.  Any other listers going who will forego an hour of those great talks?
  
Joan
bluetrail@aol.com
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