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Re: [pct-l] Journals

I am going to come out of lurk mode for this one.  Last May I was surfing
the web looking for hiking stuff.  A long time ago I use to backpack with
friends but let work and other things push me away from the fulfillment and
enjoyment I got from hiking.  Since it has been at least twenty years since
I have done any serious hiking I thought I should take a look what is going
on now in the outdoor world.  

After poking around for a few minutes I found the PCT web page and some
thru hiker journals.  I started following the progress of some of the
hikers and was excited and fascinated by what I was reading.  Just image a
person deciding to hike that far!  And then actually doing it.  Folks -
that is amazing stuff.  I know people that won't walk to the store let
alone to Canada.

What I found most interesting in the journals was the spiritual, emotional
and mental journey of the hikers.  Honestly the descriptions of camps,
scenery, equipment and other facts were nice but what I really liked was
when I learned how someone felt about where they were or the journey to get
there - even if it wasn't happy or funny.

I have been lurking on the list for a few months now and often see things
like "the hike is 90% mental."  Well okay I can buy that.  So then it makes
sense that the journal a hiker keeps and shares should be more about their
mental journey rather than the physical one.  I don't mean this as a put
down, but being informative or entertaining every day is highly over rated
- just put down how you feel.  I think it is just fine to make a journal
entry that says, "did 30 miles - too tired to write."  That tells me
something about the journey and I find that informative (but maybe not
entertaining).  There will be days when there are informative and
entertaining things to write and there is no need to force the issue.

So this is a long way to answer your question but what I want to read in a
hiker journal is about the journey in your head and not the journey on your

And it is that journey of the spirit that fascinates me and makes me what
to do a thru hike.  It is that mental journey that makes me force this body
out of its chair and do to the gym to see if I can make my body fit enough
to do the distance.  The question I always ask is, "would my mind have the
strength to keep going for all those miles?"  

So I guess if I were to start a hiker's journal I would start it today with
this email.


At 12:38 AM 1/23/00 -0800, Stephen Martin wrote:
>Since I did a hiker journal I cannot comment since I'm biased ;^)
>But, I would like to know what would make a journal more interesting.
>From my experience it was quite difficult to try and write something that
>would be informative or entertaining day after day. Especially at the end of
>a 30 mile day. After a while it's hard to make the trail interesting. And I
>would often find myself after dark writing by headlamp, while other trail
>friends had gone to sleep, wondering if it was worth the effort.
>So, I guess what I'm asking is what would you want to hear?
>http://www.pcthiker.com | experience the pacific crest trail
>on 1/22/00 8:54 PM, Owen at jim_ginny_o@attglobal.net wrote:
>> What are your favorite PCT journal sites?  Any that really made you feel
>> like you were out there? OR want to be out there?
>> Ginny
>* From the PCT-L |  Need help? http://www.backcountry.net/faq.html  *

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