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Re: [ft-l] Dan Smith

In a message dated 12/20/99 10:46:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
D_Blick@email.msn.com writes:

> What do the rest of you think?

What we capture and cherish in our memories are not those effortless trail 
days when everything goes well, but those moments of adversity that test our 
mettle.  I read Nimblewill Nomad's account and it heightened my desire to 
thruhike the FT, not scare me away.  Every long distance hiking experience 
has its share of challenges.  Those on the FT are unique to it and we should 
not fear that thruhikers will find them too difficult.  It will have its own 
niche.  It won't be for everyone -- thank goodness! -- but let's not rush to 
eliminate the few natural obstacles that a Florida hike has -- and should 

My own FT memories after about 250 miles of experiences are of washed out 
bridges, rotting stiles, clear cuts leaving me clueless where the trail was 
supposed to be, thigh deep mud, etc.  I most certainly don't want the FT to 
be simply a long rails to trails project easy enough for an 8 year old to 

The place where I encountered the thigh deep mud was where the trail follows 
the utility easement just west of Highway 427 in Longwood.  There is a dirt 
road alongside that would have allowed me easily to avoid the obstacle, but I 
wanted to hike the blazes, and I did.  It wasn't fun, but I hike for more 
than fun.  I want adventure, challenges.  I want to see if I can do it, not 
take some easy way out.

Nimblewill Nomad's journey of ten million steps was enhanced, not diminished, 
by the obstacles he overcame.  His book will be a joy to read, I'm sure, and 
we should be proud that that tough first day is such a gripping read.

Ever the optimist,

Solar Bear
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