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Re: [pct-l] PCT and politics

"Reynolds, WT" wrote:

> Sly-
> I LOVE trees. And, in case you haven't heard, I do donate money to the trail
> because I don't have the time to donate. Unfortunately the government
> management of the trail is very expensive, precisely because it is the
> government.
> Tom

I remember walking the trail south somewhere south of Sierra Buttes - where is
foggy.  But it was within a mile of a paved road.  At any rate, the trail had
been raked with a tine rake.  My girlfriend and I marvelled at the garden path
quality, no pinecones or twigs or leaves, or even rocks of minute size - just
swept dirt.

Now, as you may remember, the quality of the PCT's path is an everchanging
phenomenon.  Wearing running shoes make the "inca highway" above the upper lakes
in the Evolution and Palisade basins a memorable trail.  The steepness and
number of roots per yard make the northern yosemite section memorable for me.
The scree on the knife edge beneath old snowy in the Goat Rocks of Washington,
where one casual step would result in a slide into oblivion is a stark memory.
I hate scree.  Another was the hike up from Milk Creek on the side of Glacier
Peak after a rain.  The head high grasses leaned over the trail making a
waterless 2000' climb into a cold, completely soaked slog even though the
infrequently shining sun was out.  I met the trail crew that the next day would
chop all that back an hour after completing the ascent.

But the part of the trail that was most out of place was this stretch that had
been manicured by a government contractor who read into his instructions the
whole history of English country manor gardens.  We caught up with him, and it
turns out he was a manic sort, living out of a pick-up with cab-over camper with
his wife and two young kids, who idled about in a world that seemed far
different from his.  They were shy, ethereal and well-behaved.  He was sweaty,
half bald, and proud of his work.  I was struck by his likeness to Tom Wolf's
description of Neil Cassady in "The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test."  This man had
something going on inside of him that was out of my experience.

My girlfriend and I thanked him profusely for his beautiful work and he grinned
the grin of the slightly daft at us.  Beyond his family the trail was its normal
cluttered self, to be trod upon, but seldom noticed in quite "that way" again.

Jeffrey Olson
Laramie Wyoming, where it's 7 degrees below zero at 10:20 PM...

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